FOOTBALL: Ardley 's double bid is ended by Ascot

Ardley’s players troop off after their final defeat, as Ascot’s players celebrate

Ardley’s players troop off after their final defeat, as Ascot’s players celebrate

First published in Sport

Ardley United lost 2-1 in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup final to Ascot United at Abingdon United on Monday.

Ardley, who were crowned Oxfordshire Senior Cup cha-mpions last week, never looked like claiming a second trophy as they were outplayed by a lively Ascot outfit.

The sides were level at the break after Stuart Bridges cancelled out Rob Saund-ers’opener, before Daryl McLean scored a deserved winner for Ascot in the second half.

Ardley were sluggish in the opening exchanges as Ascot made most of the early running, taking the lead after eight minutes.

Leon Yarnie beat several defenders before laying the ball off to Saunders, whose powerful effort rendered goalkeeper Jack Harding little more than a spectator.

But Ascot were in front for little over a minute as Ardley immediately responded, Brid-ges emphatically shooting into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area.

Troy Bryan could have added a second before the break when he headed Steve Howkins’ cross over the bar, and Ardley were denied a penalty moments later after Jon Gardner appeared to have been tripped in the area.

But after the break, Ascot reasserted their dominance, and on 68 minutes they deservedly restored their lead when McLean poked home after more good work from Yarnie.

Ardley rallied briefly towa-rds the end, but it was too little, too late as Ascot eased home to lift the cup.

Ardley manager Kevin Brock said: “We’ve had a lot of games and the game on Thursday took a lot out of us.

“I thought in the first half we edged it.

“But in the second we didn’t get anything going and I thought they deserved to win the game.”

Ardley Utd: Harding, Smith (Thomas 72), Brock, Convey (A Beckett 72), McIntosh, Jackson, Stanbridge, Bridges, Bryan, Gardner, Howkins. Subs not used: D Beckett, Soanes.

Referee: P Staynings.

Attendance: 270.

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