|ASCOT RAMMED OUT OF COUNTY CUP
Beaconsfield win 3-2 in see-saw encounter
Much-changed Ascot United conceded two late goals against Beaconsfield Town, losing 3-2 in the Berks and Bucks Senior Trophy first round on Tuesday evening. The Yellamen had fought back from1-0 down to lead 2-1 in the second half, but were ultimately undone as their interest ended at the first hurdle.
Ascot manager Jamie Tompkins rang the changes after seeing his more regularly-used troops win five and draw one of their previous six outings, and his rotation facilitated starts for Aiden Higgs, Jon Bennett, Ethan Burden and half-centurion Dave Hoar, who made his 50th appearance for the club.
Despite being two tiers higher than Ascot in the football pyramid, Beaconsfield had endured a miserable start to their season – suggesting that an Ascot win would be more of a tremor than a shock against the BetVictor Southern League Premier South’s basement team.
However, despite their form, the visitors were well on top in the first half against an Ascot side who struggled to make any inroads into a solid Rams defence. That said, Ben Hodges would see an early effort deflect over for the hosts, although it would take a horrendous goalkeeping error from Myles Bowman to gift them their only other chance of the half; Higgs unable to convert after Bennett had returned Bowman’s fluffed goal kick.
Beaconsfield’s Shawnikki Clement-Peter dragged a left-footed effort wide with a clear sight of goal and Charlie Losasso fired over from distance after a good move, but they would take a 27th minute lead when Brendan Matthew started and finished another fine move where Ademola Shokunbi had delivered the telling cross from a profitable right-wing.
Shokunbi saw a speculative cross-shot cannon back off the crossbar just after the half-hour and Losasso shot weakly at Gray just before the break, but Ascot held on to keep themselves in sight at half time.
The benefit of rotating your troops is, of course, a potentially strong bench, and after the introduction of Luqman Kassim and Ian Davies, the comeback looked a possibility.
Gray had made an early save from Losasso but after that it was one-way traffic and Davies finished at the second attempt after initially doing well to control Harry Laflin’s high ball over the defence; 70 minutes played.
Fabien Etienne then surged forward and planted an accurate left-footed shot in off the right-hand post seven minutes later to make it 2-1, but Beaconsfield would deal two late sucker punches.
Gray had already saved a Shokunbi thunderbolt and again from substitute Alex Nolan, but he couldn’t keep Matthews’ close-range finish out from Louis Stead’s cross two minutes from time.
And, Losasso lashed home the winner in added time to break the hosts’ hearts.
Ascot United: Gray, Burden, Etienne, Hodges, Bouwers, Flanighan, Hoar (Kassim 56’), Denton, Bennett (Davies 64’), Laflin, Higgs (Richardson 76’). Subs not used: Lock, Lalustani