Howards grabs a hat-trick as Ardley book last four spot

Leam Howards completed a hat-trick for Ardley United
Leam Howards completed a hat-trick for Ardley United
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Manager Paul Davis will be looking for his side to book their place in the UHLSport Hellenic League Bluefin Sports Supplementary Challenge Cup final on Saturday.

Ardley progressed to Saturday’s semi-final with a 5-1 success at Chalfont Wasps and now face Bicester Town in the last four.

Credit to our front line, they are all firing and hopefully now we can get to this cup final

Ardley manager Paul Davis

Ardley produced a dominant first half display at Chalfont which left the hosts trailing 4-0 at the break. Despite the home side clawing a goal back early in the second half, Leam Howards completed his second hat-trick in a week to kill off the tie.

United took a third minute lead when Howards cut in from the left and from inside the box curled his shot into the top corner. Two minutes later Carl Tappin doubled Ardley’s lead when he ran onto a flick-on and beat keeper Dan Little.

Matt Cruse added a third goal in the 34th minute when Howards got down the left and squared to his strike partner who side-footed into the unguarded net. Three minutes later Troy Bryan hooked a pass over his shoulder to Howards who rounded Little and fired home.

Howards had the ball in the net again before the break but the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside.

Wasps reduced the arrears in the 53rd minute when Kieron Webb got in behind the Ardley defence and smashed his shot into the bottom corner of the net. But Howards completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute after Nathaniel Lewars saw his run into the box blocked.

Davis said: “I thought we started the game superbly, that’s been a long time coming.

“We took the game to Chalfont and I thought we really were that good.

“The second half was never going to live up to the first but to be fair to Chalfont they did come out and have a go. They had a couple of other half chances but our front line are all firing and hopefully now we can get to this cup final.”