Town hold leaders
Lydney knock Ascot off top
League leaders Ascot Utd arrived at the Rec on Saturday but they ended the day knocked off the top. With top scorer Lewis Thompson, midfielder Jake Morgan and defender Sam Elliott all unavailable Lydney gave starts to on loan Cheltenham keeper Ollie Hall and Cinderford Town striker Robbie Atkinson. Ross Gabriel, Keelan Hamblett, Frankie Johnson, Rich Thomas and Sam Wines made up the bench.
After Ascot striker Harry Laflin had volleyed wide on 6 minutes, Lydney went in front 4 minutes later. When Declan Morley-Lyne sent a flicked header into the path of Lewis Halford the speedy winger poked the ball beyond keeper Lee Allen. Lydney piled forward and could have had a second. Jack Rutter sent in a trademark free-kick but Morley-Lyne was unable to control and the ball bounced over the bar. At the other end Ascot's Christopher Ellis possessed the longest throw-in's ever witnessed at The Rec and his side seemed to over rely on his ability to hit the 6 yard box with everyone he took in Town's half. Fortunately the Lydney defence of Rutter, Sheppard, Baldwin and Handley backed up by keeper Hall managed to cope with the threat.
The league leaders drew level on 22 minutes. Lydney failed to prevent a cross from the right and Luqman Kassim had a free header from 6 yards. With spirits lifted the Berkshire outfit upped the pace and Laflin should have scored a second. With the goal gaping he screwed his effort horribly wide.
Town made them pay for the miss on the half hour mark. Some terrific work from Board and Sheen in midfield enabled Morley-Lyne to break clear of his marker. Town's inform striker pulled wide and hammered a superb drive past Allen. Lewis Halford pulled up with a tight hamstring just before the break and Frankie Johnson replaced him.
The second half continued to flow and Ascot levelled for a second time only 3 minutes in. Kassim found space just inside the area and scored with the aid of a deflection.
Undeterred, once again Lydney pushed on. They earned their reward on 55 minutes. Atkinson fed Man of the Match Jack Rutter down the right flank and his superb clipped cross was thumped home by Frankie Johnson. Ascot piled forward again and from another monster throw by Elliss central defender Fabian Eitienne put a free header over the top. The visitors levelled for a 3rd and final time with 20 minutes left. Following a goalmouth scramble Daniel Price fired home with the aid of another deflection. Ross Gabriel came off the bench to replace Board for the final quarter.
The game could have gone either way after the equaliser with both keepers tested in a frantic finish. Hall made a superb stop from a Sankoh volley, while at the other end Morley-Lyne's header was cleared off the line by Ellis.
Brackley Town's win at Longlevens saw them leapfrog Ascot into top spot and Lydney's next game is at Tuffley Rovers on Boxing day.