ASCOT United manager Neil Richards admitted his men will “battle as hard as they can” in a bid to turn things around. But he admits it is not going to be easy, writes Dave Wright.

Following four straight Hellenic League games defeats the Yellaman were knocked out of the FA Vase on Sunday when Farnham Town triumphed 3-1 at the Racecourse Ground.

It was the sixth successive league and cup game where they have conceded at least three goals.

So it came as no surprise when Richards revealed: “We need someone with experience at the back and in the centre of midfield.

“We know the areas we need to strengthen and we are doing our best to try to bring in players, but it’s not easy.”

In addition to conceding goals, United are also finding it difficult to score at the other end.

“We are not taking our chances and we’re making mistakes at the back,” admitted Richards.

Both contributed to their defeat at the hands of Farnham, a side struggling themselves in the Combined Counties League.

The visitors, with the wind behind them, made the better start to this first qualifying-round tie and their early pressure paid off with a 13th-minute opener from Josh Stepney.

There was a scramble in front of goal during which keeper Lee Allen received a bang on his head and it was four minutes before he was able to resume.

Allen recovered in time to see Charlie Bath’s shot come back off the inside of the post.

Ascot drew level in the 25th minute when Jonny Denton’s corner from the right was headed down for Robert Lazarczuk to flick into the net.

It was a goal they so badly needed as they needed to raise their game, but United suffered a blow when Louis Bouwers limped off with a hamstring injury just before half-time.

The hosts made a bright start to the second half and two good chances fell to Lazarczuk.

He fired the first straight at keeper Adrian Giles and the second flew low past the left-hand post. Then Rory Knibbs raced clear, but he was too hasty and shot wide.

Richards reflected: “Had one or two of those chances gone in, then I think it would have given us a lift and we would have gone on to win the game.”

Ascot had a lucky escape when Stephen headed over an empty net when it looked easier to score, but shortly afterwards they found themselves trailing again.

Allen brought down Jack Dillon to concede a penalty and skipper Max Meaton made no mistake from the spot on 75 minutes.

And seven minutes later Charlie Bath put the issue beyond doubt with Farnham’s third although Lazarczuk, from long distance, and substitute Mo Davies, who hit the bar, were not far away with a second for the hosts.

Forward Davies was making his debut following his transfer from Binfield.

Richards emerged from the dressing room to tell the News: “There are a lot of disappointed lads in there. They are committed and a good group and will battle hard to turn things around.

“But it won’t be easy for a time as we are up against the top sides.”

Lazarczuk was also the goalscorer as Ascot lost 3-1 to Thatcham Town in the Premier Division of the Hellenic League on Tuesday.

They host Highworth this Saturday (3pm).