Ascot United Men v Raynes Park Vale



06/04/202415:00The Pitching In Isthmian Football League - South-Central Division2023-2024


Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side
Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom



Raynes Park win 3-2 in injury time


Ascot United fought back from two goals down to level against play-off chasing Raynes Park Vale on Saturday, but were subsequently undone by a 94th minute winner. Jordan Gallagher and Ollie Mason were the stars on each side and had a hand in each of their side’s goals, but it was the visitors who prevailed, despite going down to ten men in the closing stages.


More play-off chasing opposition for Yellamen

The home side had faced four play-off chasing sides in their previous six encounters – South Park included before since falling away – and victories over both them and Southall would give Jamie Tompkins’ side of another positive result against the latest in-form visitors. Vale, looking for a second successive promotion, had overturned a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in the opening fixture of the season, so this was on paper another tough one to call.


Mighty Mark back in nets, Target man Taylor missing

The Yellamen welcomed Mark Scott back between the sticks having recovered sufficiently from an abdominal strain, whereas Usman Lalustani also featured in the starting line-up for Taylor Morgan – who pulled up on Easter Monday – in the only other change.


Ascot start well before being blown away

The first half was not a good one from a Yellow perspective. After a promising start where Ollie Harris attempted to squeeze the ball home with Vale’s defence at sixes-and-sevens, the same player then fired over first-time after Sean McCormack had fizzed in a low cross from Liam Tack’s lay-off


But a lazy midfield moment allowed the visitors time to mount their first threat in the 17th minute – Nathan Lewis and Jermaine Green leading the assault together with Callum Hope with the eventual left-wing cross – but Gallagher saw his thunderous effort cannon back off the crossbar.


The Yellamen were unlucky not to draw first-blood when Tack and McCormack combined once again, although covering defender Jerry O’Sullivan was in the right place in the six yard box to clear amongst four Ascot United players queuing up to convert.


Gallagher gets his moment

But after that, the visitors were quickly two goals up. Firstly, Gallagher picked up the ball on the left hand side of the box following a quick break down the opposite wing, and he cut inside before firing a right-footed effort into the right hand corner on the half hour mark.


Then, soon after Scott had thwarted Gallagher again with a sprawling save, the lively attacker turned provider for Thomas Barnes, sliding the ball through for Barnes to clip over Scott and give his side a 2-0 lead with 35 minutes on the clock.


There was a break in play following injury to the referee – who was forced to hand his whistle to an assistant – but the interlude did nothing for Ascot who changed ends with a mountain to climb and now kicking into the wind.


Mason mounts stirring fightback

Early in the second half the home side almost undid themselves once again, only for Gallagher to fire wide when well-placed after his side had been gifted possession.


But almost out of nothing, Mason pulled a goal back when, after overturning possession in the centre circle, he raced clear of three covering defenders and kept his composure to beat Slavomir Huk with a neat, left-footed effort.


Vale almost restored their two-goal advantage in a frantic passage of play where they struck the crossbar again, Chris Ellis cleared off the line and Scott finally thwarted their third attempt in quick succession.


But the real drama came in the closing ten minutes. Substitute Harry Laflin had already seen one sighter from distance fly over Huk’s crossbar, and his side’s hopes were further boosted when Barnes was dismissed for an ugly late challenge on Josh Edwards in the 85th minute.


And Ascot thought they had sealed at least a point when Mason’s delightful cross – itself after McCormack’s excellent control and lay-off – picked out Laflin at the far post in the 89th minute; the dependable striker making no mistake with a powerful header past Huk to level the scores.


However, Vale snatched all three points in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Gallagher’s corner found its way through a crowded six-yard box and took a slight deflection on its way in at the far post.


What’s next for Ascot?

Possibly the toughest test of the season awaits next weekend with the trip to table-topping Chertsey, who are yet to be beaten on their own turf.


Ascot United: Scott, Lahtinen-Kalsi, Lock, Tack, Ellis, Tucker (Laflin 67’), Edwards, Lalustani (Lynch 67’), O. Harris, Mason, McCormack,  Subs unused: Bailey, Sykes, McLeod


Entertainment: 3

Reporter’s Star Man: Jordan Gallagher (Raynes Park Vale)

Away fans (estimate): 25


































Raynes Park Vale3


Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side
Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom
Referee to be confirmed