|11/11/2023||14:00||West London Veterans Football League||2023-2024|
Under the backdrop of the Wembley Arch
A last minute equaliser by Whippet Wanderers cost Ascot United 2 valuable points at the end of a game that they had largely dominated.
Ascot started brightly and created the first chance of the game. Stu T linking nicely with Tim and then Dwaine leading to Ferdi putting in Sam who hit a well timed volley just over the bar on 2 minutes. Five minutes later and Ascot took the lead. Again Stu T worked well down the left side and played it to Adam who placed a through ball towards Ian. The keeper got their first near the dead ball line but fumbled the ball away. Ian reacted first and clipped the ball into an empty net from a remarkably tight angle. An excellent opportunist finish to put Ascot one up.
Ascot were on top and there were a few good moves where they were only one last pass away from really clear cut chances. It just looked like it would come. Tommo was organising the team well when out of possession and Ascot did look pretty solid as a result.
Whippets started to get on top and were a little bit physically stronger. They also had two good runners making late and long runs through the middle. Ascot were coping fine but had stopped moving the ball with ease in possession as the Whippet threat became clearer. Stu T chased down a 60 yard break to prevent a shot on goal but on 20 minutes a couple of unforced errors allowed Whippet to get behind Ascot. The forward raced towards the byline and pulled it back where the striker turned sharply to beat a despairing dive by Dwaine and drilled the ball wide of Bash for the equaliser.
The match was finely balanced with Tim and Mikey working well together in midfield whilst Ian and Adam were a threat up top. Ascot wrestled back control of the last part of the first half and again took the lead with an exquisite finish by Adam. A little bit more ball movement and quick passing to feet saw Ian set for Adam on the edge of the D. Adam clipped the ball so cleanly off the heavy surface and from the angle of those on the touchline you knew it was curling inside the far post as soon as it left his foot. Superb finish on a sticky pitch.
At this stage, Ascot had created a number of opportunities and scored two goals whilst the Whippets had good possession and scored one goal from their only opportunity. Half time.
Glenn came on for Dwaine at half time. Dwaine had done really well to hold our shape in the first half when only half fit. Real top fella. Ascot showed much the better heart for the win in the second half and did create a number of really good situations where the shot either flew just wide or agonisingly dribbled inches past the post. Whippet continued to show some threat but did not manage to really give Bash anything to do.
On 76 minutes the ref gives a decision that absolutely no-one expected. He blew for a handball in the box by a player. He said he didn’t know which player it was. I get all the “no ref no game” points of view but there is only one person in this whole arena who is getting paid and that is often hard to take.
Bash saved the penalty and still 2-1 to Ascot.
Stu B had come on the field and it was also great to Loz back on the grass with the 1st team after a very long lay off.
With five minutes to go, Whippets got a free kick about 40 yards out. A short pass to the feet of the forward should have been comfortably intercepted and cleared by an Ascot player but it wasn’t and the ball fell in space to the Whippet striker who finished very well even though Bash nearly got his hand to it.
Ascot pressed for the winner and should have had a penalty when the keeper pulled Adam away from the ball as they chased it away from a deep cross. After the game the ref apologised and said he missed it. It seemed odd for him to admit something to me that I had not asked him about.
The concession of a late goal is always hard. The Whippet team were great guys and the match was played in a good spirit. The food and drink at The Whippet were well received and it was nice to see these two back together again on a match day
Beard, Ferdinand, Tomlinson, Corbett, Bryan, Lewis, Standing (T), McIntyre, Moroney, Davies, Tanfield, Lamb, Munns, Birkett, Johnson