|09/04/2022||14:00||West London Veterans Football League||2021-2022|
Bank of England II 2-0 Ascot United II
The second strings of Bank of England and Ascot United played out an intriguing encounter on Saturday 9 April. The only goals of the game came from a first half penalty and a second half breakaway strike, but, in truth, a younger, more dynamic Bank side probably deserved more than the couple that they managed.
Skipper Martin Kay had mobilised 13 hardy souls for the journey over to Roehampton. But, getting everyone in from deepest Berkshire for the 2pm kick off wasn’t easy. The skipper himself had fun traversing both the A316 and parts ofthe South Circular; “In terms of navigation, I think Scott of the Antarctic had an easier gig than I did today” mused Kay afterwards “and after running up and down the right fruitlessly for half an hour I thought there was a danger I’d end up suffering a similar fate to him. Nothing was going right”.
Thankfully, Kay, unlike the Arctic explorer, survived to tell the tale, although in truth Ascot United’s first half performance give neither him nor or indeed anyone else much of a tale to tell. Rich Harrison made a couple of sharp saves and Micky Parker offered a decent outlet on the left. Andy Gleave hustled and harried in the middle whilst Jamie Burgess and Dave Porter were solid enough in the middle of the back line. Jad Sidhu and Darren Lewis also battled gamely in the full back berths. But, it was the Bank who were making the most of the lovely pitch and creating chances, and it was no surprise that the first half ended with them in front.
Kay subsequently changed things round a little in the second half, and slowly but surely things improved for Ascot. Stu Flurry got his foot on the ball a little more and Dave Thompson’s introduction up front saw a few more balls begin to stick. It was nonetheless the Bank’s international array of starlets who looked sharper, their Egyptian striker working particularly well with their Greek midfielder and it was the former who made no mistake to double the hosts’ lead.
Ascot continued to try and pass the ball, but all too often moves broke down and BoE were given the chance to counter-attack. Harrison twice came to the party with flying saves whilst Lewis and Parker regularly found themselves backtracking to snuffle out attacks. Ascot did force a couple of corners towards the end but they ultimately came to nothing. 2-0 it finished.
Kay was in philosophical mood when facing the world’s media post-game; “getting to the game may have been a shambles, but once we got started Ascot United did at least keep at it. On days where nothing’s really working, that’s all you can do”. The assembled mass of journalists nodded solemnly. “It can also always be worse. I mean, it’s worth remembering, Carl England is also a Manchester United fan ….”
The twos move on to their final game of the season on 30 April when travel to Old Tiffs. A win and fourth place in the table is likely to end up theirs.