Fairy-tale ends for Yellamen but pride intact
Reading Academy beat Ascot United 4-0 in the Berks and Bucks County Cup Final on Saturday. In front of a crowd of 1,122 at Slough Town’s Arbour Park, the professional outfit stormed into a 3-0 half time lead before adding a late fourth to lift the silverware.
The Yellamen were backed by a huge travelling contingent – probably three-quarters of the crowd – and they would play their part in raising Jamie Tompkins’ side in what was an impressive second half performance.
But Reading had long since done the damage as Ajani Giscombe swept home in the 12th minute before Nahum Melvin-Lambert’s powerful header doubled their advantage in the 25th minute.
Sam Gray made a smart save to deny Melvin-Lambert on the half-hour mark – making himself big to block the lively striker’s thunderous effort – but there was little he could do in the 35th minute when defender Imari Kines-Samuels’ left-footed rocket across Gray cannoned in off the angle of post and bar to make it 3-0.
The Yellamen came out firing in the second half and Louis Bouwers twice went close with headers from corners, although their already bleak prospects were all-but-extinguished when the lively Sean McCormack was harshly shown a second yellow card with a quarter of an hour remaining.
That said, the ten remaining Yellamen continued to push and nearly got the goal their efforts deserved when Rory Merrick’s overhead kick struck the top of the crossbar.
Pushing forwards, Ascot were exposed, but they nearly shut Reading out for entire half only for Melvin-Lambert to poke home for Reading during a seven-minute period of added time.
The Yellamen rightly took their plaudits at the final whistle as the fans honoured a memorable cup run as much as their heroes’ performance on the day.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock (August), Masters, Merrick, Bouwers, Bailey, McCormack, Scott, T. Morgan (Nortey), Surpanu (Davies), Ellis. Subs unused: Sykes, Carey