Ascot United to cash in on Vase venue change
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Ascot United player/manager Jeff Lamb.
JEFF Lamb wants his Ascot United side to show the fans what they're made of when they take on Newport Isle of Wight this weekend.
To the sheer delight of players, staff and supporters at Ascot, the FA Vase fifth round tie was switched to the Racecourse this week due to on-going problems with the pitch at Newport.
In an ironic twist of fate, Newport will now have to make the journey to Berkshire this Saturday, a week after Ascot made the pointless trip to Isle of Wight for match that was postponed.
And Lamb is keen to ensure they take full advantage of the reversal of fortunes.
He said he has deliberately kept the players in the dark over all the off-the-field issues surrounding the game in a bid to keep them focused on the job in hand.
Player-manager Lamb told the News: "I think we need to make this count. It's been building up all week and the lads just want to play the fixture now.
"There's always the added pressure when you're at home because you've got more people coming to watch. There's a massive buzz around the club and we can't wait till Saturday."
The Yellamen have had to overcome their fair share of adversity to reach the fifth round.
Lamb has been hammering home the message to his players to seize their golden opportunity, with substantial prize money on offer to the winning team who face a mammoth trip Co.Durham side Shildon in the quarter finals.
"People have started taking notice of our results and are starting to follow Ascot," he said. "We need to make sure we show supporters what we're all about and really enjoy the occasion.
"We want to try and get more people through the gate and it's a great opportunity for us."
An added bonus is the fact that all the Hellenic teams in the Bracknell area play away from home this weekend, leaving Ascot's Vase tie by far and away the biggest game in the area.
Getting past Newport will be no easy task though, as assistant manager Paul McGrotty acknowledges.
"We know the draw, the big word is quarter-finals, but we've got such a big job to do on Saturday. Newport will be a tough game, they're a good outfit."
He added: "I'll be reminding the players of the wasted journey that we had and not to let this opportunity pass us by.
"What's happened has obviously given the tie an extra twist. It should spur both teams on - we've got the wasted journey and they've got to deal with the fact that they're not at home."
The match at the Racecourse kicks off at 3pm, with tickets costing £6 and all accompanied U16s go free. If the match is a draw, a replay will take place next Tuesday.
This article appeared in Bracknell News 15 Feb 13