|19/11/2022||14:00||West London Veterans Football League||2022-2023|
19 November 2022
Old Tiffs 2s 2-6 Ascot United 2s
It became two wins out of two for the Ascot United Vets over the weekend of 18/19 November when the second string eased to a 6-2 victory at Old Tiffs 2nds on Saturday afternoon. Dave Thompson helped himself to a brace whilst Jon Gavin, Ed Du Bois, Paul Woodford and Andy Gleave (subject to final approval from the league’s dubious goals committee) all added one apiece. Decent stuff.
Martin Kay hadn’t had the easiest of weeks in terms of selection. A significant number of folks were unavailable and a fair few more were injured. Come Friday lunchtime Kay was looking at travelling with a bare 11. Thankfully, things picked up, particularly when news came through that the legend that is Abbas Hussain was back from Switzerland and able to play.
By the time kick off came around, the Yellamen were up to 13 and quietly confident that they’d have a productive day out in Molesey. Gaffer Kay went for a traditional 4-4-2 with Ed Du Bois and Dave Porter in the middle and Dan Hough and Jad Sidhu in the full-back berths. Paul Woodford and Andy Gleave teamed up for what was apparently the first time since 1999 (!) in the middle of the park, whilst Rob Burton and Stu Flurry were outside them. Ben Spence and Jon Gavin led the line with Hussain and Dave Thompson in the ‘gamechanger’ (no such thing as ‘subs’ anymore, folks) roles.
The Yellas started promisingly. Rob Burton pinged a few decent balls down the line, Jon Gavin was holding the ball up well and Paul Woodford and Andy Gleave quickly got a grip in the middle of the park. But, the ball somehow wouldn’t quite drop in the box, and it was the hosts who ended up taking the lead.
Tiffs knocked a long ball forward, a few Ascot players hesitated and that left time for the Tiffs centre-forward to pounce. 1-0 and the hosts had their tails up.
The Yellamen then re-grouped. On a heavy pitch the call was to be crisp and clear with the passing and wherever possible to use the easier terrain on the flanks. That the Ascot side began to do, and as half-time approached they found themselves attacking with plenty of gusto.
The pressure they were creating led to a series of corners and it was from one of those that Ascot drew level. Woodford curled the ball in and Ed du Bois neatly finished at the back post. That’s two in two weeks for the big defender and, as was heard said in the changing room afterwards, he’s no one trick pony in terms of the goals he’s scoring; one week a 35 yard thunderbolt, the next a solid header from three yards out. A true goalscoring man for all seasons.
The second goal came soon after. In many ways it was very similar; decent corner, finished neatly from three yards out. Only this time the corner-taker was Stu Flurry (providing the first of his three assists for the day) and the goalscorer was Jon Gavin. Indeed, nothing and nobody was going to stop JGav from bludgeoning his way in at the near post to finish Flurry’s corner off. 2-1, half-time incoming.
During the break gaffer Kay stressed that the 2s were doing plenty right and that with patience there were more goals in the game. By this point Jad Sidhu, who had put in a good shift down the left, was replaced by Abbas Hussain and it wasn’t long before Jon Gavin took his leave and Dave Thompson came on up front.
More goals did indeed duly arrive. Flurry put in (yet) another good corner and Andy Gleave was involved in seeing the ball scuff over the line. Own goal? If so, by whom exactly? Gleave’s not having any of that talk, North Wales’s finest is adding it to his own particular goal tally.
3-1 then became 4-1 when Woodford loomed large at the back post to nod in another Flurry corner. Did the impromptu game of hide and seek/ring-a-ring-a-roses that he played to try and confuse the Tiffs’ players before the corner came in play a role? It just might have done…..
By this point it was all Ascot. Gleave was firing more shots than a canon at a monarch’s birthday party, Ben Spence was buzzing nicely down the left channel and Hussain was pinging balls impressively into the box. Throw in a double nutmeg from Rob Burton and it was clear that Ascot were beginning to enjoy themselves.
It subsequently wasn’t a major surprise when a Hussain cross landed at the feet of Dave Thompson. The striker was the epitome of calm as he slotted the ball away. 5-1 and cruise control mode beckoned.
But, respect due to Tiffs, they kept coming at Ascot. They made a few changes and with 10 minutes to go they pulled a goal back. A break down the Ascot left saw a low cross fizz across the box. Right back Dan Hough attempted to hook the ball away from two yards out but he only managed to smash it via the underside of the bar into the net. Not ideal.
Any hopes Tiffs may have had of a dramatic late recovery were nonetheless soon snuffed out. Gleave kept picking pockets in the middle of the park whilst Ben Spence caused ever more pressing problems for the Tiffs’ back line. It was his strike partner, Dave Thompson, who rounded off the day’s scoring with a crisp finish into the bottom corner. 6-2, job done.
The twos’ win will see them cement their position in the Division Three promotion places. It also sets them up nicely for what looks like a mouth-watering next game; they host top of the table Hersham Southside on Friday 2 December. Should be a real humdinger of a contest.
Team: Rich Harrison, Dan Hough, Jad Sidhu, Ed Du Bois, Dave Porter, Paul Woodford, Andy Gleave, Rob Burton, Ben Spence, Jon Gavin and Stu Flurry. Subs; Abbas Hussain, Dave Thompson