Ascot United 1
- Brendan Matthew (45′ pen)
Hanworth Villa 3
- Louis Collins (61′)
- Kyen Nicholas (78′)
- Finlay Macnab (83′)
The afternoon began with the strangest of weather phenomena: the half our team was warming up in was deluged by an almighty downpour of rain while our hosts’ half remained dry. Was this an omen of things to come? Not at all.
As performances go this was one of the best we’ve seen from our boys this season. Plenty of possession, accurate, quick passing and a large number of chances created. Ascot had their moments and looked dangerous on the break but for the somewhat soft penalty awarded to the hosts there was nothing that looked like troubling us today. Gary Ross looked solid in goal and the defensive shape of the team meant that although even when Ascot got into shooting range there was enough cover to make sure nothing came of it.
The first half showed Hanworth in a dominant mood, bossing the possession and carving out most of the chances but failing to convert. However, as often happens the opponent gets a glimmer of hope and snatches it. In the last minute of the half Ascot won a penalty after a tussle in the box. There didn’t seem to be anything in it but the ref saw fit to point to the spot. The Ascot number 10 Brendan Matthew stepped up and buried it convincing in the top left sending Gary Ross the other way.
The second half began and Ascot bouyed by their lead came out of the blocks quickest but Villa soon began to impose themselves on the game and it was inevitable that we’d bring parity sooner than later.
Villa turned the screw and came close through a Collin’s header just before we got the equaliser.
59′ There was a throw-in high up the pitch, Merson worked his magic with the long throw and the ball bounced across the box before Collins swiveled to bury the ball in the back of the net.
George Wells, who had an excellent game, had the opportunity to make it 1-2 but when it looked like he couldn’t miss we stood astounded as we saw his shot cleared off the line. We had several chances in a row with chances falling to Mead and MacNabb which they never quite got hold off.
In the 78th minute an Ascot player went down in our box but the ref saw nothing untoward and waved play on. As the ball broke Villa raced up the other end and Sam Merson found himself one on one with the keeper. He let fly with a scorcher of a shot that beat Sobte but ricocheted off the crossbar into the pass of Kyen Nicholas – who’d had a frustrating afternoon up to that point but never stopped trying – who nodded the ball home. We were two one up.
Minutes later MacNabb showed some great footwork and slotted the ball to the keeper’s left.
1-3 game over.