|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
Ascot United 2s 1-2 The Folt FC
Ascot United’s Vets’ 2nd XI squad got an excellent run out in the club’s final pre-season game on Friday 2nd September. An impressive Folt side were deserved winners, but gaffer Martin Kay will still have been pleased with what he saw as the Yellaman blew off the cobwebs and set themselves up nicely for the start of the West London Vets’ League next weekend.
With 19 players available, Kay had choices galore to make before the game even started. He sensibly opted to pick two sides, one for each half, with a handful of players pushing on and getting 60/70 minutes rather than 45. In that sense it really was, as the king of all footballing clichés goes, a game of two halves.
In the first half Ascot started with AUFC’s version of ErlingHaaland, Jez Myhan, up front alongside Mike Tomlinson. Paul Woodford and Phil White were in the engine room, whilst Bjorn Dunkley and Ed Du Bois managed the defensive centre. A strong core. And, that core was certainly needed as The Folt came at Ascot from the get go.
The Folt certainly kept the ball well, but Ascot kept their shape and were a solid enough unit of two fours when not in possession. When the hosts did have the ball Dave Porter was smooth as silk at right-back whilst Darren Lewis and Adam Abusweder looked to link up down the left.
It was subsequently Ascot that took the lead. Mike Tomlinson was at the centre of things, pinging a delectable ball onto Haaland’s, sorry, Myhan’s head. The big striker wasn’t going to miss from there and the ball was soon nestling in the bottom corner.
Tomlinson continued to pull the strings and Ascot looked increasingly dangerous going forward. Adam Abuswederperiodically made excellent progress into the box, running onto balls Tomlinson was threading through. However, he became the first victim of what will in future be known as the Ascot Sniper; one-on-one with the keeper and the sniper, wherever he may have been, took aim. Abusweder went down like the proverbial sack of spuds. Penalty? Not so fast … given that this all had a bit of a Greg Louganis (google him) feel about it, we had a yellow card for simulation incomingand a rousing round of applause from players of both sides for the referee’s decision. Marvellous stuff.
Ascot might have looked good in parts, but The Folt also had their moments. They made the most of Ascot giving the ball away in some bad places and their equaliser came from exactly such a scenario. The Folt striker slipped away from his marker and fired a shot just out of Rich Harrison’s grasp. 1-1 at half-time.
The second half was an altogether different sort of affair. The Folt dominated possession and Ascot found themselves sitting ever further back. Loz Munns put his foot in impressively in the middle of the park and Rob Burton pinged some nice balls for the wide men to run on to, but in truth it was largely one-way-traffic.
Lee Coleman and Jamie Burgess marshalled the defence impressively, debutant full back Simon Charkham took the strain on the left and Jad Sidhu did all he could to deal with the onslaught on the right.
The defensive unit couldn’t prevent the Folt going in front with around 20 minutes to go and hard as strikers Jon Gavin and Tomlinson tried Ascot never really looked like drawing level. Indeed, as the game drew to a close it was The Folt who created and roundly missed the better chances.
“The Folt are a good side and that was an excellent work out for all concerned” mused Martin Kay to the world’s media afterwards. “We nonetheless took the strain, got miles in the legs and we’ll be better for it when the league campaign begins”. All spot on.
The twos now move on to their first scheduled league game; Hersham Southside away. With such an impressive squad to hand Martin Kay has some selection challenges to ponder over in the week between then and now…..