ASCOT United’s new manager Neil Richards made a winning start this week when his side defeated Rotherfield United 3-0 in the Reading Senior Cup.

“We got out of it what we hoped we would get – a win and a clean sheet – so that was important,” he said.

It was, however, a low-key start to what is a new era for the club, as Rotherfield are a struggling Thames Valley League side who have managed just one win all season.

A much tougher test will come this Saturday, when the Yellamen visit Royal Wootton Bassett, having met the same opponents in their last league match, a 3-1 defeat at home on January 7.

Since then, the club have seen a complete change in the team management, with several players also leaving.

The latest departures include two of their best players – keeper Carl Dennison, who has moved to Chalfont St Peter, and central defender Jesse Wilson, now with Slough and, in all probability, a dual registration with Burnham.

This led to Richards, previously the club’s development manager, elevating some of the club’s talented youngsters to his first-team squad and they didn’t let him down in Tuesday’s second-round tie.

He said: “We have a balance of experience and youth, and I thought it worked well tonight.

“We have got a good group of 18 to 20 and will stick with those for the moment.”

Richards, whose side languish 13th in the table but clear of the relegation zone, said his plans for the rest of the season are to “work hard in training, keep the group together, get some consistency and introduce youth players when we can.”

Ascot are in the Hellenic Supplementary Cup as well as the Reading Senior.

In the latter, they joined league rivals Henley – 2-1 winners over Hurst – in the last eight following Tuesday’s victory.

In a one-sided first half, Louie Gilpin, Louie Bouwers and Leigh Begam found the net, but the the hosts were kept out for the rest of the game by Rotherfield keeper Mark Compton.

Binfield, having slammed Sandhurst 5-2 in the Bluefin Hellenic League Cup last Saturday, won by the same scoreline on Tuesday when they visited Combined Counties League side Frimley Green in a friendly.

Both sides included development players, with Moles manager Roger Herridge pleased to “give valuable minutes to some players and a chance to look at others.”

He is hopeful of making a new signing before the home league game with Longlevens on Saturday.

Herridge will no doubt be discussing the Gloucestershire side this week with Bracknell Town manager Mark Tallentire, as the Robins came from a goal down at half-time to beat them 5-3 last Saturday.

Table-topping Town are without a game this weekend, but return to Ardley next Tuesday evening, having lost 3-1 there last week in the Hellenic Floodlit Cup.

“It will be a different story this time,” predicts Tallentire.

Wokingham & Emmbrook, third-bottom in the table and without a game last weekend, are home to Chalfont Wasps in a Division One East fixture.