Davis has chance to guide Ardley to cup final success

Matt Cruse bagged a brace for Ardley United

Matt Cruse bagged a brace for Ardley United

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Paul Davis will be looking to pick up his first silverware as Ardley United manager.

Ardley meet Tuffley Rovers in Saturday’s Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup final at Wantage Town.

I have watched Bicester a few times this season and today was the best I’ve seen them play

Ardley manager Paul Davis

A 3-0 victory over rivals Bicester Town in Saturday’s semi-final ended with two red cards and some clinical finishing from Ardley.

Nick Bennion saved early on from Ricardo Benjamin at his near post before Ardley took a 21st minute lead when a throw-in was flicked on by Troy Bryan and Matt Cruse fired home. Five minutes later Bicester were reduced to ten men when Murray Nicholls was shown a straight red card for violent conduct.

Just before the break Gavin Kidd was desperately close to an equaliser from close range following a free-kick. But Ardley doubled their lead when Declan Benjamin skipped away from a challenge on the left and slotted home past keeper Nick Lacey.

Both sides had good chances after the break but in the 72nd minute Bicester were reduced to nine players when Jason Prpa was shown a second yellow and subsequent red card. Five minutes later Cruse sealed Ardley’s final place when firing home from the corner of the box.

Davis said: “We were under no illusions of how difficult this game was going to be and so it proved for the opening 20 minutes or so. I have watched Bicester a few times this season and today was the best I’ve seen them play.

“Not many of our lads are local and so the derby feel wasn’t really evident for them but Bicester were local lads or ex-Ardley players so that added to the spice in the game. But we handled it really well and while the game was over shadowed by the red cards, I still felt we deserved the win.”