Wednesday nights Combined Counties League Premier Cup Third Round tie at Balham saw another milestone passed for Ascot United’s attacking youngster James Richardson who was handed the captaincy by manager Jamie Tompkins.
Ascot advanced thanks 2-1 thanks to goals from Aiden Higgs and Harry Laflin, both goals assisted by Richardson who rounded things off with a man of the match display in Wimbledon.
Speaking to Football in Berkshire, Tompkins said he’d been thoroughly impressed with his former England schoolboy. He said: “He’d had seven or eight weeks out, he did his hamstring early in the season but he’s been back fitter and stronger the last few weeks. He’s played three lots of 90 minutes recently.”
Regular captain Louis Bouwers wasn’t part of the match day squad with Tompkins saying he’d targeted the game as an opportunity for some of the clubs younger players. Picking Richardson to take on the role in a young squad was, he said an “an easy decision.”
Tompkins said: “He’s a role model to the youngsters – he’s where they want to be – and he leads by example.”
The future then looks bright for Richardson who last season represented England at Schoolboy level with Tompkins saying he very much had his feet on the ground: “He’s very modest, he could have taken opportunities in the summer but he knows he needs to be playing regularly and not sitting on the bench a few levels higher. He’s always trying to get better and he reflects really well on all his performances.
“I definitely believe he can go on in the game but I’d like it to be with us up a level at the end of this season.
“We want him to progress of course, but with us. However if higher level opportunities come in we’ll help him.”
Tompkins side top of the Combined Counties League Premier Division by one point from Spelthorne Sports who they play on Saturday 8th February.
Ascot host Egham Town at the Racecourse on Saturday before a top of the table clash at Spelthorne Sports on Saturday 8th February.