Ascot’s proud record in recent league cup competitions has been much celebrated, but they will have their work cut out against a free-scoring Redhill side who impressively despatched Abbey Rangers 5-2 in the semi-final, largely due to the exploits of hat-trick hero Nathan Hogg.
The Lobsters had struggled in the regular season – lying 14th at its curtailment – but something of a resurgence since the April restart saw them win three league cup ties to reach the final, all of them on the road. And, the Ascot defence will need to be on point to keep a clean sheet against a free-scoring side who have scored 25 goals in the past nine games; only failing to score in their first match after the restart.
Hogg and Aidan Brown will be the ones to keep under guard with 20 goals between them this season, whereas Arlie Talboys and Sam King have been mainstays by way of each making 23 appearances in 27 games.
As for Ascot, there are no major squad announcements but the inclusion of 17-year-old Sam Evans in the cup final set up represents another important milestone in the talented defender’s pathway through the club having joined soccer school aged just 5. And, speaking ahead of the match, manager Jamie Tompkins expressed his delight at reaching the final and recognized the efforts of those who made it possible, saying “we are really pleased to have reached our second final as a group and continue our proud league cup unbeaten run. We are thankful for the support shown by everyone associated to the club and hope to bring back the trophy to the Racecourse Ground.”
Back in October, Ascot edged a seven goal thriller at Redhill when Taylor Morgan (2), Aiden Higgs and Harry Laflin were on target as the Yellamen staged a late-comeback to win 4-3 in the two sides’ only league meeting this season.
So, the scene is set for a high-scoring affair, and with the season in its dying embers and the weather looking set fair there really is no other place to be on the day of the biggest cup final on the European calendar (this one!!!). Match report of some description to follow…
In other news, the Ascot United Ladies Reserves rounded off an incredible end-of-season last Sunday with victory in their final league game of the season to reach 2nd place in the TVC League 3E. Freya Johnson and Clodagh Farrell both bagged hat-tricks alongside Carol Checkley’s brace to see off basement side Bessingby Park Rangers 8-0. However, third-placed Slough Town are two points behind Ascot and still have one match to play; The Yellawomen will now wait to see if Hillingdon Abbots (6th) can do them a favour by denying them victory in the final round of matches this Sunday. Regardless of that, the run-in has been nothing short of spectacular having won all seven league matches since the league resumed in April.