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31 January 2017

Reading Senior Cup

Ascot United 3 Rotherfield Park United 0
Ascot United began life under Neil Richards with a comfortable victory over Thames Valley League strugglers Rotherfield Park United in the Reading Senior Cup. The hosts led 3-0 at the interval, before wasting further second-hand chances to add to their tally, against a side who battled credibly throughout.

Both sides arrived with a combined tally of over seven months without a win – Ascot since early November and Rotherfield since September – so something had to give on a wet evening at the Racecourse.

All three of Ascot’s first half goals came from set pieces. Firstly, Louie Gilpen was on hand to stab in from close range following an 11th minute corner, before Louie Bouwers did the same on 32 minutes when Kieron Penglase was unable to deal with another delivery under his crossbar.

Guy Bickerton should have cut the deficit after 37 minutes but mis-controlled Darren Ritchie’s free kick when unmarked six yards out, before Bouwers’ tackle denied Jordan Cuthbert a free sight of goal moments later just when it looked as if the Rotherfield man had escaped his attentions.

The visitors’ hope was short-lived; Leigh Begam delightfully glanced Ascot into a three goal lead when he met Jonny Denton’s well placed free kick after 41 minutes, the scoring now complete.

The second half was a more even affair, with the home side making all three changes but failing to find a way past the resolute Penglase.

At the other end, the visitors failed to muster a meaningful attempt, although took much credit from shutting the home side out for the entire period.

Penglase saved well from Dan Davies early-on following good work from James Goodey, before substitute Matt Forder went close on three occasions. Firstly, he shot wide immediately after coming on, then shot straight at Penglase, and was denied once again when one-on-one with the visiting ‘keeper.

James Brazier might have added a fourth late on with a close range header that sailed over the bar, but the Yellamen would soon exit to warm applause for their solid performance.

Ascot United: Hill, Cooper, Brainch, Denton, Brazier, Bouwers, Goodey, Davies (Wensley 65’), Gilpen, Begam (Dillon 58’), Ross (Forder 63’). Sub unused: Regregui


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