|12/11/2022||14:00||West London Veterans Football League||2022-2023|
12 November 2022
Kew Park Rangers 0-4 Ascot United Vets’ 1st XI
WLVFL League Cup, Round 1
Adam Moroney was the headline-maker for the Ascot United Vets’ 1st XI, helping himself to a well-deserved hat-trick as the Yellamen eased into the last 16 of the League Cup. Nigel Gatehouse, Toby Underwood and Chris Ferdinand all stood out in a clunky game that never really got going, whilst Matt Newall, rising salmon-like in the box, thumped home a bombastic header to wrap up the scoring.
There must be something about cup games that just doesn’t sit well with AUFC gaffer, Dave Good. He was out of commission when the ones disposed of Bank of England in the preliminary round, and on 12 November he was off on a mystery reconnaissance mission elsewhere as the Yellas travelled to Old Deer Park to take on Kew Park Rangers (KPR).
The absence of the gaffer led to a re-org at the top. Dave Thompson stepped in as caretaker manager whilst Neil Corbett was a newly installed ‘assistant to the caretaker manager’. Mike Tomlinson also took on a managerial role; he was the officially designated ‘assistant to the assistant to the caretaker who was standing in for the gaffer’. Got all that? Good, we’ll carry on then.
With 80,000 folks going to Twickenham to watch England play Japan, the Ascot squad gave themselves plenty of time to get to Richmond. So much so that (more or less) the whole team was in position a good half hour before kick-off time. A far cry from previous trips to south-west London this season.
KPR, however, were having their own logistical challenges and that led to the kick off being delayed by 15 minutes. Respect was nonetheless due to the hosts; they only had 11 and they had clearly had trouble booking a pitch during the week. Many other sides would have flung in the towel and not bothered. Not KPR, and fair play to them for that.
It took a while for the game to find any sort of rhythm. But when it did it was as Ascot got their passing together and began to craft a few openings. Most of the good work went through Adam Moroney, and he duly helped himself to a couple of well-taken first half goals. At times things were a bit forced, but a tough pitch and a pugnacious opposition ensured that it was never likely to be a day for the footballing purist.
KPR had their moments going forward, but in truth Rich Harrison had precious little to do. Chris Ferdinand, Jon Keough and Matt Newall were holding strong at the back whilst Nigel Gatehouse was doing an excellent job of tracking the dangerous opposition number ten. Half-time, 2-0 to the visitors.
The second half took on a similar pattern. Ascot had more of the ball, and both Dave Simpson and Stuart Tanfield saw plenty of it on the wings. Stuart Birkett had a promising half hour on debut as Toby Underwood came ever more into the game in the middle. Ascot weren’t at their fluent best, but they were still very much in control.
Chances-wise, Ascot had plenty. It didn’t help that the goal they were shooting into in the second half was noticeably smaller than the one in use at the other end, but even then Stuart Tanfield in particular will certainly not be tuning in to watch the game’s highlights on Match of the Day. Goodness only knows what Alan Shearer will make of his miss from five yards out with the keeper stranded. We’ll gloss over that and move on.
Be that as it may, Tanfield offered a constant outball and KPR found it difficult to really get a grip on the former Aldershot man. Adam Moroney, meanwhile, managed to notch a third and with that his first hat-trick for the club. That was then followed by Matt Newall rising like a modern-day Tony Adams to thump home an in-swinging Toby Underwood corner. 4-0, job done.
“In cup games, it’s the result that counts” mused caretaker manager, Dave Thompson, to the BBC’s Mark Chapman after the game “and in that sense we got what we needed. Fingers crossed we get a home game next time up, I’ve had more than enough of the goddam A316 for one season….”
AUFC; Rich Harrison, Chris Ferdinand, Jon Keough, Matt Newall, Toby Underwood, Nigel Gatehouse, Phil White, Dave Simpson, Stuart Tanfield, Ben Standing (skipper), Adam Moroney. Subs; Stuart Birkett, Garyth Brant, Dan Hough