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16 February 2019

uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Ascot United1 Wantage Town 1
Ascot United were held to a frustrating one-all draw against Wantage Town on Saturday. The Yellamen were good value for a half time-lead and only visiting ‘keeper Curtis Meare stood between them and a hatful, before the visitors struck back in the second half to leave Ascot still searching for a win.
Ascot were seeking their first league win of 2019 as they clung onto third place, whereas Wantage were very much in the title hunt with games and hand as they look to outmuscle their other three realistic title challengers.

As it transpired, Wantage’s first half display was anything but title-challenging, although Ascot took much credit for a display that warranted more than a one-nil half time lead. Their goal came after just ten minutes, when Luqman Kassim glanced a header over the advancing Meare after Geoff Kibaki had cut the ball back for Jonny Denton to cross.

Ascot should have led after just three minutes, although Sheridan Campbell couldn’t dig the ball out and spin with his back to goal from just three yards out after Louis Bouwers’ header had been cleared off the line, and his effort on the turn was sliced wide. Meare would thwart the home side throughout the half – most impressively with a fine block from Dan Price’s ferocious shot at the end of an incisive move – and just before that he had stood up well to deny the same player; Campbell having turned provider for both efforts.

Kassim’s looping header lacked power and direction as Ascot threatened again, whereas a desperately poor Wantage only had a trio of corners to show for their meagre efforts as half time approached, the latter fizzing through the six-yard box untouched and out for a goal kick. Seven minutes after the restart, Kibaki would fire through Meare’s legs and into the net only to see it chalked off for handball – earning him a booking – although Wantage would prove to be an increasing threat as the half wore on.

George Lock was well-placed to avert danger after 63 minutes but the ensuing Wantage corner saw Chris Jackson head over when unmarked. However, Jackson was on hand to convert moments later after head tennis in the Ascot defence; 66 minutes played and one-all.

scot would finish strongly and Harry Laflin stabbed a half-chance over the bar, substitute Kai Walters headed over from a Chris Ellis Corner and Jonny Denton’s effort was blocked in added time after Price had tried to unpick the Wantage defence, but it had taken a quite superb save from Sam Gray five minutes earlier to keep Ascot level when he tipped Ben Cook’s bullet header over when it looked destined for the roof of the net. Ascot’s wait for a league win in 2019 continues, and the two sides will lock horns again in the cup next month.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock, Haworth, Laflin, Bouwers, Ellis, Kibaki, Denton, Campbell (Sankoh), Price, Kassim (Walters). Subs unused: Sullivan, Carlisle, Regragui

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