FOOTBALL: Leaders keep up the pace

Ryan Brooks took his league goals tally to 40 in Ardley United's 4-0 win at Newbury

Ryan Brooks took his league goals tally to 40 in Ardley United's 4-0 win at Newbury

First published in Sport

Ardley United maintained their slender lead at the top of the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division with a 4-0 victory at Newbury on Tuesday.

Goals from Ollie Stanbr-idge, Ryan Brooks, Jon Gard-ner and Stuart Bridges won it for the visitors who stay a point clear of Wantage Town, though Kevin Brock’s side have played two more games than their Oxfordshire rivals.

Ardley had to withstand some early pressure before going ahead on 13 minutes.

Brooks cut in from the left before his pass allowed Ollie Stanbridge to fire a left-foot shot past Ryan Beale in the Newbury goal.

Ardley had a scare when Dean Smith’s back pass fell short, but keeper Jack Hard-ing charged off his line to clear the danger.

Ardley doubled their lead on 20 minutes.

Bridges seized on a loose ball before squaring it to Brooks who slotted home his 40th league goal of the season.

After the break, Ardley kept up the pressure, but failed to take their chances and it wasn’t until the 73rd minute that they made it 3-0.

A superb pass from Steve Howkins set up substitute Gardner who chipped Beale from the edge of the area.

Ten minutes later, victory was sealed when Bridges unleashed an unstoppable shot past a startled Beale.

Ardley then held firm for a second successive clean sheet.

On Saturday, Ardley host Tytherington Rocks in the Bluefin Sports Cup quarter-final.

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