ASCOT United’s poor defending cost them dearly as they were edged out 3-2 by Highmoor Ibis in the Hellenic League Premier Division on Saturday.

Despite the heroics of keeper Lee Allen, the home side were always playing catch-up against a side seeking their first league win of the season, piling more misery on the Ascot faithful.

Allen’s tremendous diving save to turn Alfie Grant’s thunderous effort wide was the first meaningful action after 13 minutes, but the visitors were ahead two minutes later when Devonn Reid netted.

Ascot improved and almost scored through James Goodey and Rory Knibbs headers.

Highmoor added a second when Mitchell Parker’s corner drifted through a crowded penalty area and into the net for an own goal five minutes before the break, and although Jonny Denton’s free-kick for Ascot was well saved by Aaron Watkins, the hosts trailed 2-0 at the interval.

Knibbs saw an early second-half effort well saved by Watkins, and they were cut the gap when Denton curled home a 55th-minute free-kick after Watkins had been penalised for carrying the ball outside the penalty area.

Goodey should have levelled the scores in the 68th minute but could only shoot into the side netting when clean through, before substitute Sam Boultwood conceded a penalty two minutes later, and Parker converted.

With 15 minutes now remaining the task was even greater for Ascot, although Allen produced another brilliant save to tip substitute Luke Cox’s header over as Highmoor sought a fourth.

Knibbs did bundle home in a consolation goal in injury time, but the damage was already done.

Ascot host Farnham Town in the FA Vase on Sunday (3pm), and visit Thatcham Town in the league next Tuesday (7.45pm).

  • SANDHURST Town were held to a 0-0 draw at Milton United in their Hellenic League Division One East clash on Saturday.

The fourth-placed Fizzers travel to Chinnor on Saturday (3pm).

  • WOKINGHAM & Emmbrook return to Hellenic League Division One East action with a home game against Penn & Tylers Green on Saturday (3pm).
  • EVERSLEY & California's perfect start to the Combined Counties League Division One season was halted as they were thumped 5-0 at Chessington & Hook United on Saturday.

The Boars were due to host Fleet Spurs last night (Tuesday), before visiting Ringworth Town in the FA Vase on Saturday (3pm), and CB Hounslow in the Southern Combination Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).