ASCOT United will meet near neighbours Windsor in the Bluefin Sports Cup final at Ardley United on Bank Holiday Monday, May 6 after defeating Wantage 1-0, writes Dave Wright.

With both clubs having to make a 50-plus mile trip, much of it on the M40 to Bicester, it seems a strange choice of venue. Ascot manager Jamie Tompkins was even prepared to play at Windsor's Stag Meadow.

A first-half goal from Kai Walters secured a deserved victory on Saturday in the last game to be played at the Racecourse Ground this season and the last on grass before the installation of a 3G pitch.

It was also a tie which saw what surely must be the miss of the season in Hellenic League football and there are also fears it could have been skipper Louis Bouwers' final league appearance of the campaign.

The centre-back lasted only eight minutes before limping off with a re-occurrence of the quad injury he sustained against Reading City two weeks ago and will struggle to be fit for his side's three remaining away games.

He handed the captain's armband to Chris Ellis with substitute Callum Carlisle coming off the subs bench, and both played a big part in their team's success.

The inspirational Ellis produced another man-of-the-match performance despite suffering a leg injury early in the second half.

The Freds, favourites to win the league title and who before Saturday were still in three cup competitions, had chances to win this semi-final, twice coming within inches of scoring, but in the end, were unable to reply to Walters' winner.

It came in the 24th minute from a chance set up by full-back George Lock's through ball down the Ascot right. Keeper Curtis Meare came racing off his line, but Walters got to it first and slotted home from a tight angle, the ball going in via the inside of the far post. It was his first goal for the club.

Ascot had to battle hard to retain their slender advantage, particularly in the second half when the visitors upped the tempo, but, with Ellis and Carlisle prominent, they defended magnificently and a clean sheet was thoroughly deserved.

The Yellamen should have put the tie beyond doubt shortly before the end when Geoff Kibaki broke through the middle and rounded the oncoming Meare to leave himself with just a tap in. Teammates were on their way to congratulate him, the fans were on their feet.

Yet, inexplicably, Kibaki, who had played well, managed to shin the ball over the gaping goal from close range. He sank to the ground to hide his embarrassment.

Fifth in the Premier Division table, Ascot travel to third-placed Brackley Town Saints this coming Saturday, their hosts having seen their title hopes severely dented by a shock 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Reading City last weekend.