|ASCOT BREAK WATERS AGAIN TO REGAIN SECOND
Yellamen at the double in Virginia Water triumph
Captain Louis Bouwers inspired Ascot United to a derby double over Virginia Water and lift his side back into second place in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division. Man-of-the-match Bouwers hit a post early-on and held his defence firm as Waters threatened to recover from going 2-0 down, before nodding home late-on to seal a 3-1 win.
The eagerly-awaited clash followed September’s hotly-contested affair which Ascot had won courtesy of a last-gasp header from captain Louis Bouwers, and with Ascot in the ascendancy and Waters battling to stay out of relegation trouble, the derby had an added edge.
Ascot named an unchanged starting line-up from the side who had comfortably seen off Abingdon United in the league cup three days earlier, whereas Waters were looking to bounce back from fielding a weakened side in a shock cup exit at Thornbury Town on the same afternoon.
And, the game followed a similar pattern to Saturday when Ascot raced out of the blocks – the only difference that they were rewarded for their efforts as Jamie Tompkins’ side found themselves 2-0 up with barely a quarter of an hour played.
Firstly, Nathan Minhas extended his scoring run to eight matches with an exquisite curling effort into the top right hand corner after Harry Laflin and Jean-Claude Etienne had fashioned the opening.
Bouwers then hit a post with an audacious stooping header, before his challenge from a Chris Ellis throw-in led to an own goal, doubling the visitors’ advantage after 16 minutes.
Between those efforts, Jamie Read might have done better with a cross-shot from distance that sailed wide for the home side, but the hosts were given a lifeline when Josh Hill converted a 25th minute penalty after Bouwers was adjudged to have fouled Read.
Waters huffed and puffed and enjoyed sustained spells of pressure, although the remaining chances of the first half came in the final two minutes when Minhas saw an effort deflected wide for Ascot before Lee Allen thwarted Read from Scott Jackson’s cross for The Waters.
The second half was a more sedate spectacle as both sides cancelled each other out. Home ‘keeper Matt Jones produced a fabulous save to deny Minhas midway through the half after James Haworth had ghosted in from the left-wing. And, after the home side finally ran out of ideas, Ascot finished the game in the 81st minute.
Inevitably it was Bouwers who wrapped it up, as he popped up with a stooping header from Denton’s free-kick to make it 3-1, to secure a fourth consecutive win for the Yellamen.
Ascot United: Allen, Lock, Haworth, Carey, Bouwers, Ellis, Denton, Laflin (F Etienne), Minhas, Price (Sankoh), JC Etienne (Kibaki). Subs unused: Sullivan, Kassim