|Combined Counties - Premier North Division
ASCOT DOWNED BY ‘PORT IN 3-0 REVERSE
Holyport horror show as Yellamen rocked by strugglers
Ascot United had Taylor Morgan sent off and used substitute goalkeeper Alex Sykes as an outfield player as they lost 3-0 at relegation-haunted Holyport on Saturday. The result, and performance, were far below expectations as Ascot were left rueing taking just one point from their last three matches.
This was the 2nd meeting between these two sides in the space of a week-and-a-half; Ascot edging the reverse league fixture 1-0 in what was their last win before taking a solitary point from their two games since.
The Yellamen were again missing Sean McCormack – unavailable after his two-game suspension had ended – and alongside the absent Chris Ellis, Tom Scott, James Richardson and Duarte Surpanu, they were a shadow of their regular selves.
The home side took at tenth minute lead when, after Usman Lalustani had been fouled from behind on the edge of the area, fellow ex-Yellamen Steven Deverall stepped up to beat Sam Gray at his near post with a free kick that was accurate but which Gray will have been disappointed with.
Ascot’s lack of width and urgency culminated in an ugly spectacle of punts down the middle, although when they finally found some width they looked more of a threat.
Morgan found the side-netting from a tight angle and Fred Chapman saved from an equally tight angle on the left wing, but the closest they came was when Keaton August’s stooping header from Adam Everiss’s free kick looped onto the crossbar before being hacked clear; Chapman well-beaten.
Holyport lost towering defender and captain Jack Woodbridge through an injury sustained in the challenge leading to Everiss’s free kick, but they nevertheless created two good chances to extend their lead before half time when Ashley Hunt fluffed his lines with a clear sight of goal and Lalustani flashed a left-footed shot wide after Hunt picked him out moments later.
In the second half, Lalustani took the credit for an audacious cross-shot that looped over Gray and into the far corner from a tight angle to give his side a 57th minute cushion, whereas Ascot failed to make any impression after Everiss had volleyed wide when well placed on the hour mark.
Lalustani then limped off for Holyport which extinguished their attacking threat – almost – until Deverall swept in a fine goal in the 90th minute to make it 3-0.
Earlier, Sykes had come on as one of only two available substitutes for Ascot. And, he was one of those to emerge with credit alongside the workmanlike Elliot Carey, before the final grains of salt were well and truly applied when Morgan received his second yellow card for reacting to a couple of strong challenges.
The Yellamen now have one more game next Saturday before their historic county cup semi final at home versus Wycombe Wanderers a week on Tuesday.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock (Nortey), Everiss, Carey, Bouwers, Bailey, August, Merrick, Morgan, Walters (Sykes), Masters.