|17/12/2022||15:00||Combined Counties - Premier North Division||2022-2023|
|The Racecourse Ground|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
ASCOT ROUT WINDSOR TO MOVE FOUR POINTS CLEAR
Mealo’s just the trick in festive 5-1 win
A Marcus-Mealing inspired Ascot United beat local rivals Windsor 5-1 in Saturday’s festive derby to move four points clear at the top of the league. Mealing bagged three goals and might have scored more as Windsor had no answer to his side’s invention, leaving the majority of the Racecourse happy as they signed off at home before Christmas.
The game itself had all the ingredients for the bumper crowd that descended on the Racecourse. Free entry to all for the club’s festive fun day, a raft of postponements elsewhere and a derby between two sides only separated by a Royal back garden.
Windsor had toiled this season and would need to raise their game against in-form Ascot, although coming in off the back of two league wins had at least given them and their long-suffering supporters some early Christmas cheer.
Although facing The Royalists, The Yellamen had their own jewel in the crown in the shape of Brendan Matthew; the in-form striker just shy of a goal-a-game with 24 from 25 appearances this season. But it was Mealing who shone brightest for the hosts in the first half as his brace gave the home side a healthy half-time lead.
Before all that, both sides were led out by Ascot United Warriors, a mixed-ability team connected with Special Olympics GB, and they would go on to enjoy their day out as the game unfolded.
Ascot threatened early-on when George Lock and Sean McCormack combined smartly for Matthew – who headed over – before Justin Davis’s low-raking effort was easily gathered by Jamie Ashdown at the other end.
But The Yellamen were ahead in the 17th minute when Mealing headed past Conail Ryan from Harry Grant’s corner, which had been earlier won by McCormack.
And, they punished Ryan’s poor goal-kick six minutes later when Matthew headed directly back into danger for Mealing to run on to, and he kept his composure to lob Ryan and make it 2-0.
Oliver Barbosa-Costa might have done better than blaze over for Windsor when well-placed in a rare attack, but his side were lucky not to be further behind at the break amidst a trio of chances for Mealing, Firstly, he raced onto Rob Gerrard’s superb ball before having it nicked off his toe as he shaped to shoot, before Ryan superbly denied him twice as half-time approached; latterly blocking a thunderbolt through a crowded penalty area.
The Yellamen were quickly into their stride after the sides changed ends and Harry Grant would rifle home Usman Lalustani’s cross just two minutes in.
But Windsor battled and were rewarded almost immediately when Kamil Zielinski flummoxed Jamie Ashdown to cut the deficit.
Ascot were, however, insatiable once again and as Windsor’s legs tired it was Matthew who earnt his side a 51st minute penalty, albeit saved by Ryan.
But Matthew would not be denied again and he smashed home a fourth on the hour mark capping a fine team goal that had seen Jordan Ajanlekoko, Harry Grant and Mealing all involved in an intricate build up; Matthew icing an early Christmas cake after beating the offside trap by a matter of inches.
Mealing’s header in the final fifteen minutes completed the rout, and there was more good news as both Josh Masters and Dan Bailey came on after spells out injured.
Ascot United: Ashdown, Lock, Gerrard (Masters 72’), Ajanlekoko, A. Grant, Tucker (Bailey 78’), McCormack (Welch 60’), H. Grant, Mealing, Matthew (August 60’), Lalustani. Sub unused: Thompson