Ascot United are aiming to add Reading FC to their prized scalps when they face the Royals’ U23 side in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup final at Arbour Park in Slough next Saturday (3pm ko).

The Combined Counties League side have knocked out League One club Wycombe Wanderers and Southern League outfit Didcot Town during their long run in this season’s competition, and they quietly fancy their chances of causing an upset at Reading’s expense.

The Yellamen have never won this prestigious trophy before and manager Jamie Tompkins believes they are the first Step 5 club to have reached the final since the competition was reconstructed.

They have had to take the longest route possible to get there as their campaign commenced in the qualifying rounds, where they inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Windsor and then hammered Newport Pagnell Town 8-2.

This earned them a home game against Maidenhead United in the first round, only for the National League side to pull out to leave Ascot with a walkover.

Next up were Thatcham Town, but the Isthmian League club were thumped 3-0, and Ascot’s reward was a quarter-final trip to Didcot, where Ascot triumphed 3-1.


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At this stage, they were joined by EFL trio Wycombe Wanderers, Reading, who lost to Slough Town in the 2018-19 final, and Milton Keynes Dons.

The home tie with Wycombe attracted a crowd of 1,267, a record for the Racecourse Ground. There was no score after 90 minutes, but the hosts kept their cool and won the penalty shoot-out 3-1, with inspirational club captain Louis Bouwers netting the decisive spot-kick.

“That was such a big night for the club,” said Tompkins. “There was a great atmosphere and a great performance from the players as well. So we deserve to be in the final on merit.


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“We are looking forward to it very much as it gives us a great opportunity to play in front of a big crowd against a Reading team of young professionals.  It is a massive game, and I am sure there will be good support for both teams.”

Ascot will be without former Royals' favourite James Harper as he is cup-tied, having played for Windsor against United. The same reason rules out Kai Walters, previously with Chalfont St Peter, while young Charlie Morgan, who has been outstanding in recent games, was signed too late.

“Apart from those, we should have everybody else available; everyone wants to play in a cup final,” commented Tompkins, who has now guided the club to three cup finals.