Ade Talabi came off the bench to complete a second half hat-trick as improving Ardley United thumped Royal Wootton Bassett 7-1 in Saturday’s UHLSport Hellenic League clash.
But Ardley could easily have fallen behind in the premier division clash when Steve Robertson shot wide in the opening seconds. Ardley replied with Chris Jackson and Jacob Daffern putting chances narrowly wide before Kieran Beesley came to his side’s rescue.
Ardley took a 15th minute lead when a Reece Bayliss free-kick from 25 yards flew past keeper Curtis Meare and into the far corner. That signalled a period of control for Ardley as they dominated with Bayliss in particular tormenting the visitors’ defence.
Ardley could not add to their score before the break and Bassett had an early chance to equalise after the restart but Steve Olphert put his effort just wide. The visitors enjoyed their best possession without ever troubling Ardley and two substitutions just after the hour mark proved to be pivotal. Talabi played Lewis Hayden into the box and his cross left Elias Katsoloudi with a tap-in to double their lead.
Five minutes later Katsoloudi’s corner found Talabi on the near post and his looping back-header dropped into the net to make it 3-0. Bassett gave themselves a brief glimmer of hope when Steve Robertson pulled a goal back but before the dust had settled from that, Jacob Daffern’s corner-kick from the left sailed over everyone including keeper Meare to find the net via the far post.
An 85th minute corner was headed on by Lewis Strafford and Talabi who, despite having his back to goal, back-heeled the ball into the net.
Ardley duly scored two more goals. The unmarked Katsoloudi bagged his second goal in the 90th minute, converting a cross, and deep into added-time Talabi completed his hat-trick, heading home another corner.