|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
11 August 2023
Ascot United Vets’ 2nd XI 1-1 Windlesham Vets
Following a month of pre-season training the Ascot United Vets’ second string moved into game mode on 11 August with a two-game Friday evening under the lights at the Racecourse. The first of those games took place against near-neighbours Windlesham.
The contest lasted 40 minutes, before Windlesham stayed on and played Ascot United’s Vets 1st XI. Holyport Vets then entered the fray, playing the 1st XI as an opener before the evening was rounded off with Holyport staying on and playing a (completely different) AUFC Vets 2nds. Confusing? Maybe, but the the idea of the evening was to give as many players as possible game time. And with that in mind it worked a treat.
The twos kicked off proceedings with an old-skool 4-4-2 set up; Ed Du Bois and Jamie Burgess held the fort in the middle, Dan Hough and Darren Lewis plied their trade outside them. Chris Tredwell and Dave Porter managed the middle of the park, with Micky Lewis out left and Garyth Brant on the right. That left Ascot’s version of Erling Haaland, Jez Myhan, and debutant Carl Collins to lead the line.
Windlesham may have had more of the ball, but the twos still posed a threat going forward. Dave Porter sprayed the ball about nicely, Chris Tredwell put his foot in impressively and Carl Collins fought the battles admirably up top.
Indeed, it was Collins who scored the first goal of the evening, coolly and calmly slotting home from 12 yards out. He looks a decent acquisition.
Windlesham, to the credit, kept coming at Ascot, although in reality Lee Perry didn’t have that many saves to make. However, with five minutes left the visitors made good use of a misplaced pass in the middle to break away and level proceedings up.
They then had a great chance to take the lead. Jamie Burgess was alleged to have passed back to Perry. The custodian picked the ball up around a metre from his own line. Nothing to see there? Not according to the gentleman with the whistle;Windlesham had a free kick all of two yards out. The massed ranks of the Ascot side were on the line, half charging the kicker as soon as the ball moved and half generally getting in the way. Jez Myhan was ultimately the man who got to the ball first, deflecting the free kick over the bar.
With that the goalmouth action was all but done, so the sides shared the spoils. Decent effort one and all.
Team; Lee Perry, Dan Hough, Ed Du Bois, Jamie Burgess, Darren Lewis, Garyth Brant, Dave Porter, Chris Tredwell, Micky Parker, Carl Collins, Jez Myhan
Goals; Carl Collins
11 August 2023
Ascot United Vets’ 2nd XI 0-4 Holyport Vets
The second of the 2nd XI’s games on 11 August was against a much younger and therefore much fitter Holyport side. The Yellas started brightly and kept trying to play football throughout, but ultimately the visitors ran out impressive 4-0 winners.
Getting old can be a pain in the neck. And that in a whole host of ways. One of those ways is that it becomes ever more difficult to chase after those who are 15 (and in at least once case here 20) years your junior. Welcome to the Vets’ 2nd XI’s world this on Friday evening.
That having been said, the 2nds were under no illusions about the task that lay ahead of them and embraced it wholeheartedly. Indeed, the game provided a great opportunity to get some miles in the legs and to begin getting ready for the forthcoming league campaign (starting on the second Saturday in September).
The side included two debutants; Rob Stockford put in a sterling performance in nets, whilst Karl Small fitted in admirably on the left of a back three. Stockford made at least three excellent saves, whilst Small looked impressive striding forward with the ball at his feet. Great to have such solid performers on board.
Elsewhere, birthday boy Jad Sidhu (that’d be 58 years young, respect due) and John Gavin did all they could to deal with a lively Holyport front line, and neither could do much about the goals that were scored against them.
The midfield troika of Adam Abusweder, John Heard and Paul Woodford had a tough job on their hands as Holyport passed the ball around nicely. But, Woodford in particular won the ball back impressively and did all he could to feed both Ben Spence and the rumbunctious Paul Hamblin up front. Neither of the front men were ultimately ably to notch, but they both got into decent positions – and that is definitely worth something.
Quite how long it is going to take some people to get out of bed on Saturday morning is not clear, but one thing is definitely obvious; the seconds won’t play a better side this season and the challenge of going toe-to-one with them is one that everyone relished.
Good work, one and all.
Team: Rob Stockford, Dan Hough, Jad Sidhu, John Gavin, Karl Small, John Heard, Adam Abusweder, Paul Woodford, Abbas Hussain, Paul Hamblin and Ben Spence.