FOOTBALL: Underdogs Ardley pull off cup shock

Steve Howkins scored Ardley United’s third goal in their shock 3-2 win at North Leigh on Tuesday

Steve Howkins scored Ardley United’s third goal in their shock 3-2 win at North Leigh on Tuesday

First published in Sport

Ardley United upset the odds as they won 3-2 at Calor League side North Leigh in the quarter-finals of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

It followed Saturday’s 3-0 win against Brimscombe & Thrupp at the top of the Hellenic League Premier Div-ision.

A shock was on the cards at North Leigh when Ardley went ahead on four minutes.

Steve Howkins was fouled 40 yards from goal and Stuart Bridges stabbed home Callum Convey’s resulting free-kick.

Ardley doubled their lead on 14 minutes.

Dean Smith whipped in a right-wing cross and captain Ollie Stanbridge fired home.

Although Jon Else pulled one back, Ardley extended their lead on 27 minutes.

Steve Howkins blasted home Troy Bryan’s cutback.

Although Zak Westlake reduced the arrears on 51 minutes, Ardley held on.

Ardley now face Oxford City, the 6-2 extra-time conquereors of Banbury United, in the semi-finals on a date and venue to be decided.

In Saturday’s League clash, Brid-ges’s second-half double set them on their way.

Bridges opened the scoring in the 47th minute with a volley from eight yards, and he struck again from close range in the 65th minute, with Adam Beckett providing the pass.

Ryan Brooks sealed victory six minutes from time, holding off his marker to latch on to Callum Convey’s pass and slot the ball past Adam Thomas for his 36th league goal of the season.

This Saturday, Ardley travel to Flackwell Heath.

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