|01/10/2022||14:00||West London Veterans Football League||2022-2023|
1 October 2022
Claygate Royals 2nds 1-8 Ascot United 2nds
Ascot’s second string completed a successful weekend for the vets’ side of the club with an emphatic 8-1 triumph at Claygate Royals. Most of the hard work was done in the first half as the visitors went in at the break 5-0 up. The second half had a bit of that ‘after the lord mayor’s show’ feel about it, but that didn’t stop Jez Myhan and Micky Parker from adding more goals, before Garyth Brant claimed the metaphorical match ball by completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
It was Midas, one of the kings of ancient Phrygia (that’s central Turkey to you and me), who famously saw everything that he touched turn to gold. Such a skill wouldn’t be of much use on a football pitch, much better to see everything you touch turn to goals. And, for a period in the first half at Claygate’s Tolworth citadel on Saturday, Ascot’s GarythBrant seemed to be able to do just that. Brant came on mid-way through the first half and both his first and second touches ended up in the back of the net. A decent skill if you can perfect it.
Before that, the usual traffic chaos led to a fair few of the Ascot side arriving just as the clock was ticking towards 2pm. The A3 on a Saturday really is one big barrel of laughs and the clogged up roads meant that poor old Richard Harrison hadn’t even managed to finish his pre-match fag before the game was up and running.
With Martin Kay unable to make the journey over, Stu Flurry led the troops into action. Flurry went for a back three of Jamie Burgess, Dave Porter and Darren Lewis with Micky Parker and Dan Hough roving up and down the wings. LozMunns and Paul Woodford were there to boss the middle of the park whilst Dave Thompson and Jez Myhan led the line and Ben Spence fitted in in the Sheringham role.
Ascot started quickly. Woodford and Munns won pretty much everything in the air and were quick to ping the passes out wide. Cue balls into the box and plenty for the front three to work with. Indeed, it didn’t take long for the Yellamen to move ahead; Jez Myhan holding off the centre half and firing high into the net. That was quickly followed by another fine turn, this time from Loz Munns on the edge of the box. Munns coolly stroked the ball into the far corner. 2-0 and the 2nds were cruising.
Even though Ascot had more or less all of the ball, Claygate did use the scraps they were left to feed on pretty well. Rich Harrison pulled off an excellent save to tip one round the post and a defensive mishap saw a Claygate striker ping one on to the bar from fully 30 yards. Ascot needed to keep their eye on the ball.
Stu Flurry then flung Brant into proceedings; within seconds he was scampering home to slot the ball in at the near post and that was followed by an equally calm finish to make it 4-0. Add in a Dave Thompson tap in from a corner and being honest the game was home and hosed by half-time.
The second half followed a largely similar pattern. Claygate sat ever deeper, Ascot dominated the ball and it felt like it wassimply a question of how many more they’d score. That having been said, it took a good 25 minutes before goal number six came. Jez Myhan again found himself in space twelve yards out and Ascot’s version of Erling Haalandstroked the ball home emphatically.
Lee Coleman and Jad Sidhu had came on and both looked perfectly at ease in the back three. Sidhu moved forward as and when the opportunity arose, whilst Lee Coleman found himself involved in a rather bizarre conversation with the referee that ended with the man in the middle telling Coleman that moving forward he’d be best served changing his name. Coleman’s, erm, thinking that one over…
Much of what Ascot did well in the second half went through Micky Parker on the left. Parker elegantly passed the ball into the front three, he pinged balls nicely into the box and he rounded off a solid performance by notching his second goal in two weeks. With Brant adding a penalty that was it for the Ascot scoring, although credit due to Claygate for fighting back and grabbing a deflected consolation goal.
“We’ve had a good start to the season” mused stand in gaffer Stu Flurry to Mark Chapman on Five Live later in the evening “but I think we still need some serious investment. I’m going to have a meeting with the board in the week about this. A fleet of helicopters is now non-negotiable, I’ve had enough of that damn A3…..”
Team: Richard Harrison, Dan Hough, Micky Parker, Dave Porter, Jamie Burgess, Darren Lewis, Paul Woodford, LozMunns, Dave Thompson, Jez Myhan, Ben Spence. Subs; Stu Flurry, Garyth Brant, Jad Sidhu and Lee Coleman
Goals; Garyth Brant (3, 1 pen), Jez Myhan (2), Micky Parker, Loz Munns, Dave Thompson