In-form Ardley continue impressive start

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Ardley United continued their unbeaten start to the season with back-to-back wins this week, beating Abingdon United and Cheltenham Saracens.

Those victories keep Kevin Brock’s side fourth in the Hellenic Premier Division having won seven of their nine games so far this season, and they could go top if they win their games in hand over the three teams above them.

Ryan Books was the star for United as his hat-trick helped Ardley to kick off the week with a 4-1 victory away at bottom of the table Abingdon.

The visitors took control from the first minute, bombarding the home goal with five shots on target in the opening 10 minutes, but had to wait until the 25th minute to take the lead when a through ball from Troy Bryan released Brooks and his clinical finish set Ardley on their way.

Abingdon, who are yet to gain a single point from any of their 12 matches this season, came close to equalising as a long-range shot flew just wide, before Kieran Cochrane forced the visiting goalkeeper into a good save.

A minute prior to half time the home side’s pressure paid off and they went into half time level after a corner found skipper Graham Edney, who turned the ball into the net.

Ardley made a barnstorming start to the second half and re-asserted their dominance, needing just four minutes to restore their lead as Kelvin Mcintosh slotted the ball to Brooks, who took a touch and gave goalkeeper Chris Rackley no chance with a neat finish.

Three minutes later, the visitors gave themselves a two-goal cushion when Troy Bryan headed home Callum Convey’s whipped cross.

Both sides had chances in the remaining half hour but it was Ardley who added to their tally as Brooks completed his hat-trick, as well as an emphatic United win, with a simple tap-in.

Brooks was again on-form on Tuesday evening to score the winner 10 minutes from time against Cheltenham. Jordan Bryan had given Saracens an 11-second lead but Convery levelled things before Brooks grabbed the winner.

This weekend, Ardley host Malmesbury Victoria.