YELLAMEN FIGHT BACK TO EARN DRAW

#WeAreAscot.


Late Lalustani leveller in 2-2 Casuals comeback

Usman Lalustani scored a dramatic 94th minute equaliser on his 100th appearance for Ascot United as they battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Corinthian Casuals on Saturday. The Yellamen paid the price for missing a series of chances before the visitors opened up a two-goal lead in the second half, only for Liam Tack and Lalustani to cap another comeback – although it could have been all three points amid a desperate late scramble.

Hosts hungry for goals after two-week hiatus

A fortnight’s break since their victory over Chipstead had facilitated the recovery of some of Jamie Tompkins’ troops; Sean McCormack in the starting line-up after pulling up during that match and Josh Edwards fit enough for a place on the bench after several weeks out; Lalustani also starting his landmark game (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk) after missing out last time with illness.

Casuals, languishing at the foot of the table, were in desperate need of a kickstart to avoid being cut further adrift in the drop zone, but had earnt a creditable draw with high-flying Southall last time out.

Ascot dominate but fail to find opener

The Yellamen carved out the lion’s share of chances in the first half and Ben Harris’s 14th minute effort from a tight angle deflected wide before Ollie Harris curled just wide of the top right four minutes later.

Tack’s effort then deflected over following a deep corner and Chris Ellis might have done better with a free header in a central position from McCormack’s delivery in the 38th minute; the big defender’s effort disappointingly off-target.

Casuals offered little but when Aderi Arthur Dede wriggled clear of the home defence six minutes before the break he might have done better than trickle a disappointing left-footed effort which Mark Scott gleefully accepted.

And, the hosts came closest to scoring a minute later when Ben Harris’s glancing header clattered the right-hand post just when it looked as if he would turn Ollie Lahtinen-Kalsi’s delivery into the net; goalless it remained.

Casuals stay in game before forging ahead

Casuals were gifted an opportunity nine minutes after the restart when the otherwise excellent Tack tripped Dede in the box, and he stepped up to fire the resultant spot-kick into the top right.

At the other end, captain Quade’s brilliant interception diverted Lalustani’s low cross to safety, before Tack wastefully slashed over from a decent position.

But after making a triple substitution, Ascot found themselves two down when substitute Finlay Evans received the ball near the corner of the penalty area, drifted across it before shrugging off substitute Edwards and somehow finding the net with a centrally-placed shot as Scott’s momentum in goal took him away from the ball’s trajectory.

Immediate response and frantic finale

Ascot’s response, was, however immediate. Ben Harris’s teasing cross took everyone out of the game as Tack ghosted in for the easiest of far-post tap-ins just a minute later, before the same player’s goal-bound shot was blocked soon after.

But as the seven added minutes ticked by, Lalustani was on hand to head Harry Grant’s deep cross down and into the bottom corner after Ben Harris had quickly taken a corner.

Incredibly, the home side almost won it but Casuals hacked off the line in the sixth added minute – George Lock amongst various yellow shirts unable to turn the loose ball home – and there was still time for both Harrises to waste further, albeit difficult, opportunities to win it at the death.

But the visitors held on and defeat would have been particularly harsh on their 20-or-so vocal travelling supporters, who continued to laud their team even after squandering their lead. Ascot, meanwhile, are unbeaten in four and have come back from two goals down to draw in three of them.

What’s next for Ascot?

The Yellamen have another week off before hosting South Park (Reigate) in the first of their final ten league games.

Ascot United: Scott, Lock, Lahtinen-Kalsi (Edwards 68’), Tack, Ellis, Tucker (Lynch 68’), McCormack (T. Morgan 68’), H. Grant, B. Harris, O. Harris, Lalustani. Subs unused: Bailey, Mason

Entertainment: 4

Reporter’s Star Man: Lima Tack (Ascot United)

Away fans (estimate): 30

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