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FOOTBALL: Oh Brother! Ardley slip to fourth spot
10:00am Thursday 29th August 2013 in Sport
Ardley United ended their Bank Holiday weekend with a 1-1 home draw against Abingdon Town on Monday.
The result saw Kevin Brock’ side slip to fourth in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division table.
Leading through a Ryan Brooks strike, the hosts failed to add to their tally and were punished when Brooks’s brother Jamie snatched an equaliser.
Ardley had started the stronger, with Steve Howkins denied by Gareth Walker in the Abingdon goal.
On 23 minutes, Ardley went ahead.
Ollie Stanbridge and Stuart Bridges combined to set up Brooks, who calmly rounded Walker before clipping the ball home.
A minute later, Ardley almost doubled their lead, but Bridges headed wide at a corner.
At the other end, Jamie Brooks flashed a shot past a post.
And on 52 minutes, he made no mistake when he fired in the leveller.
Although Ardley tried to force a win, Abingdon held on for a point.
On Saturday, Ardley’s Brooks hit a hat-trick as they stormed to a 6-0 win at Cheltenham Saracens.
Striker Steve Howkins headed Ardley in front from Jon Gardner’s free-kick.
Brooks doubled Ardley’s advantage on the stroke of half-time with a shot through goalkeeper Ryan Betteridge’s legs.
The former Oxford United youngster made it 3-0 on 67 minutes with a 25-yard curler past Betteridge.
On 75 minutes, Brooks completed his treble with a clinical finish.
Howkins made it 5-0 from the penalty spot at the second attempt, before substitute Tommy Kinch completed the rout with No 6.
It followed their 2-1 victory at Shrivenham last Wednesday night.
Ardley took the lead within a minute.
A long ball behind the defence from Chris Jackson was chased down by Brooks, who rounded the advancing keeper and fired home with just 48 seconds on the clock. Troy Bryan was unlucky not to double their lead on 15 minutes, but saw his effort hit a post.
The visitors were running the show, but it wasn’t until seven minutes from time that they sealed victory.
A free-kick from Bridges found Jackson, who looped a header over the keeper and into the net.
Ardley’s goalkeeper Har-ding ensured the hosts kept a clean sheet with a super stop from Nathan Blackford late on.
This Saturday, Ardley host Combined Counties Premier Division outfit Hanworth Villa in the FA Cup preliminary round.