Ascot United win 2022/23 FA Vase

Kai Walters gets the knee slide in, in the FA Vase Final. Photo: Neil Graham.
Kai Walters gets the knee slide in, in the FA Vase Final. Photo: Neil Graham.

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Ascot United are the 2022/23 FA Vase winners after Kai Walters brilliant header was enough to beat Newport Pagnell Town 1-0 at Wembley Stadium.

The Yellas were under pressure for a lot of the game but a brilliant Sean McCormack cross found first half sub-Walters ghosted in late at the near post to head home.

A first half arguably saw Newport gain upper hand with the Yellas taking time to get going. The sense of occasion around the ground was palpable and understandably perhaps the Bucks sides experience with that showed.

An early head injury that saw Rob Gerrard substituted for Walters no doubt had a hand in that with George Lock switching to a left back role.

Whatever was said at half time clearly inspired the Yellas though with the bar struck and a couple of chances going begging, but as the game wore on top scored Brendan Matthew became isolated.

The game looked as though it might go the way of all four quarter finals and both semi finals and be decided by penalties, but the introduction of Marcus Mealing – as it so often has this season – provided the turning point.

A tireless nuisance, Mealing gave Matthew a partner up front and pulled Ascot back up the field.

Man of the Match Sean McCormack provided the moment, picking up a cross that eluded Mealing, he found Walters at the near post, ghosting in with perfect timing to beat the goalkeeper with a header.

Ascot weathered a late push from Newport and a roar erupted at the full time whistle.

Scenes indeed.

All photos by Neil Graham.

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