Ardley hold off Reading fightback

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Ardley United held off a late Reading Town comeback to win 3-2 and record their fourth victory on the bounce.

Victory was essential for United as they hope to catch runaway Hellenic Premier Davison league leaders Marlow and they secured the three points in comfortable style despite the scoreline.

The result means Kevin Brock’s side are now 14 points behind Marlow.

Played on a heavy pitch, the first half proved to be a stalemate with Ardley controlling most of the possession but unable to create any goalscoring chances as Reading defended well to deny the home side.

However, the second half livened up and with Ardley playing down the slope, the home side finally got into their stride and took the lead 10 minutes into the half.

Having won a free-kick on the right, Ben Thomas headed the resulting cross at Reading goalkeeper Nathan Silver, who punched the effort into the feet of Steve Howkins and the striker made no mistake to give Ardley the lead.

Barely had the game restarted when the hosts doubled their advantage as this time Thomas found the net with a header from Stuart Bridge’s corner.

Ardley continued to dominate and added a third when a Joe Eyre cross was helped on by Ollie Stanbridge and Troy Bryan was on hand to head home.

Stanbridge himself should have made it 4-0 as he skipped past the Reading defence, rounded the goalkeeper but hit the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Despite that miss, United looked in control at 3-0 with 90 minutes gone and were seemingly heading for a comfortable three points before a late Reading onslaught.

Danny Seaward rifled in a 25-yard shot past Joe White to pull one back, before Steve Howkins handled in the area deep into added time and Seaward buried the spot kick, but that was the last of the action.

Ardley travel to Thame United later today.