Ardley United’s recent good run was ended by Thame United in Saturday’s 3-2 UHLSport Hellenic League derby defeat.
The premier division contest didn’t so much start as explode into life with a goal for each side within the first two minutes.
Ade Talabi picked up the ball on the left and surged past a defender before squaring to Elias Katsoloudi who found the net via keeper Lee Farrow. Barely had the game restarted than Thame pulled level when a cross from the right reached Andy Gledhill who fired past Ardley keeper Jake Butler on his debut.
Despite the setback, Ardley looked the more likely to score. Talabi, in particular, was giving the visitors defence a torrid time, and Thame were indebted to Farrow for keeping them at bay.
But the game turned midway through the first half when Talabi was injured and had to be replaced. Thame quickly took advantage, Chris Jackson was robbed of the ball on the right flank and the cross found Dan West who slotted home in the 27th minute
A minute from halftime a similar move ended with the ball being bundled home by Ellis Hercules to send his side in 3-1 up and give Ardley a mountain to climb in the second half.
Thame were reduced to ten men on the hour mark, a through ball put Reece Bayliss clear of the defence but he was brought down from behind by Aiden Bailey who was adjudged to be the last defender and shown the red card.
The ensuing free-kick was defended but the ball was played back into the box by Carl Tappin and headed over the keeper and into the net by Katsoloudi.
Although facing ten men, Ardley could not break down a resolute Thame who contained them with relative ease. The closest Ardley came to equalising was when Luke Cray headed on to the bar from a 90th minute corner.