REPORT VIA ASCOTUNITED.NET
JONNY Denton scored a brace as Ascot United hit three second half goals to beat Fairford Town in the battle of the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division’s form sides. However, both sides were left to rue some errant decisions leading to a dismissal each, in what was an often-disjointed affair by all personnel on the pitch.
The encounter matched second-placed Ascot against mid-table Fairford, and the home side were prepared for a battle to extend their four-game winning streak against Jody Bevan’s resurgent Fairford side with eight wins from thirteen.
Indeed, Fairford could almost afford to relax for the first time in five seasons at this level. Each of their previous four Premier Division campaigns had seen them finish in the bottom three, and last season they relied on a relegation reprieve in the end-of-season shake-up.
And, it was a fully justified one, as Bevan’s side comfortably steered their way through a wind-affected first half which was largely devoid of chances.
When the chances did arrive, they were in Fairford’s favour – firstly when Michael Oakes skied over in the 17th minute before Lee Allen tipped Danny Bailey’s effort wide four minutes later – although the shot would probably have missed the top right.
Danny Gudger’s direct free kick then found the midriff of a well organised Ascot wall on the half hour mark, whereas Ascot’s best chance came moments later when Geoff Kibaki’s overhit cross from the by-line missed a crowd of expectant yellow shirts after Nathan Minhas and Dan Price had fashioned the ball out to the wing.
Having failed to register a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, the Yellamen registered one with merely seconds on the clock after the restart, although ‘keeper Chris Randall stood up well to save at the feet of Minhas.
Kibaki then shot across goal and wide as Ascot turned up the dial, although their opening goal came from a sublime 25-yard free kick from Price which flew over the wall and into the bottom left hand corner; Kibaki having shown great strength in the build up to force the crucial foul.
Kibaki then smacked an upright from an improbable angle – Minhas having crossed – and although Minhas would fail to extend his own eight-match scoring run, his value as a provider would later be underlined.
For Fairford, Oakes slashed wide after a neat one-two and Bailey’s shot deflected wide for a corner, but the Yellamen settled their nerves when Minhas held up the ball, fed Denton, and Denton drilled a low left-footed cross-shot that slipped through the gloves of the embarrassed Randall.
That goal came after 80 minutes, and Fairford’s prospects of recovery were all-but-ended when Robbie James received a second yellow card for a foul on Price, who had skipped around James only to be crudely tripped.
Sadly for the home side, captain Louis Bouwers then received a bemusing red card for a clumsy challenge that warranted little more than a yellow card, before Denton wrapped it up with another rare right -footed effort in added time; repeating his feat of seven days earlier.
Fairford substitute Mason Thompson should have found the target with a stooping header just before Ascot’s third but could only head wide, but it was Ascot’s day after extending their winning run to five matches and returning to second place in the league.
Ascot United: Allen, Kibaki, Denton, Sullivan (Laflin), Bouwers, F Etienne, Sankoh, Carey, Minhas, Price (Richardson), Kassim (Carlisle)
Subs unused: Haworth, Lock
Fairford Town: Randall, Watson, Thomas, Hawkins, Oakes (M Thompson), Beardsell (Reid), D Bailey, James, Weaven, Lodge, Gudger