Ascot Skipper Jesse Wilson celebrates an early second half goal. Photo: Mark Pugh.
Ascot Skipper Jesse Wilson celebrates an early second half goal. Photo: Mark Pugh.

Emirates FA Cup 2016/17: Ascot United FC to topple Tonbridge?

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Ascot Skipper Jesse Wilson celebrates an early second half goal. Photo: Mark Pugh.
Ascot Skipper Jesse Wilson celebrates an early second half goal. Photo: Mark Pugh.

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Ascot United have spent this season confounding expectations, but have the toughest Emirates FA Cup assignment on Sunday when they host second placed Ryman Premier Division side Tonbridge Angels in the First Qualifying Round.

The Yellamen are the last of the side Ficovers after Bracknell Town lost to Egham in the previous round.

United have already caused a little bit of an upset in this seasons competition by defeating Evo-Stik Division 1 side Didcot Town in the last round – but the Angels will be a different proposition.

Tonbridge Angels

Ascot United captain Dave Hancock lifts the Floodlit Cup. Photo: Mark Pugh.
Former Ascot United captain Dave Hancock lifts the Floodlit Cup. Photo: Mark Pugh.

If we expected the Yellamen to get past struggling Didcot – a division higher – then Tonbridge will be a game Ascot go into very much as underdogs.

The Kent side come to the glorious surroundings of Ascot Racecourse unbeaten in the Ryman Premier (two levels above the Hellenic Premier) and in second place.

Angels were a Conference South side until the summer of 2014 and after a 20th place finish in 14/15 they managed fourth last season – so they have pedigree as well as the former Brentford striker Nathan Elder in their ranks.

Records

Ascot have become adept at record breaking in recent seasons. Highest ever league finishes, quarter finals of the FA Vase twice but this season’s FA Cup first qualifying round appearance marks the furthest they have ever reached in the worlds oldest cup competition.

Ascot United celebrate a winner at home to Binfield FC. Photo: Colin Byers.
Ascot United celebrate a winner at home to Binfield FC. Photo: Colin Byers.

Last season they went out in the very first round to eventual Hellenic Premier champions Kidlington so they are already in the record books, but we’re sure they will have an eye on causing another upset.

A point to prove

United suffered a double Bank Holiday defeat at the weekend, losing at Longlevens and at home to local rivals Bracknell Town after an excellent start to the season that saw them win at Binfield.

The Yellamen will need inspiring performances from captain Jesse Wilson and top scorer Charlie Samuels if they are to progress at the weekend.

If they do make the second qualifying round on Sunday, they’ll be the first of our clubs to do so since Bracknell in 2003 – and they went on to a home draw with Barnet in the fourth qualifying round.

Main image: Jesse Wilson celebrates by Mark Pugh.

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