For the second week running the CTYFC Rebels went into another tough league fixture with a depleted team, travelling to local rivals Ascot Utd with a squad of just 13. We were still carrying injuries too and Lewis only came out of a 10 day isolation on match day and started on the bench alongside Josh. We started strongly and opened the scoring in just the 3rd minute. Fred floating a corner in from the right, and after an aerial challenge the ball fell to Oli at the back post who finished well on the half volley with his left foot back across goal into the far corner. A lapse in concentration 5 minutes later saw the scores level, when we switched off defensively at a free kick that saw Ascot react quicker to poke the ball past Dom. We were quickly back on the front foot and Fred went close when his shot from the left was well saved. We regained the lead when Erim did brilliantly to win the ball in midfield and released a great ball to find Mikey down the left channel. He beat his man and got a shot away which was blocked, but Mikey reacted first to the rebound to find the far corner. 5 minutes later it was 3-1. Kris again winning the ball in midfield and finding Mikey down the left. His first time lofted cross found Oli at the back post who had timed his run well to volley in a lovely first time finish. Having started the game well JJ couldn’t continue and was replaced by Josh after 25 minutes. We were punished again on 26 minutes when we couldn’t clear our lines from a corner. The ball was recycled by Ascot on the left side of our box and we couldn’t get a tackle in and a good shot cross goal reduced the deficit. We had played some lovely football throughout the half, moving the ball quickly and creating some good openings. HT 2-3. We started the 2nd half slowly and conceded the equaliser just 2 minutes into the second half. We were now on the back foot and Ascot took the lead on 48 minutes when a cross from our right was not cleared and found an unmarked attacker at the back post who couldn’t miss from close range. The boys were naturally tiring and the quick and accurate passing and possession that served us so well in the first half was missing and we just kept giving the ball away. We kept chipping away though and pushed forward in the search of an equaliser of our own. Mikey did well down the left to beat the keeper to a long ball but his cross evaded Oli and Zahir with the goal gaping. Fred also made a good surging run down the left but his shot was off target. Lewis came on for the last 15 minutes in place of James who again had worked tirelessly all game. We kept searching and probing and Isaac got up well from a Hayden free kick but couldn’t direct his header on target. James replaced Mikey for the last 2 minutes having run himself into the ground. In the dying seconds of injury time Lewis was clipped just outside the box. Fred stepped up from 20 yards and curled an absolute beauty into the top corner to level it at the death and it proved to be the last kick of the game. FT 4-4. With their backs against the wall again the boys showed superb determination and resilience to take a deserved point. Dom had surprisingly little to do and didn’t really have a save to make and was unfortunate with the goals we conceded today. Josh, Hayden, Isaac and Fred defended really well and battled for every ball. Kris and Erim in the heart of midfield again showed great energy, true grit and determination and both had direct involvement in 2 of our 4 goals. Zahir and James both showed great commitment and desire to the cause whilst Oli and Mikey defended from the front and took their chances well. The Rebels team spirit shone through again today and everyone played their part yet again. Man of the match went to Fred for his brilliant free kick, good set piece deliveries and constant attacking threat. We take the point and go again next week having played some great stuff today but knowing we must be better in keeping possession of the ball.