Ardley make most of early advantage

Carl Tappin was on target for Ardley United at Abingdon United
Carl Tappin was on target for Ardley United at Abingdon United

Three first half goals saw Ardley United to a 3-0 victory against Abingdon Utd at Northcourt Road in Saturday’s UHLSport Hellenic League clash.

With the visitors having been crushed by Abingdon in early September, triggering the resignation of manager Kevin Brock, the hosts were looking to achieve a season’s double which, given their league position, would have been a notable accomplishment.

The reality, however, was somewhat different as Ardley made most of the running and never seemed in danger of losing the premier division contest.

Their early pressure saw Troy Bryan head just over the bar from a corner kick and Reece Bayliss put a free-kick narrowly wide. But they took a 13th minute lead when Luke Cray headed home a corner.

It was 2-0 just five minutes later when Ade Talabi’s pass found Carl Tappin 35 yards out. Riding a challenge, Tappin launched a shot which took a deflection and looped over keeper Jack Griffiths and into the net.

Abingdon skipper Jason Smith had a chance which he put over the bar before Ardley had an opportunity to extend their lead when Jacob Daffern was tripped in the box. Elias Katsoloudi stepped up to take the penalty kick but saw the ball cannon off the post and deflect on to the other post before being claimed by Griffiths.

The hosts enjoyed their best spell of the game and had a couple of chances which both fell to Zack Field but he was unable to get either on target. Four minutes before the break Ardley went into a 3-0 lead when a corner kick was cleared out to Declan Hartigan whose shot was blocked only as far as Bryan who slotted home from close range.

The second period was goal-less with neither side creating many problems and the game duly petered out, condemning Abingdon to defeat in their final home game.