Ascot stun Colliers Wood in five-goal comebackTen-man Ascot United staged a simply remarkable second half comeback to beat Colliers Wood United 5-2 on Saturday. Trailing to an early second-half goal after Calum Ferguson had been dismissed after just 14 minutes, half-time substitute Aiden Higgs scored a hat-trick to catalyse their recovery after a dismal first half.
|September 12, 2020||3:00 pm||Combined Counties - Premier||2020-2021|
|The Racecourse Ground|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
With only four league fixtures taking place on Saturday due to the majority of teams’ involvement in the FA Cup, this was an opportunity for both sides to put much needed points on the board. ‘Wood arrived with one point from their opening two games, whereas Ascot sought to bounce back from their midweek defeat.
The first half was disjointed, and the home side were forced to reshuffle when Ferguson was dismissed for swinging an arm in response to an elbow; albeit incredibly softly and with little protestations from the visitors.
Before that, Harry Laflin might have lobbed Ascot into the lead in the first minute only to see his chance devoid of pace and accuracy, whereas Aaron Berry was equally wasteful soon after Ferguson’s dismissal when he turned onto his right foot but lifted a clear sight of goal over the bar.
Colliers Wood had a couple of chances – Mario Embalo’s shot on the turn lacked direction and pace and Sam Gray easily gathered – although it took Gray and a couple of defenders to snuff out Ali Fofonah as they came closer midway through the half.
George Lock’s shot from a tight angle was beaten away by visiting ‘keeper Lewis Gallifent as Ascot threatened once again, but nil-nil was a fair reflection of the first half.
However, the second half was a stark contrast to the first, owing much to the half-time reshuffle by manager Jamie Tompkins, who boldly introduced Higgs and Riccardo Andrady for Berry and Ian Davies.
But it looked ominous for the ten men four minutes after the restart when Fofonah seized on Elliot Carey’s botched backpass, and although he did his best to make an equal mess of the chance, he finally squared for Nathan Manpono to roll home after initially rounding Gray.
Ascot would, however, quickly strike back. Winning a corner, Louis Bouwers would see a looping header cannon back off the crossbar, and Higgs reacted quickest to smash a volley past Gallifent; 53 minutes played.
Higgs was an insatiable menace to the home defence, and although he was denied a good shout for a 61st minute penalty, the recycled ball saw Jonny Denton to swing the ball back in for Laflin to nod home to make it 2-1.
The same combination saw Laflin head home from Denton’s corner to make it 3-1 in the 67th minute, before Higgs robbed the sleeping defence and confidently buried the ball under Gallifent to make it 4-1 with eight minutes remaining.
Wood offered little, although they would score the goal of the afternoon when Jordan Willis planted an unstoppable Exocet over Gray and into the top left hand corner in the 89th minute.
But the afternoon belonged to Ascot – and the match-ball to Higgs – who latched onto substitute James Richardson’s unselfish lay-off in the third minute of added time and slotted home with the last kick of the game.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock, Haworth, Carey, Bouwers, Bailey, Ferguson (sent off 14’), Denton, Davies (Higgs 46’), Laflin (Richardson 75’), Berry (Andrady 46’). Subs unused: Sankoh, Hodges