Holyport strikers Adam Davies and Jamie West linked up for a neat one-two which created the first chance for the hosts after six minutes, but the latter scooped his return pass off target.

At the other end goalkeeper Sam Southerden was soon in action - tipping Bennett’s effort over after he had latched onto Ross Seldon’s pass.

But in a quickfire break Holyport came even closer when Davies drilled a shot agonisingly wide after Jerrell Gumbs had seared up the left wing and crossed - albeit inadvertently helped onto Davies via Adam Paget’s sliced attempt.

The end-to-end action then saw Rob Saunders fouled on the edge of the area - before Southerden quickly adjusted his feet to beat away the resultant free kick.

Leon Yarnie then struck the crossbar for Ascot after Bennett picked him out near the penalty spot, before glancing Joe Grant’s teasing cross narrowly wide soon after.

With only a quarter of the match gone, chances continued to come Ascot’s way – although the wordwork denied the Yellamen again when Saunders’ audacious free kick from almost 40 yards beat Southerden and crashed back off the bar.

A largely quiet Holyport strikeforce offered little up front as the half progressed, although Paget might have given his side a half time lead had he got more power behind a header when well placed.

The hosts then benefitted from the stiff breeze behind their backs as the second half began, although in a quiet opening fifteen minutes where West lobbed wide for Holyport before seeing Chris Grace save a tame effort from the same player, Bennett gave Ascot the lead with a speculative shot that squirmed through the arms of Southerden.

Holyport pressed for an immediate response, although Paget was wasteful after Davies had turned provider.

However, it was Ascot who threatened again and were incensed when substitute Ian Brooks was unceremoniously hacked down as he shaped to shoot in the penalty area with 13 minutes remaining – but his side’s appeals fell on deaf ears.

Continuing to press, Andy Dean chipped narrowly over after picking up a loose ball following Bennett’s forward surge, but the impressive Bennett would set up Ascot’s second goal – albeit inadvertently – after Southerden was penalised for aiming a headbutt at the striker in the penalty area and was subsequently dismissed.

Brooks confidently despatched the resultant spot-kick low into the bottom right hand corner to seal the 2-0 victory, although there was still time for Fred Tripp to threaten for Holyport with a header over the bar after Grace was tempted off his line.

Ascot will continue their hunt for third place as they welcome Abingdon United to the Racecourse Ground on Saturday (3pm), before hosting Reading Town on Tuesday night (7.45pm).