Davis sees Ardley continue to do things the hard way

Ardley United's Reece Bayliss takes on Bracknell Town's Callum Whitty
Ardley United's Reece Bayliss takes on Bracknell Town's Callum Whitty

Manager Paul Davis saw Ardley United pull off an unlikely victory to pick up three welcome UHLSport Helelnic League points.

Davis saw his side overcome a three-goal deficit to beat Bracknell Town in Saturday’s premier division clash with Elias Katasoloudi and Ade Talabi each bagging a brace.

Ardley again gave themselves a mountain to climb as some woeful defending saw the visitors race into a 3-0 lead inside 40 minutes. A low cross from Johnnie Dyer across the face of goal was assumed to be going out of play but Adam Cornell was given time to turn and shoot past Kieran Beesley.

Just before the half-hour mark Bracknell scored again when a corner was not fully cleared, allowing Danny Oliphant to lash the ball home from 20 yards, and a minute later Beesley was forced to make a finger-tip save to keep out a fierce drive from Dyer.

Ardley had several chances but efforts from Luke Cray, Jacob Daffern and Reece Bayliss either hit the bar or were narrowly wide. Those missed chances were punished in the 37th minute when more poor defending let in Cornell to score his second goal with ease.

Ardley gave themselves a lifeline just before the break when Talabi cut in to beat Garry Aulsberry on his near post, despite the Bracknell keeper getting a hand to the ball.

Davis made changes for the start of the second half, substituting two of the back four, and that change paid off after just five minutes. But, ironically, the difference came in attack as substitute Lewis Strafford scored with a drive from 20 yards when a corner kick was only partially cleared.

Attacking down the slope, Ardley were now asking all the questions and their speedy front runners were proving to be a handful for the visitors’ defence. The home side’s equaliser came in spectacular fashion when Talabi’s cross from the left was superbly hooked home with an overhead bicycle kick from Katasoloudi.

Moments later, Ardley went in front for the first time when Bayliss was brought down in the box and Katasoloudi stepped up to convert the ensuing spot-kick. Ardley increased their lead when Talabi broke clear with ten minutes remaining.

Bracknell pulled a goal back when Dyer forced the ball home with five minutes to go but were they undone by the pace of Bayliss again as he raced through to complete the scoring.