Dockers return to haunt Yellamen on Halloween
Ascot United saw their FA vase interests end in East Sussex on Saturday afternoon as Newhaven brushed them aside at a boggy, wind-swept Trafalgar Ground. In a match where the kick-off was delayed a groundstaff worked to clear a waterlogged corner of the pitch, the home side mastered the heavy conditions to run out comfortable 4-1 winners.
The Yellamen had lost at Newhaven in the second round stage of the competition four years ago and whilst only captain Louis Bouwers survived from the Ascot squad on that day, the home side still had lethal marksman Lee Robinson in their ranks.
Robinson broke Ascot’s hearts with a late winner back then, and it took him just 22 minutes to haunt the visitors once again when he tapped home at the far post to put his side two goals up.
Earlier-on, it was only 22 seconds before the game’s first chance – a Jonny Denton effort which sailed wide after Ascot had gone at Newhaven straight from the kick-off.
After their early ascendancy, Ascot were quickly forced to retreat and found themselves one-nil down after nine minutes when Charlie Bennett scooped into the top left after Alfie Rogers had played the ball into the box from a short-corner routine. Robinson then doubled the lead after James Jefferies broke clear and picked out Rogers to cut the ball back for the easiest of finishes, but Ascot responded well and soon found themselves back in it.
And, it was James Richardson who deservedly cut the deficit just before the half-hour mark when he finished at the far post after Taylor Morgan had raced onto Harry Laflin’s through ball and rounded Jake Buss.
At the other end, The Dockers’ Charlie Bennett might have done better than screw a volley wide when well-placed but The Yellamen would change ends with a glimmer of hope after the earlier onslaught.
As in the first half, Ascot began strongly – and would create chances – but they never really threatened Buss on an ultimately frustrating afternoon.
Defender Dan Bailey planted two carbon-copy free headers over the bar from a brace of Denton corners – 48 and 66 minutes played – whereas Harry Laflin could only fire wide from distance in the middle of those chances and the energetic Richardson’s shot deflected wide later on, but Ascot simply couldn’t score.
By that point the game had already run away from them, largely due to hugely impressing left-back Ian Robinson who gave George Lock a torrid afternoon and was equally adept with left and right foot as he surged forwards at will. And, when his neat-one two ended with Lock being shown a clean pair of heels, the covering Bouwers was also left for dead, and he raced into the box and slotted into the bottom right; 53 minutes played.
‘Keeper Sam Gray would keep Ascot in the hunt with good saves to deny both Jefferies and Seb Saunders, before producing a sensational late save to claw Ian Robinson’s audacious chip away, but namesake Lee would have the last word – just as he did four year earlier – with an injury time tap-in to complete the rout.
Ascot will now focus on the league, as goes the adage.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock, Masters, Carey (Evans 46’), Bouwers, D. Bailey, Laflin (Haworth 68’), Denton, Morgan, Richardson, Higgs (Davies 81’). Subs unused: Berry, Andrady