FOOTBALL: Brooks is in the goals again

Ryan Brooks scored a hat-trick in their 5-1 win against Newbury on Saturday

Ryan Brooks scored a hat-trick in their 5-1 win against Newbury on Saturday

First published in Sport

Ryan Brooks scored a second successive hat-trick as Premier Division leaders Ardley United thumped Newbury 5-1 at home on Saturday.

It sealed a good week for Brooks who scored one of Ardley’s goals in the 2-1 win over Oxford City Nomads in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup third-round at Marsh Lane last Wednesday.

Saturday’s result saw Ardley move seven points clear of second-placed Wantage Town, though they have played three more games than their Oxfordshire rivals.

Ardley, who had not played a league game since January 18 when they beat Wantage, went ahead on 16 minutes when Ollie Stanbridge’s pass found Brooks, who shot home.

However, the home side were rocked when Ben Matthews levelled.

Ardley were back in front on 27 minutes when Troy Bryan broke into the box before slotting home.

The hosts kept up the pressure after the break and went further in front when Ben Thomas headed in a corner.

Brooks netted his second goal on 71 minutes with a shot in off the near post.

He completed his treble five minutes from time to make it 45 goals for the season in all competitions.

Ardley dominated Wednes-day’s game with Chris Jack-son and Ben Thomas rattling the Nomads bar in the opening seven minutes.

But it wasn’t until the 40th minute that their pressure was rewarded.

A through ball fell to Brooks, whose shot was only half saved by goalkeeper Juan Martin, but went over the line.

Early in the second half, Jack Harding in the Ardley goal pulled off a great save from Louis Joyce.

Kevin Brock’s side doubled their lead on 57 minutes when Brooks was brought down, Callum Convey putting away the resulting spot-kick.

Joyce pulled one back with a superb 25-yard shot past Harding into the far corner.

But Ardley finished strongly, with Martin making a terrific save from Brooks on the stroke of full-time.

Ardley face a quarter-final trip to North Leigh on Tuesday.

On Saturday, Ardley travel to Bracknell Town.

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