Leaders Ardley ease to victory to extend unbeaten run

Ardley's Ben Thomas. Picture by Steven Prouse.
Ardley's Ben Thomas. Picture by Steven Prouse.

Ardley United remain unbeaten in all competitions since November 16 after three second half goals saw off Brimscombe & Thrupp at the weekend.

A brace from Stuart Bridges and Ryan Brooks’ 36th league goal of the season kept United top of the Hellenic Premier Division - but Wantage Town have reduced Ardley’s lead to four points by winning their first of three games in hand on Tuesday evening.

The home side enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in a goalless first half, but they were unable to fashion many goalscoring opportunities with Troy Bryan going closest as his effort was easily saved the the visiting goalkeeper, while Jack Harding remained untested in the Ardley goal.

After the break, Ardley picked up the tempo and made amends for their below-par first period, making the breakthrough just two minutes into the half when Bridges volleyed home.

Brimscombe had a fine chance to equalise but Ashley Brown headed wide and thereafter Ardley seized control of the match to seal all three points with goals from Bridges on 65 minutes and Brooks five minutes from full-time.

Ardley travel to Flackwell Heath on Saturday before entertaining Binfield next Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday, Ardley booked their place in the semi-finals of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup after a 3-2 win at North Leigh.

The game was just three minutes old when Stuart Bridges stabbed home from close range to put Ardley ahead before the visitors increased their lead through Ollie Stanbridge. North Leigh pulled one back but Steve Howkins’ goal sealed Ardley’s place in the semi-finals, where they will face Oxford City.