07:00PM, Thursday 19 March 2020
In what may be their last competitive action for a while, Ascot United beat their closest title challengers Spellthorne Sports 2-1 at The Racecourse Ground.
The Yellamen netted from the penalty spot in the first half before grabbing their second early in the second. But they were forced to rely on goalkeeper Sam Gray for a string of fine saves which saw them take all three points.
The result moved the Yellamen nine points clear at the top of the Combined Counties Premier Division, although Spellthorne have a game in hand.
However, in the context of the coronavirus outbreak and the FA’s decision to suspend all grassroots football for the foreseeable future, it is uncertain the season will ever be played to a finish.
The home side raced out of the blocks with Harry Laflin netting a third minute penalty after Aiden Higgs had been tripped in the box. Higgs missed the chance to make it 2-0 in the 14th minute when he was denied by keeper Henry Poole, while Gray made a couple of decent saves before the half-time interval, one of which saw him backpeddle to tip Lewis Flatman’s 35th minute lob over the crossbar. Their second goal came in the 52nd minute. Kai Walter’s cross was only partially cleared toward Ben Hodges who thumped home an unstoppable left-footed drive.
The Yellamen were then pushed onto the back foot as Spelly attempted to force their way back into the game. And they breached the home side’s defences through Jack Mills’ curling free-kick in the 65th minute.
Gray repelled Mills’ shot in the 77th minute and the visitors struck the crossbar through Graeme Edwards header but the home side held on. Gray kept his concentration to the very last, making a brave block from Billy Frost in the fifth minute of injury time to ensure the large crowd at the Racecourse Ground were rewarded with a victory.
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