Tonight sees the first of the Uhlsport Hellenic League first team finals as Ascot United face Brimscombe & Thrupp in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup Final reports Darrell Freeland.
41 participated in this competition but congratulations to the remaining two teams and good luck in the final this evening which is being held at Yarnton Road, home of Kidlington.
Look out for our live tweets this evening and here’s our three things to expect this tonight:
Whilst the first time visitor might not necessarily spot the changes, regular visitors to Yarnton Road will notice the ground improvements as Kidlington prepare for life in the Southern League.
The improvement works included adding an extra 50 seats to the main stand, putting in two new turnstiles, a media area and hospitality facilities for visiting officials.
I’ve been a regular visitor to Kidlington but have not visited this season so I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements.
A fresh Ascot side
The Yellamen have only played twice in April with both matches being victories.
On Saturday 9th April, they defeated Brackley Town Saints 4-1 before they completed their league campaign two days later beating local rivals Binfield 1-0.
That means they’ve had a full ten days rest and preparation time for this evening’s showcase event and in Chris Grace (pictured above) have a goalkeeper who has played in every Hellenic Premier League game this season.
Congrats to Garry Aulsberry, Chris Grace, Ellis Hecules Bradley Martin and Sam Warrell who played in every single HLP game for their club.
— Hellenic Updates (@hellenicupdates) April 18, 2016
Having previously won the Bluefin Sports (UHL) Challenge Cup, manager Jeff Lamb will be looking to add the Floodlit Cup to his collection.
It’s a complete contrast for opponents Brimscombe & Thrupp who have played seven times in April and certainly will be considered underdogs tonight.
They lost in the Bluefin Sports (UHL) Challenge Cup semi final last Wednesday as Brackley Town Saints recorded a 2-0 victory.
Whilst several teams finished their league campaign at the weekend, the Lilywhites beat Flackwell Heath 5-2 but still had two more matches to play.
On Monday this week, it was a 3-2 home loss to Thatcham Town whilst they even had to play last night (insert sentence on Highmoor result).
Sadly for B&T, their reserve side played on Tuesday and also have a match this evening so they have been unable to simply rest players and play the first team matches with reserve players.
That means there was no ten day break to prepare like Ascot, the Gloucestershire side have had a full 24 hours to get ready.
On paper at least, it’s fourth place vs. fifth place in the Premier Division so should be a cracking final but the reality is that Ascot will start clear favourites by virtue of their much reduced schedule of late and we’d be surprised if the Lilywhites prevail.
I am predicting a 2-0 or 2-1 win for Ascot.
We hope that it is a good final not spoilt by B&T’s mountain of matches in April.
The road to the final for both sides has been:
Reading Town 0 – 5 Ascot United
North Leigh United0 – 3Brimscombe & Thrupp
Ascot United 5 – 0 Chinnor
Cirencester Town ‘Dev’0 – 4 Brimscombe & Thrupp
Carterton 2 – 4 Ascot United
Brimscombe & Thrupp 3 – 0 Lydney Town
Ascot United 2 – 1 Flackwell Heath
Thatcham Town 2 – 4 Brimscombe & Thrupp