|25/11/2023||15:00||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|
MARLOW BEAT ASCOT 2-0
More misery for struggling Yellamen
Marlow struck the woodwork three times but scored a goal in each half as they cruised to an ultimately comfortable 2-0 win at Ascot United on Saturday. The promotion-hunting visitors were under pressure at times, but ‘keeper Aaron Watkins was in fine form and another former Yellamen – Josh Masters – snuffed out much of what came down their left.
Home comforts before seven of nine road trip
In a disjointed spell of fixtures, this was only the third game for Ascot in four-and-half weeks – their previous two coming inside four days mid-month – although they will next prepare for a festive foray into Surrey and the surrounds. Such is the madness, they will now play seven of their nine pre-January fixtures away from home, but they will boldly go on that trek, and manager Jamie Tompkins continues to laud the readiness of his ranks in his pre-match programme notes.
Ollie proves he’s hardy; Josh lines up against former master
As for the two sides on Saturday, there was a welcome first start for Ollie Harris since his return from injury, namesake Lahtinen-Kalsi was looking for three points on his birthday, whereas the Marlow defence contained ex-Yellamen Masters in front of Watkins in goal.
Keepers and woodwork take centre stage
The first half was a decent affair with both ‘keepers busy and Marlow striking the woodwork inside ninety seconds, and then again five minutes before the break.
Between that, Harris fired over after Sean McCormack had played him in as Ascot threatened in the tenth minute before Harris saw a decent free-kick chance fizz wide midway through the half, but Marlow looked dangerous and recovered from an early reshuffle after the injured Jordan Hamilton-Olise had limped off; Ben Mulley planting a free header wide from a corner as they knocked on the door.
Locky unlucky as Marlow strike
However, Marlow’s opener would come from an Ascot source as, after playing their way out from the back, Naheer Omar-Nawaf’s cross was sliced into his own net by George Lock on the half-hour mark.
Ryan Case’s misjudgement almost gifted Marlow a second only for substitute Brandon Curtis – who had replaced Hamilton-Olise – to thump his shot onto an upright, but Ascot should have gone in to the break level only for Watkins to make a brilliant save at the feet of Harris after McCormack’s smart flick inside to the lively forward had teed him up.
Temperatures plummet as Yellamen run out of steam
As the already-cold temperature dropped towards the freezing point, Marlow defender Louis Rogers watched Sobte get down well to save his 54th minute header, before Watkins made an equally smart save at the other end when he got down well to palm away another Harris free kick.
But it was effectively game over on the hour mark when Marlow added a second – Dawid Rogalski in pole position – swivelling on an innocuous-looking nod-down to sweep home across the face of Sobte.
Ascot made a trio of substitutions in an attempt to salvage something, which they might have done only for Matthew to see a promising header deflect wide before another effort went begging when he took a heavy touch from Grant’s smart flick-on and the chance was gone.
Curtis then smacked the upright from an audaciously tight-angled free-kick five minutes from time as Marlow’s love-affair with the woodwork blighted them again, but that was a wrap for the latest edition of Ascot’s point-hungry games.
What’s next for Ascot?
A casual trip ‘round the twenty-five and up the three’ looms in three days’ time.
Tuesday. Tolworth. To battle…
Ascot United: Sobte, Lock (Ellis 68’), Lahtinen-Kalsi, Ajanlekoko (Laflin 63’), Case, Bailey, McCormack, H. Grant, Matthew, Welch, Harris (Morgan 73’). Subs unused: Balogun, Surpanu
Reporter’s Star Man: Josh Masters (Marlow)
Away fans (estimate): 35