FOOTBALL: Bone goal sets up back-to-back wins

Troy Bryan fired Ardley United ahead in their 3-1 opening win against Cheltenham Saracens on Saturday, before going off injured

Troy Bryan fired Ardley United ahead in their 3-1 opening win against Cheltenham Saracens on Saturday, before going off injured

First published in Sport

Ardley United maintained their perfect start to their Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division season with a 2-0 win against Reading Town at the Playing Field on Tuesday.

Danny Bone opened Ardley’s account, before Murray Nicholls’s strike sealed victory after the break.

It followed their 3-1 opening day win at home to Chelten-ham Saracens on Saturday.

Reading, who had suffered a home defeat to Highworth in their opening fixture, pinned Ardley in their own half for the first 15 minutes, but were unable to trouble keeper Tom McNamara, who was deputising for the unavailable Jack Harding.

The hosts started to come more into the game and went close to breaking the deadlock only for Nicholls’s 18-yard shot to rebound off an upright following a corner.

But it wasn’t long before Ardley went ahead. Bone chased a ball through the centre before firing in from an acute angle.

Although Reading had a lot of possession, they failed to create any openings.

After the break, Ardley started to take control and doubled their lead on the hour mark. A cross from the wing found Nicholls in space in the centre and he finished well.

Joe Eyre and skipper Ollie Stanbridge spurned glorious chances to increase the home side's lead.

Reading tried to get back into the game, but Ardley’s rearguard held firm as Kevin Brock’s side made it back-to-back wins.

In Saturday’s game, Ardley suffered an early blow when Tommy Kinch was taken to hospital for stitches after sustaining a head injury.

Ardley took the lead shortly after play resumed.

Troy Bryan hammered home after nipping in to score following a mix-up in the visitors’ defence.

However, minutes later he went off after twisting a knee.

That seemed to upset Ardley’s rhythm and the visitors equalised on 25 minutes when a Josh Swales free-kick eluded everyone, including home keeper Jack Harding, before going into the net.

But six minutes later, Ardley restored their lead.

The home defence failed to deal with a corner and Kieran Strange headed powerfully home at the far post.

A minute from the break, Ardley made it 3-1, though there was an element of good fortune when Alex Baird’s attempted headed clearance flew into his own net.

Goal attempts were at a premium in the second half, with neither side able to create any decent chances.

This Saturday, Ardley entertain Combined Counties Division 1 side Ash United in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.

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