|02/04/2022||14:00||West London Veterans Football League||2021-2022|
Nice to know that a gritty 1-0 win away from home still feels good
If you don’t run you can’t win. A very gritty picture of 45 minutes of football
This was a gritty and important win for Ascot. The game was not a classic by any means but both teams battled very hard and the game was settled with an absolutely outstanding goal. Jaw dropping.
Wandsworth started the sharper as Ascot paid for a lackadaisical approach to the warmup. I imagine that sometimes this is a wonderful pitch, good size and flat. However, today is was hard, bumpy and difficult for either team to retain possession. The cry of ‘hook it’ being the dominant and sensible cry of the day. Ascot gave away a free kick in a dangerous position after only 1 minute. The delivery was just cleared by JK for a corner. Neither side really dominated actual possession, but Wandsworth certainly spent more time in the Ascot half but were not able to use that territorial advantage to create and clear cut chances.
On 15 minutes Ben Standing finished off a good move. Ben Spence created the platform that the game cried out for and laid it to Rob, he hit a left foot shot that the keeper parried into the Ben who finished calmly. Amazingly without an appeal and without a linesman the referee decided that Ben was offside. It was a poor decision as the ref was looking at Rob when he shot and therefore had no idea what Ben’s starting position was. Annoying as we knew that this was going to be a really tight game.
After a bit of disruption, Ascot were able to get back to focussing on the game. A few strong Ascot challenges brought a threat of sanction from the ref but did serve to keep Wandsworth away from the Ascot box. On 27 minutes, Rob and Toby combined with a short corner which produced a goal at Claygate earlier in the season. This time Toby shot was going wide, but Tommo got a little backheel on it which left the keeper stranded but the ball slipped just wide of the post.
In the second half with the advantage of the pitch slope it was Ascot who dominated possession and did create several chances to score. Wandsworth looked to get in down the flanks, but that route was managed really well by the Ascot defence.
5 minutes into the half Gleavy won the ball high up and immediately fed Rob who clipped it into Ben, bending his run deep into the Wandsworth box. A cut back to Dan and a crisp shot was well saved at the near post – first save of the game and a good one. Three minutes later and Leon, who was covering so much ground, found Dan on the edge of the box. He cut inside onto his left foot and hit another shot on target only for this to be cleared off the line by a reverse diving header (I think) after the ball had beaten the keeper.
Wandsworth broke down the Ascot right and the winger cut the ball back for the advancing attacker to shoot. Despite having time, he shot over the bar. Gleavy was showing composure in midfield and danced out of a tricky looking bear trap and set back to Matt who clipped a great ball down the line for the sprinting Doug. He cut is across into the path of the on rushing Dan who was inches away from opening the scoring again. Two minutes later and Dan just fired over the bar. Maybe it wasn’t going to be Dan’s day. Partridge cries of Dan Dan Dan rang around the ground. He deserved a goal and was very unlucky.
The game was settled in the 70th minute with a goal of outstanding individual quality. Dan played inside to Doug who gave it to Rob in line with the edge of the box and about 35 yards out. We waited for Ben to be slipped in on an angle but Rob just let fly and the ball crashed in off the underside of the crossbar. A great and audacious strike.
There was probably one more chance when Rob played in Doug wide right a cut back to Dan whose shot was blocked and Tommo just lifted the rebound over the bar. Hands were on heads. It was so close to going in
A couple of corners in the final minutes were dealt with without too much danger and the match finished with a gritty 1-0 away win for Ascot. Several players were playing with knocks today and some going to tremendous effort to be there. A good team spirit helped to bring that win.
Sharing a dressing room was a new thing for most of us. The pizza’s and the beer after the game were great and the game was played in a great spirit. Good club Wandsworth Borough. Thanks for the game.
Team : Harrison, Gatehouse, Keough, Newall, Hough, Tomlinson, Buchanan, Underwood, Saunders, Standing B, Spence, Burgess, Palmer-Wilson, Gleave