STRONG SANDHURST HIT ASCOT FOR SIX

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Fizzers fire five in second half to stun Yellamen

Ascot United’s Fripp-Smith Trophy ambitions lie in tatters after losing 6-1 against a strong Sandhurst Town on Saturday. The step-six visitors, fielding a full-compliment of Bracknell Town’s step four outfit, ran in five unanswered second-half goals having initially fallen behind to leave Ascot looking for their first point in the group.

Having lost their opening group game against Fleet Town last weekend, Ascot knew their hopes of finishing in the top two of a six-team group would realistically require at least a draw with each team meeting just once; just three further round-robin games therefore remained after today.

However, Jamie Tompkins’ side came into the came off the back of a midweek 2-1 league cup win over Badshot Lea – itself setting up another date with Sandhurst in that competition – and that improved performance would give his side confidence heading into their first date with The Fizzers.

Kicking off at 1pm as the nation’s respects would later be centred on Windsor Castle, it was the visitors who enjoyed the early possession, but Ascot would quickly settle and more than matched their opponents.

And, after Aiden Higgs had fired over and Harry Laflin had rushed a half-decent chance from a tight angle, Ascot went ahead with a well worked goal in the sixteenth minute. George Lock picked out Taylor Morgan on the right wing, Morgan skipped clear of the left back – delivered a sublime cross into the box – and Aaron Berry (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk) had the time and space to plant a firm downward header past Sonny Wheeler.

However, the visitors would eek their way back into the game, assisted by Ascot’s increasing wastefulness in possession – for which they would ultimately be punished.

Before that, Seb Bowerman had already served warning with a wayward volley in the 22nd minute and Mickel Platt was unable to capitalize when Ben Hodges lost possession, but Platt would atone for that miss in the 35th minute when he planted a side-footed effort low past Sam Gray just after the half-hour mark following industrious play from ex-Yellaman Joe Grant.

Higgs would limp off five minutes before the break to add to Ascot’s injury woes, and it ended all-square as the teams changed ends.

However, the second half was a completely one-sided affair with Ascot only able to test Wheeler once – in the third minute of added time – when Morgan saw his powerful effort beaten away.

Before that, Grant’s looping header from Bowerman’s cross made it 2-1 in the 50th minute, Dan Bayliss’s swirling effort from distance left Gray rooted to the spot three minutes later and Bowerman himself scored with a shot that squirmed away from Gray before the hour-mark to make it 4-1.

Jonathan Hippolyte then scored at the second attempt with 72 minutes on the clock before Bowerman’s sublime curling effort into the top right completed the rout with five minutes to go.

There will need to be a shift in fortunes if Ascot are to get anything from the league cup rematch in ten days’ time.

Ascot United: Gray, Lock, Haworth (Andrady 46’), Hodges, Evans, D. Bailey, Morgan, Denton, Berry (Davies 60’), Laflin, Higgs (Jabbari 40’). Sub unused: Bouwers, Ellis

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