Ardley United’s three-game winning start to the season came to an abrupt halt as they went down to a surprise 3-0 defeat at Brimscombe & Thrupp in Tuesday’s Uhlsport Hellenic League clash.

Kevin Brock’s side had been on a high after thrashing Ash United 5-1 in the FA Cup extra preliminary round, but were brought down to earth by a slick Brimscombe side.

The result saw Ardley, who lost only three times in the league last season, slip to fifth in the Premier Division table.

It was the visitors’ first league reverse since March 15 when they went down to a 3-1 defeat at Flackwell Heath.

Although Ardley had plenty of possession, they could make little inroads past a solid back four.

At the other end, Brims-combe’s pace down both flanks carved the visitors’ defence open on numerous occasions.

And it was no surprise when the hosts took the lead after five minutes.

Sam Blackie was allowed to turn in the box before volleying past a helpless Jack Harding in the Ardley goal.

The shell-shocked visitors tried to get back in the game, but struggled to create any decent chances.

And it got worse for Ardley on the half-hour mark when Brimscombe doubled their advantage.

A corner was only half-cleared by the Ardley backline and when the ball was played back in, an unmarked Christian Turner fired home.

Ardley came out more determined at the start of the second half as they tried to get back into the game.

But it was all over for the Oxfordshire Senior Cup winners when Brimscombe made it 3-0.

A swift three-man move saw the home side get behind the Ardley rearguard, before Ashley Brown made no mistake.

Ardley huffed and puffed, but never looked like reducing the arrears as Brims-combe held on with little difficulty.

Ardley will be looking to put it right on Saturday when they travel to eighth-placed Thatcham Town.