ASCOT United fended off a mini-fightback by Highmoor IBIS to win 5-2 in their Hellenic League Premier Division relegation six-pointer at Scours Lane on Saturday.

The visitors raced into a 4-0 lead before Highmoor scored twice to cut the arrears, only for the Yellamen to kill the game off late-on.

Defeat for either side would have dealt a crushing blow to their respective chances of survival, and while Ascot had improved enough in recent weeks to list them just outside the drop zone, the bitter reality was that they possessed the worst away record in the league.

However, that record of one win, one draw and eight defeats on the road was made a mockery of, on an afternoon where Ben Hodges starred.

Conditions underfoot were appalling, although the Yellamen made light work of the mud as they raced into a 3-0 lead inside the opening half-hour.

Early-on, Lee Allen had denied Michael Parker for Highmoor and Hodges saw an effort tipped over by Aaron Watkins, but the impressive Matt Jones opened the scoring on the quarter-hour mark when he powerfully headed home from Jonny Denton’s cross.

Jones almost added his side’s second – heading Hodges’ corner goalward – but Trevor Mutero applied the final touch to give Ascot a 2-0 lead after 23 minutes.

The visitors made is 3-0 just three minutes later when Denton’s corner got stuck in the mud, and Ryan Cooper was in the right place to prod home the loose ball.

Highmoor rallied and Parker’s excellent angled effort beat Allen but cannoned back off the inside of the right-hand post before Allen saved again moments later following Parker’s cross, but the visitors missed the chance to take a 4-0 lead into the break when Mutero latched onto Jones’ flick-on and rounded Watkins, only to miss form a tight angle.

Debutant Phil da Silva entered the action for Mutero at half time, and his deft flick would create a scoring chance for Ross Seldon late-on, only for the latter to shoot tamely at Watkins.

Before all of that, Allen tipped Jamie Porter’s free-kick onto the bar after 59 minutes, with Joe Joslyn heading the rebound over the bar, but Ascot added a fourth when Louis Bouwers bundled home direct from another Hodges corner on 65 minutes.

Highmoor pulled a goal back with 15 minutes remaining when Bouwers cold only divert Parker’s dangerous free-kick past his own ‘keeper, before Parker capitalised on a ball over the top to cut the deficit to 4-2 with eight minutes left.

At the other end, Watkins stood up well to deny Da Silva, but Seldon bagged a deserved goal in the 89th minute when he slotted home after the Yellamen had worked the ball out of a short corner routine; Hodges inevitably involved once again.

Ascot United visit Wallingford Town in the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup on Saturday (3pm).