|14/11/2023||19:45||The Pitching In Isthmian Football League - South-Central Division||2023-2024|
|Thatcham, West Berkshire, England, RG19 4PA, United Kingdom|
ASCOT SLUMP TO THATCHAM DEFEAT
Ten men lose 2-0 in poor display
Josh Edwards was sent off against his former club as Ascot United lost 2-0 at Thatcham Town on Tuesday evening. In a dismal spectacle, The Yellamen improved after going a man down and hit the woodwork three times, but lady luck was not in their camp on as a desperate Thatcham side took all three points.
FA Vase winners go head to head
This match up pitched the current FA Vase holders with the former holders – The Kingfishers having triumphed five years before The Yellamen way back in 2018 – but five years later both sides were looking for league points to propel them away from the lower half of the table, and also to build on their respective recent wins over basement side Binfield.
The Yellamen made three changes from Saturday’s starting line-up – Laflin, McCormack and Bailey in for Tucker, Balogun and Killeen – and after Waterside Park had survived an earlier deluge prompting a 4pm pitch inspection it was game on.
Horrible, lifeless first half
The first half was just about as bad as it could get as ex-Kingfisher Edwards conceded a penalty inside three minutes; Christian Johnson easily rolling his effort into the left.
After that, Thatcham’s Harry Hoath saw his 27th minute effort parried by Hugo Sobte before Sobte blocked Sam Tanner’s follow-up, although defender Josh Blackwood should really have converted a free header from the resultant corner
Sobte’s save in the 43rd minute and another missed free header from a corner ensured Ascot escaped the half only one goal behind, whilst the best effort they could muster was Harry Grant’s effort that struck his own player in the shape of Laflin in the 39th minute.
Wood you believe it?!
Incredibly, the three minute mark brought more woes for Edwards who saw red in the 48th minute for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
But the ten men tried hard and struck the woodwork thrice; firstly when Sean McCormack hit the crossbar after ‘keeper Callum Smart had spilt Chris Ellis’s log throw-in, then when Brendan Matthew’s shot cannoned back off an upright following Grant’s corner, and most agonisingly when Ollie Harris’s brilliant free kick thumped the inside of the frame in the game’s dying embers.
In-and-around all of that Thatcham wasted another glut of free headers, but they added the killer second when countering directly in the aftermath of Matthew striking a post in the 77th minute – Hoath led the march and David Nyarko swept home from close range – and what was almost 1-1 with a fair chunk of time still to play became 0-2 within a matter of seconds.
Jordan Ajanlekoko exited with a shoulder injury earlier on, compounding Ascot’s misery.
Manager Jamie Tompkins kept his side out long after the final whistle, but the smattering of loyal travelling fans stayed even longer to show their support for their team as they walked off.
It’s a rollercoaster, and with every up comes a down.
What’s next for Ascot?
A weekend league trip down the A30 to Hartley Wintney looms for Ascot as their quest to capitalize on their games in hand continues.
Ascot United: Sobte, Lock, Edwards, Ajanlekoko (Welch 54’), Bailey, Matthew, Lahtinen-Kalsi, McCormack (Harris 77’), Lalustani (Ellis 49’), H. Grant, Laflin. Subs unused: Balogun, Morgan
Reporter’s Star Man: Ollie Lahtinen-Kalsi (Ascot United)
Away fans (estimate): 20