Guildford City (0) 0, Ascot United (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Top of the table Ascot United left the Spectrum with three points on Saturday courtesy of a bizarre own goal. It was a tough affair with very few chances at either end, and it is hard to make the case for either of the two sides winning the match. To their credit, and despite the uneven surface, City tried to play their trademark passing style of football. But Ascot’s backline proved formidable successfully keeping Guildford at bay, as for much of the game did City’s restructured backline with Isy Nzelo and Luke Beale drafted in to replace the ailing Sean Mason and Nemo Adams. After just two minutes Kieran Williams was adjudged narrowly to be offside as he raced onto a through ball. There was little in the game in the early stages with speculative attempts on goal at both ends. Ascot’s best opening of the game came early when prolific goal scorer Ian Davies received the ball some 40 yards out from goal, but his early lobbed attempt went wide. Both sides were still restricted to long range attempts, although a mis-headed clearance by goalkeeper Zack Basey did initially cause some anxiety in Guildford’s defence. The only goal of the game came on 32 minutes. From a corner played to the back of the goal the ball found the back of the net via three separate City players, and with no opponent in the vicinity! Within minutes there was a moment of danger at the other end when the confident Benga Ogunseye jinked past two defenders before being brought down on the edge of the area. Benga himself took the free kick which sadly flew comfortably over the bar. In the final minutes before the interval Wayne Ridgley was the victim of a misjudged challenge and a little surprisingly Ascot’s Elliott Carey was shown a red card.
In the second half Ascot’s approach with 10 men was largely to hang on to their precious lead. Guildford therefore had much of the ball and pushed forward but they just couldn’t find a vital opening. On the hour Cyril Ocansey fired a 30-yard effort that narrowly missed the post and that in truth was the home sides nearest chance of a goal. Minutes later Bobby Webbe and Youcef Azzouz were introduced off the bench; Webbe’s first appearance since August when he set off on his world travels. On 70 minutes a pass from Webbe found Ocansey in space on the left but his left foot effort was horribly skied. To their credit Ascot managed the game out impressively and their win ensured they retain their five-point lead at the top of the table.
Team: Zack Basey, Isy Nzelo, Josh Ogunseye, Theo Woodhouse, Luke Beale (Nemo Adams 77), Josh Burrowes, Cyril Ocansey, Ryan Dacres-Smith, Benga Ogunseye, Wayne Ridgley (Bobby Webbe 60), Kieran Williams (Youcef Azzouz 60). Unused subs: Josh Everard, Dan Hurlow.
Referee: Scott Orchard
Attendance – 78