Kingfishers punish Yellas’ errors

[editor says – apologies for the reporting delay – we have an ongoing site-wide user access issue and the report could not be loaded until 5pm Sunday]

Thatcham Town ruthlessly punished Ascot United’s defensive errors on Saturday en route to a 5-1 victory. The visitors, who were three-one up at the end of an eventful first half, added two more late-on to rub salt into already smarting wounds.

Yellamen looking to back up Baggies win

Ascot were looking to build on their New Year’s day victory over Badshot Lea, although Thatcham arrived having lost just one game in six and having already took the honours in the reverse fixture.

Goalkeeper Huge Sobte returned in goal for Ascot after his three-game absence following concussion, Harry Grant started alongside brother Alfie, and Taylor Morgan was back up top after missing his side’s win five days earlier.

First half littered with goals but technically awful

The neutral will have been happy with the goal-mouth action in the opening period, but the manner of the goals conceded at each end would surely leave both sides’ defensive coaches plotting extra homework.

Thatcham were ahead after just two minutes when Mo Ceesay headed home Kyle Daniel-Spray’s corner when unmarked.

But Ascot were level four minute later when Morgan rose equally unchallenged to glance Harry Grant’s corner in off a post, although in fairness he had more work to do to find the target.

The lead, however, lasted just another four minutes with Ascot failing to deal with a ball over the top and David Nyarko nipped in to lob home.

After that, the half could have ended 5-4 to either side; Usman Lalustani went clean through for Ascot and elected to find Morgan rather than shoot himself; Morgan slicing high and wide, before Morgan himself outmuscled defender Josh Blackwood before forcing a decent save out of Callum Smart.

At the other end, Ascot were exposed down their left when George Lock was caught, Daniel-Spray played in Nyarko, and he rounded Sobte and went down only to be booked for simulation.

Yellamen pay price for over-exposure but finish strongly

But when Alfie Grant missed his interception just after the half-hour mark Ascot were exposed down their left once again – Lock out of position again – and Ceesay broke before cutting the ball back for Harry Hoath to slam home; 3-1 to The Kingfishers and a long road back for Ascot.

Daniel-Spray then clattered the crossbar with a free-kick and Nathan Jones’s effort was tipped around a post by Sobte – efforts that might have made it four and then five – but The Yellamen came close to cutting the deficit before the break as Lalustani saw his shot saved by Smart’s feet, before Chad Goulter almost converted Lalustani’s corner and then seemed to backed out of a through ball that he looked favourite to win over the oncoming Smart, who gleefully gathered.

Second half starts well but goes downhill

The Yellamen were bright after the restart and Lalustani went even closer than he had before just after the hour mark, racing down the left channel and firing a powerful shot that Smart somehow tipped onto the right-hand post.

But the game was almost put to bed in the 74th minute when Jay Welch lost possession in an Ascot attack, Callum Willmoth led the counter-attack, and Ceesay cut into from the left before firing a shot that deflected wide for a corner.

Morgan then glanced a header over from Josh Edwards for the home side, but it was another counter-attack from a corner from which Ascot almost scored that all-but-ended the match in the 79th minute. This time, Ceesay turned provider, and he picked out left-back Daniel-Spray advancing on the right wing, who clipped the ball over the advancing Sobte to make it 4-1.

Ceesay added a fifth with a well-place shot into the bottom right two minutes from time.

What’s next for Ascot?

The Yellamen will be hoping it is third time lucky against step 3 opposition for the third time this season when Beaconsfield are the visitors in Tuesday night’s County Cup fourth round tie. Jamie Tompkins’ side gave a good account of themselves in defeat against Isthmian Premier sides Lewes and Whitehawk in FA competitions earlier this season, so they will be relishing the chance to book a quarter final berth in what is their first match in the competition after receiving a couple of byes.

Ascot United: Sobte, Lock, Lahtinen-Kalsi (Ellis 72’), A. Grant, Edwards, H. Grant (McCormack 72’), T. Morgan, Goulter, Welch, Lalustani, Balogun (Laflin 57’). Subs unused: Bailey, C. Morgan

Entertainment: 3

Reporter’s Star Man: Mo Ceesay (Thatcham Town)

Away fans (estimate): 35




Ascot United will play in front of their biggest crowd of the season on Saturday when they hope to keep title-chasing Chertsey’s champagne on ice.


Yellawomen lose 1-0 as Bournemouth all-but-champions Ascot United Women lost 1-0 against Woodley United on Sunday, all-but-ending their title dreams in their final league game


Raynes Park win 3-2 in injury time Ascot United fought back from two goals down to level against play-off chasing Raynes Park Vale on Saturday,