Two-goal hero Darren Beckett seals victory for Ardley battlers

Troy Bryan was one of the Ardley scorers
Troy Bryan was one of the Ardley scorers

Ardley United are looking back on a momentous Saturday in the Hellenic Premier Division which saw them enjoy a thrilling 4-3 victory at Kidlington.

Darren Beckett was the hero as he grabbed a rare brace, the second goal sealing victory in the 81st minute, supported by goals from Nick Thorne and Troy Bryan.

Ardley took the lead in the fifth minute when Nick Thorne cut in from the left wing but his run into the box was ended as he was felled by a defender. Darren Beckett stepped up to convert the penalty.

Ardley doubled their lead in the 24th minute when a free kick reached Thorne on the left side and he again outpaced the defence to unleash a shot past home keeper Tom McNamara.

Kidlington got themselves back into the game 10 minutes later when, following some good work down the left flank by Danny Clarke, the ball reached an unmarked Lewis Coyle at the far post and his shot sailed past Ardley keeper Ryan Watt. Three minutes before the break the visitors restored their two-goal advantage when a through ball was reached first by Troy Bryan who steered it past the keeper.

Three minutes into the second half Kidlington pulled a goal back. A free kick 25 yards out was expertly bent around the Ardley wall by Ryan Curtin to find the far corner of the net.

A goalmouth melee then ended with Adam Beckett dribbling the ball clear only to be scythed down by a tackle which the referee saw as a fair challenge. With Beckett on the floor, the ball was played back in for Curtin to stab it home through a forest of players while the Ardley players protested at the earlier challenge. The visitors refused to allow this to rattle them and they were rewarded with the winner five minutes from time. Prior to this season, long-serving defender Darren Beckett had never scored for his team but he turned an unlikely goal into an unheard of double when he appeared on the right edge of the box to receive Stuart Bridges’ pass and slam the ball past McNamara to the delight of his team-mates.