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FOOTBALL: Ardley boosted as Brooks bags brace
11:57am Monday 30th December 2013 in Sport
Ryan Brooks bagged a double as Ardley United extended their lead at the top of the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division to five points with a 3-0 home win against Flackwell Heath on Saturday.
It followed their 1-1 draw at Thame on Boxing Day which was marred by Brooks’s sending off.
In Saturday’s game, Brooks opened his account on three minutes when he seized on a poor clearance before finding the far corner with a neat shot.
At the other end, Ardley had a let off when Joe Blount’s header found the top of the bar. Ardley made it 2-0 on 32 minutes when a right-wing cross from Dean Smith found Stuart Bridges, who smashed the ball home from 25 yards.
The hosts continued to dominate in the second half, but it wasn’t until the 78th minutes that victory was sealed.
Brooks fastened on to a ball over the top before rounding Bullivant and sliding the ball into an empty net to make it 37 goals in all competitions, 29 of them in the league.
Ardley substitute Steve Howkins had the chance to make the win even more emphatic, but saw his well-struck shot come back off the bar, with Bullivant beaten.
Blount blazed an effort over the bar as Flackwell tried to reduce the arrears, but the damage was already done.
In the Boxing Day clash at Thame, the hosts pushed Ardley back, but were unable to penetrate the visitors’ defence. At the other end, Troy Bryan forced Thame keeper Lee Farrow into a good save.
Ardley thought they should have won a penalty on 30 minutes, when Brooks was felled.
However, referee Mark Sennett waved away their appeals and booked Brooks for arguing too strongly about the decision.
After the break, Ardley looked more of a threat and took the lead on 54 minutes.
Callum Convey whipped in a corner which was headed powerfully home by Chris Jackson.
Ardley were reduced to ten men when Brooks was shown a yellow card for dissent after contesting a decision.
Despite the setback, Ardley’s defence looked like they could contain Thame.
That was until a 30-yard free kick from Luke Ricketts that deflected off the head of former Ardley player Louis Cordice flew into the net to grab a late share of the spoils.
On Saturday, Ardley host Binfield.