|SUPER ASCOT WIN TO EDGE CLOSER TO SAFETY
Commitment is key as Yellamen win 3-1 in Oxford
Ascot United produced another fine display to win 3-1 at Oxford City Nomads on Saturday, further easing their relegation fears. In-form striker Barry Dunbar set them on their way after just two minutes, and although Oxford cut the arrears after Ascot had gone two-nil up, George Lock bagged a late third to kill the game off
On a day when the Uhlsport Hellenic League saw three teams advance to the FA Vase Quarter Finals, it was the two-time quarter finalists in the form of Ascot United who shone at Marsh Lane as they emphatically avenged their heavy home defeat to Nomads barely a month earlier.
Dunbar has been a superb addition to the Ascot ranks, and has now bagged five goals in five matches since arriving in January, his latest contribution being a shot into the corner of the net following Samir Regragui’s early free kick.
But, one man doesn’t make a team, and it is the growing commitment and confidence of the regular ranks that have hauled Neil Richards’ side away from the relegation zone, to which there is now clear daylight.
One of them, Ben Hodges, has grown demonstrably in stature and he would earn himself another man of the match award and ultimately set up Lock for the third and final goal, capping a brilliant midfield display.
Before all that, one of the season’s stand-out contributors – ‘keeper Lee Allen - had kept Ascot in it with another string of saves, firstly from Sami Khawaja in only the sixth minute.
Both Lock and Louis Bouwers saw efforts saved by Luke Sanders as Ascot sought a second goal, and just after Bouwers went even closer with a header, the hosts saw an effort ruled out at the other end.
Bouwers then saw a goal bound header cleared as Ascot went back on the attack, but at the other end Connor Mattimore shot wide and Allen saved from Khawaja as the visitors maintained their slender lead at the break.
Into the second half, and Ascot doubled their lead inside ten minutes, and it was another free kick which led to the goal. Bouwers spread the ball wide to Regragui, and although Dunbar saw his header from Regragui’s cross saved, James Richardson was on hand to bag his first goal for the club.
Oxford rallied and cut the deficit courtesy of Jack Tutton’s deflected effort on 65 minutes, and although both teams traded chances, it was a fine passing move that led to Ascot’s third in the 83rd minute. Callum Carlisle, Hodges and Trevor Mutero were all involved, but it was Lock who finished it off when he took one touch and rifled home at the far post; Hodges teeing him up.
Substitutes Louis Gilpin and Ross Seldon combined for the latter to almost add a late fourth – his shot saved – but it was already a job well done for the Yellamen who won three games on the trot for the first time this season.
And, what price for a fourth when they travel to Tuffley Rovers in three weeks’ time…
Ascot United: Allen, Lock, Denton, Carlisle, Bouwers, Cooper, Mutero, Hodges, Dunbar (Da Silva), Richardson (Gilpin), Regragui (Seldon). Subs unused: Sullivan, Goodey.