|Combined Counties - Premier North Division
|The Racecourse Ground
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom
ASCOT EDGE OUT HOLYPORT TO MOVE THIRD
Morgan’s goal enough to equal record winning sequence
Taylor Morgan’s first-half goal was enough to secure Ascot United a club record-equalling ninth consecutive victory against relegation-haunted Holyport on Tuesday evening, moving them up to third in the league. However, The Yellamen were second-best for long periods against Derek Sweetman’s energetic side, who will feel that they could have taken something from a tight encounter.
Holyport arrived in desperate need of points having slipped to 2nd-bottom with a five-point gap to 16th-placed Wokingham and Emmbrook. However, Ascot manager Jamie Tompkins had made it clear in his program notes that teams scrapping near the bottom are often hard to beat, and with a smattering of ex-Yellamen in their squad, the visitors were also looking to avenge an opening-day FA Cup defeat at The Racecourse.
And, ‘Port were the better team in the opening quarter of an hour and almost took a 15th minute lead when Ashley Hunt smartly headed on for George Lock to run onto – the Holyport number 11 sharing the same name as Ascot’s number 2 – although his low shot was smartly saved by home ’keeper Sam Gray.
But The Yellamen improved and would take the lead four minutes later in what was the only other clear cut chance of the half; Morgan superbly planting a left-footed effort into the left hand corner of the goal after Keaton August had picked him out from the right wing.
Tompkins would introduce all five substitutes between half time and the final whistle, and it was one of them – James Richardson – that blazed his side’s only meaningful attempt of the second half over from Sean McCormack’s powerful cross early in the period; albeit a difficult chance arriving at pace and taken first-time.
But the visitors looked most likely to score after that and Festus Lori might have done better with a flashing header at the far post from Lock’s cross before Gray made a couple of decent stops amidst penalty area ping-pong, although it was his 80th minute save from Usman Lalustani’s strike that took a couple of deflections which earned the plaudits when he clawed the ex-Yellamen’s effort away at full stretch low down to his right.
Defender Dan Wilson might have done better in the third minute of stoppage time when the ball broke kindly for him on the edge of the area, but the big defender rushed his effort which sailed well wide as Holyport’s final chance went begging.
A win is a win regardless, and incredibly this was probably Ascot’s toughest test in a run that has seen them beat two step four sides; much credit for that goes to Holyport who will surely take confidence as their quest for safety continues.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock, Masters, Merrick (Carey), Bouwers (Everiss), Bailey, McCormack, Scott, Morgan (Davies), August (Richardson), Surpanu (Nortey).