|12/09/2023||19:45||The Pitching In Isthmian Football League - South-Central Division||2023-2024|
|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
ASCOT EDGED OUT BY LEATHERHEAD
Tanners’ early strike sinks brave Yellamen
Ascot United lost 1-0 as they succumbed to an early goal against Leatherhead on Tuesday evening. The Yellamen found themselves behind inside ninety seconds thanks to Trevan Robinson’s early strike, but subsequently matched their more illustrious visitors who were clinging on to their three points in the second half.
Step 4 brings step up in opposition
This was perhaps the most illustrious name to test Ascot this season; The Tanners steeped in history – especially in the FA Cup – although on this occasion both sides would have the chance to go top of the Isthmian League South Central with a midweek win. The hosts retained the same starting line-up that led them to last weekend’s FA Trophy win, whereas a strong Leatherhead side were otherwise without renowned striker Dave Tarpey, now on loan at Hungerford during The Tanners’ run on 3G surfaces; protecting his former knee injuries.
Tanners show early intent
The visitors were quick out of the blocks and it was soon evident the home side were up against a well-drilled outfit as Leatherhead pinged the ball around at will in the early stages.
And, they were ahead inside ninety seconds when Robinson raced onto a through ball before taking the widest of routes around home ‘keeper Sobte and scooping into the net with his right foot.
Later in the half, another fine move saw Daniel Hector thread the ball through for Jean-Pascale Masakini, but only a terrific last-ditch block from George Lock denied the lively winger what looked like a certain goal. And, Masakini was then involved again, this time teeing up Tyler Cox, whose left-wing cross was well dealt with by Sobte before being cut out in the afters – but Ascot acquitted themselves well in and around all that.
Yellamen match their visitors
To their credit, Ascot would respond well from their early setback. Sean McCormack volleyed over at full stretch from Ollie Lahtinen-Kalsi’s 14th minute cross and Lock fired narrowly over from distance soon afterwards. But, their best chance of the half came one minute before the break when Ollie McCoy’s free kick was spilled by young on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Brian Okonkwu before being scrambled cleared in a panicked aftermath; 0-1 at the break.
Visitors cling on to go top
Ascot made a brilliant, positive start to the second half and were unlucky not to create any clear cut chances. After the early bombardment, the best of the chances came for Leatherhead on the break; Robinson thumping the crossbar with a header following a quick counter-attack.
Sobte would also save at his near post from Hector but it was otherwise Ascot who posed the most threat and they looked like they might get the goal they deserved late-on only for Okonkwu to save from Brendan Matthew when he looked certain to convert McCormack’s cross, before the afters were somehow cleared by the resilient visitors.
That was as good as it got for Ascot, but they gave as good as they could.
Leatherhead will surely be in the mix come the end of season. Ascot will know they’ve been in a battle. And, they might also have also gone top this evening.
But it is the result that counts, and a sizeable element of the 246-strong crowd will be the happier as they make their way back around the M25.
And, best wishes to them. It was a cracking advert for step 4 football.
What’s next for Ascot?
Another big test lies ahead, this time under the Friday night lights when The Rooks fly in from Lewes for their Emirates FA Cup 2nd qualifying round tie; 7.45pm is showdown.
Ascot United: Sobte, Lock, Tucker, Edwards, McCormack, H. Grant, Ajanlekoko, Matthew, Lahtinen-Kalsi (Lalustani 80’), McCoy (Welch 64’), Balogun (Killeen 64’) . Subs unused: Kassim, Bailey
Reporter’s Star Man: George Lock (Ascot United)
Away fans (estimate): 50