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Troy Bryan takes a shot at goal only to be stopped by Oxford keeper Juan Martin

Troy Bryan takes a shot at goal only to be stopped by Oxford keeper Juan Martin

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Ardley United manager Kevin Brock will be looking for his side to maintain their advantage at the top of the UHLSport Hellenic League when they travel to Highworth Town on Saturday.

Ardley beat Oxford City Nomads 4-1 on Saturday to stay five points clear in the premier division.

Both sides played some good passing football in the early stages, Nomads had the first chance while at the other end Ryan Brooks had some good chances but failed to take them.

Ardley went close again when some ping-pong in the area ended with Harry Brock’s shot being cleared off the line.

Ardley broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when Brock turned provider, his cross found the unmarked Brooks in the middle and he made no mistake from close range.

An even start to the second half made for an entertaining game which could have gone either way, but it was the home side that went further ahead just after the hour mark.

Brock broke down the left flank and shot straight at Juan Martin but the ball bounced out of the keeper’s grasp, over his shoulder and into the net.

Just a minute later, an attempted clearance by Paul Alder was miskicked and the ball went high in the air and it flew over the stranded keeper and dropped into the net.

Although both sides continued to play a good passing game the better chances were still falling to the home side, but it was the visitors who pulled one back in the 83rd minute following a goal-mouth scramble when Louis Joyce fired home.

Nomads continued to press to try to reduce the arrears even further but the home defence was holding firm and it was Ardley who scored again deep into stoppage-time when substitute Steve Howkins was played through.

His first effort was saved by Martin but he followed up to slot home.