|BADSHOT LEA HIT BACK TO OUST ASCOT
Yellamen out of cup after Baggies come from behind
Ascot United lost 2-1 against Badshot Lea in their Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Tuesday evening. After ‘Lea had grabbed an injury-time equalizer in a 2-2 draw last Saturday, it was ‘Lea who booked a Preliminary Round trip to Christchurch in ten days’ time after overturning a 1-0 half-time replay deficit.
Barely mid-August, this was already the season’s third meeting between these sides after Ascot had triumphed in a pre-season four-team tournament ahead of last weekend’s draw. And, on a pleasant sunny evening, conditions were in stark contrast to last weekend when the strong wind had contributed to both sides playing below their best.
The first half saw many chances – few of which were clear cut – but which were aided by the excellent refereeing that allowed play to flow.
The hosts threatened first – Ben Hutchings glancing a free header wide from Danilo Cadete’s cross, although Ascot would show their hand after ten minutes when James Richardson’s mazy run ended with a shot well-over from Jonny Denton.
Meshach Williams – starting the game after his excellent performance from the bench on Saturday – then header over for the hosts form Darren Blake’s right-wing cross, but as the two sides traded chances it was Usman Lalustani who glanced wide at the other end from Harry Laflin’s cross.
Excellent defending from Chris Ellis, backed up by Louis Bouwers, then denied Williams after he had raced onto Cadete’s precise though-ball, before Ascot took a 27th minute lead.
The goal itself came from patient build up. Richardson fed Laflin, who in-turn fed Rory Merrick, and after Merrick had won a corner, it was left to Laflin to rifle into the roof of the net from eight yards after Bouwers’ header was cleared off the line.
Home ‘keeper Kallum Lunn then made a superb side to parry Lalustani’s goal-bound volley as Ascot sought a second goal, although James Haworth would deny Williams at the other end with a fine covering tackle. There was still time for Laflin to loop a header wide at the end of a high-tempo first half, but Ascot remained one-nil ahead at the break.
The Yellamen had managed the game well for the first half of the second period, although the momentum instantly swung in The Baggies’ favour on 67 minutes when in a carbon copy of Saturday’s strike, Williams popped up to convert at the far post after Cadete had swung the ball across from the left wing.
And, barely three minutes later, substitute Nic Ciardini was on hand to rifle into the top right hand corner after Ascot failed to deal with a corner.
With twenty minutes to play, Ascot huffed and puffed for an equalizer, although Bouwers’ header on 83 minutes, Ethan Burden’s shot on 86 minutes and defender Ash Lloyd’s header onto his own post in added time all failed to take the game to extra time.
It’s back to business for the Yellamen at Redhill for Ascot this weekend, whereas The Baggies are one step closer to Wembley and a couple of thousand pounds better off.
Ascot United: Gray, Burden, Haworth, Carey (Carlisle 25’), Bouwers, Ellis, Merrick, Denton, Lalustani, Laflin (Hodges 76’), Richardson (Davies 56’). Subs unused: Lock, Taylor, Wensley, Bennett