Young Yellamen beaten 3-1 by Kingstonian

Ascot United U18’s were beaten 3-1 by Kingstonian U18’s in the Grant McLellan Cup Final at Burnham FC on Wednesday evening. ‘Keeper James Docherty’s heroics denied The K’s a much bigger win as they established a 3-0 lead, before Lawson Jones kept his composure to score a consolation for Ascot.

As expected, Ascot’s Docherty was the busier of the two goalkeepers and he produced a string of top-drawer saves to limit Kingstonian to a 1-0 half-time lead.

After a fairly even opening fifteen minutes, the K’s turned the screw and Docherty’s point-blank save from Robert McGowan’s bullet header was probably the pick of the bunch; defender Jack McCart doing equally well with a fine double-block to keep Kingstonian out in the ensuing play.

Docherty’s well timed interception – way out of his area – denied the onrushing Rocco Ilhan before another fine save in the 31st minute thwarted a powerful header.

Iker Nogura-Leon then struck the outside of a post in the 37th minute and just when it looked as if Ascot would escape the first half with a clean sheet, David Lopes had too much strength for Tom Bailey before curling into the top right hand corner two minutes before the interval. Docherty then stood up well to deny Ilhan in stoppage time, limiting further damage.

Jones had a first sight of goal soon after the break with a long-range effort that lacked height to trouble Kingstonian ‘keeper Shay Honey, before Honey’s side added a quickfire double to make it 2-0 and then 3-0 through  Lopes’ direct free kick into the top left and Marco Haigh’s close-range effort after another remarkable double-save from Docherty; the goals coming either side of the hour mark.

Jones quickly pulled a goal back when he raced onto a long ball and rounded Honey, but with plenty of time remaining it was the K’s who almost added to their advantage only for that man Docherty to tip Ilhan’s long range effort over before saving low from Kwesi Ntim as injury time approached; although 3-1 it remained.

There were good performances at the back from Will Chaisty and Luke Phillips, and whilst it was always going to be a tall order to exit the season with more silverware Josh Nice and his side will reflect on a fine campaign that yielded the league title.

Ascot United: Docherty, Bailey, McCart, Thompson, Philips, Chaisty, Mann, Pandhor, Jones, Tomkins, Fairbairn. Subs: Holden, Hughes, Birchmore, Mason, Hurdwell.

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