The draw for this round had seen the side that I had been watching since the 1st Qualifying Round in Colliers Wood handed another home tie. Therefore I went off to watch Wycombe while the Wood had an intriguing game against Hellenic League side Ascot United.
When you think of Ascot, football probably isn’t the first thing to pop into your mind. It’s usually the racecourse that hosts ‘Royal Ascot’ and features The Gold Cup amongst its racing card. The town’s football club play just next to the racecourse and the way things are going in this year’s “Road”, it’s a ground I’ll be visiting in the near future.
With both clubs in their respective divisions being in the lower reaches of mid-table, a good FA Vase run was all that both sides had left. The game seemed a cracker reading the various match reports online. Ascot United took an 11th minute lead when Ben Knight reacted quickest to a free kick to crash home, however, the Wood were level within a minute when Chris Gregson fired home from outside of the penalty area. With both sides going for it, Ascot re-took the lead before HT when a poor backpass from Steve Lang allowed Knight to take the ball around the keeper and slot home. Ascot then missed a penalty on 44 minutes as the away side started to dominate.
Ascot got their 3rd goal on 53 minutes when Dave Hoar fired home a rebound and that looked like game over. Credit to the home side then for piling forward to save the game and they pulled one back on 84 minutes when Mathurin took it around Ascot’s goalie Grace to make it 2-3. Grace then pulled off a brilliant save late on as Ascot held on to make it through to the 4th Round for the very first time. The first round when the draw becomes national.
Considering some of the tinpot places that Ascot (and myself) could have ended up at, a trip to East Midlands Counties League side Borrowash Victoria is one that is quite acceptable. Playing a level below Ascot, this looks to have the makings of a cracking game and my train tickets to nearby Derby are already booked.
For Colliers Wood, a bigger problem is now in place as their home pitch has suffered more problems. From their website, “The club have been forced to close down the main pitch at Wibbandune for the foreseeable future. The pitch was relaid during the summer thanks to a £71,000 FA grant and, up until November, had played superbly. However, a major problem has developed with the drainage, soil, grass and root system forcing the club into this drastic measure.” A more recent update has stated that the Wood will be playing their future home games at differing venues while they hope the problem is sorted quickly. Good luck to them.
ROAD TO WEMBLEY 2012/2013:
3RD ROUND: Colliers Wood United 2-3 Ascot United (Wibbandune Sports Ground, Att: 70)