Yellamen draw 2-2 after leading 2-0
Ascot United went two-nil up, hit the woodwork and were denied a stone-wall penalty as Tadley Calleva somehow fought back to salvage a 2-2 draw on Saturday. The Yellamen were cruising before letting the visitors back in it, although quite how Josh Masters was not awarded a second-half penalty at 2-1 up was scandalous.
In a totally one-sided first half, Ascot finally found their scoring touch after four barren games and they should have been ahead on the 2nd minute only for Taylor Morgan to scoop high and wide when it looked easier to hit the target.
Nonetheless, Keaton August’s wonder-strike (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk) from 25 yards found the top corner six minutes later for his side’s first goal in open play in 439 minutes – Tom Scott the provider – and Scott himself fired wide with another good chance soon after.
Morgan then saw Craig Atkinson make an easy save as The Yellamen continued to dominate, before midweek spot-kick hero Louis Bouwers almost wrote his name into the headlines again with an overhead kick that was cleared off the line and a later diving header past Atkinson that was chalked off for offside.
But after the excellent Duarte Surpanu had seen an effort saved by Atkinson’s outstretched boot, he kickstarted a brilliant move on the half-hour mark culminating in Ascot’s 2nd goal. Masters raced untracked on a left-wing overlap to receive Surpanu’s pass, before drilling in a delicious low cross that Morgan gleefully converted first-time at the near post.
In the second half, Bouwers sadly went from hero to near-zero in the 51st minute when he rifled his clearance at team-mate Dan Bailey, and after the ball had been returned into the box Jack French’s powerful shot beat Sam Gray, who almost kept it out.
Scott and Taylor then linked up for substitute James Richardson to find the crossbar via Atkinson’s fingertips, but the talking point came when Masters was hacked down in the area after going past his marker only for the referee to wave away Ascot’s appeals.
August then saw his shot smartly saved after Kai Walters’ equally smart backheel had teed him up, but incredibly the visitors would level when then went up the other end and substitute Callum Cleary nipped in to beat the advancing Gray; 79 minutes played.
Walters broke clear with seven minutes remaining but dragged his shot wide – the home side’s last clear chance of a winner despite five minutes of added time – and now their attentions turn to Tuesday night’s trip to Virginia Water as they count down the matches until the County Cup Final.
Ascot United: Gray, Bouwers, Masters, Scott, Bailey, Ellis (Walters), McCormack, Merrick, Morgan (Harper), August, Surpanu (Richardson). Subs unused: Sykes, Nortey