Ardley pay penalty as they exit cup

Leam Howards hit Ardley United's extra-time equaliser against Flackwell Heath
Leam Howards hit Ardley United's extra-time equaliser against Flackwell Heath
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Ardley United boss Paul Davis will be looking for his side to bounce back at Lydney Town on Saturday.

Ardley’s unbeaten run came to an end when they bowed out of the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup in Saturday’s second round tie with Flackwell Heath. The tie finished 1-1 after extra-time but Flackwell went through 9-8 on penalties.

United were forced into a change with Lee Farrow injured so full-back James Foster took over between the posts and had a comfortable afternoon.

Jamie Essex headed over for the visitors before Mitchel Woodward rifled over the bar. Matt Cruse set up Leam Howards and Troy Bryan but neither striker could get to his cross and Carl Tappin fired over from long range.

Howards curled a shot just wide from a Cruse lay-off before Tappin shot just wide of the post.

Three minutes before the interval Joel Meade was chopped down by Dan Burnell. Meade retaliated and both players were given their marching orders.

After the restart, Reece Bayliss went close with three long range efforts before Tappin forced keeper Dan Weait into a good save. Ardley missed a glorious opportunity to win it in the 71st minute when Howards was tripped in the area but Jacob Walcott’s spot-kick was hit straight at Weait.

The second minute of the second half of extra-time finally produced a goal when Jamie Essex raced clear and lobbed over the stranded Foster. With five minutes remaining Ardley got a deserved equaliser when Jacob Walcott was released on the right and drew the keeper before crossing to the unmarked Howards who had time to take a touch before firing into the unguarded net.

The penalty shoot-out saw the first 17 spot-kicks converted before Jack Heap missed the crucial 18th and Ardley were out.