FA Cup campaign continues as Ardley extend unbeaten start to season

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Ardley United are into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup after they beat Combined Counties Premier Division side Hanworth Villa 1-0.

The result continued Ardley’s good start to the season – and they extended their unbeaten run to eight games on Tuesday evening when they defeated Bracknell Town 3-1.

Played in near perfect conditions, the FA Cup tie against Hanworth was a battle between the two midfields, with little in the way of goal-mouth action at either end.

The first half was a placid affair, Hanworth had the first opportunity when Andrew Juett shot from range, but his effort was dealt with comfortably by Ardley goalkeeper Jack Harding.

It was then the home side’s turn to try their luck as Ryan Brooks fed Ollie Stanbridge but his volley was well blocked by a defender. They were the only two efforts on target in the opening 45 minutes.

Ten minutes into the second half, a free-kick by the home side’s Dean Smith was headed onto the bar by Chris Jackson.

Play was beginning to open up, but it was not until the 68th minute when a long clearance released Brooks, who shook off the attention of two defenders and placed his shot wide of Terry Buss in the visitors goal to open the scoring.

Immediately Hanworth responded, Juett beating the Ardley defence to get his shot away, but was again denied by Harding.

The game now came to life with Hanworth pushing on for the equaliser, although Brooks could have had his seal the points but a high bounce on the hard surface made it difficult to control and his effort was dealt with by the keeper.

Hanworth piled forward in search of an equaliser but Ardley held on to book their place in the next round, where they will host the winners of the Binfield v Cheltenham Saracens on September 14.

United also continued their good league form this week, beating Bracknell 3-1 on Tuesday thanks to goals from Ryan Brooks, Ollie Stanbridge and Jon Gardner. Ardley are currently fourth in the Premier Division.