Latimer Road Veterans v Ascot United 2nd X1 Veterans



29/04/202314:00West London Veterans Football League2022-2023


29 April 2023

Latimer Road Vets 8-1 Ascot United 2nd XI


Ascot United’s 2nd XI ended their 2022-23 campaign with a defeat at Latimer Road Vets. With more than 25 Ascot United Vets unavailable, gaffer Martin Kay did really well to get any sort of side out and the scoreline shouldn’t deflect from the fact that the Yellas battled gamely right until the very end.


It’s not often that Ascot United’s 2nd XI get compared to Spurs. One thing that the two sides do have in common is that this week they were both 5-0 down after 20 minutes in their respective games. In many ways, Ascot’s predicament was even more unattractive than the one that faced Tottenham up at St James’s Park last Sunday. One of the Yellas’ most consistent performers this year, Darren Lewis (nee Green), hobbled off fifteen minutes in. Dave Thompson came on to replace him, John Gavin moved to a rather unconventional left-midfield berth and everyone said a silent prayer that no one else went lame; with no more subs available, Ascot were down to the last men standing.


Latimer Road, meanwhile, had plenty to play for and they hit the ground running. The sides had played out a close, entertaining encounter up at the Racecourse in March, but it soon became clear that this game was going to be an altogether more lop-sided affair. Win and the hosts were in the promotion play offs. For Ascot, well, the stakes were a fair bit lower; get to the end of the 90 minutes intact and in one piece.


Doug Page, the mercurial heart of Ascot United FC, made his seasonal debut in nets and he could do precisely diddly squat about all eight of the goals that flew past him. One early on was a humdinger from outside the box, a couple were nice moves that were well slotted home, a Gianfranco Zola-esqueback flick also found itself nestling into the corner while a penalty was calmly placed despatched. Latimer Road needed to win and, fair play, that they did.


Ascot nonetheless dug in. Skipper Mickey Parker did all he could to stem the flow in the middle of the park. He was at the centre of most of the football that the visitors played, sittingand holding in front of an over-worked back four. Abbas Hussain got up and down the left gamely, Ed Du Bois held the fort in the middle and Dave Porter periodically looked like a John Stones (he’s the new Franz Beckenbauer, right?) of a slightly older vintage. Jad Sidhu decided to adopt a ‘take no prisoners’ approach whilst Dave Thompson ran the channels gamely. Good on all of them.


Ascot subsequently got into things and the odd chance started to materialise. A couple fell Jez Myhan’s way, but it was Ben Spence who got on the scoresheet. He smashed the ball home from just outside the box to make it 5-1.


Latimer Road continued to see more of the ball in the second half and a live-wire left winger periodically caused havoc. Yet Ascot did occasionally create chances of their own; John Gavin was involved in one near miss and the keeper made a decent save to deny Dan Hough as he charged through. No more goals came Ascot’s way but they did keep very much at it and that’s most certainly to their credit.


Ultimately, the scoreline doesn’t look particularly edifying. It’s nonetheless worth remembering that many sides would have used the availability crisis that Ascot were facing as an excuse not to fulfil the fixture.  It’s a real credit to all concerned that Ascot United got two sides out on the day and did indeed try their level best to be competitive. Respect due to one and all.


Team: Doug Page, Dan Hough, Abbas Hussain, Ed Du Bois, Jad Sidhu, Darren Lewis, Dave Porter, Mickey Parker (C), Ben Spence, John Gavin and Jez Myhan.


Goalscorer: Ben Spence.

Latimer Road Veterans8

Ascot United 2nd X1 Veterans1
Referee to be confirmed