Ardley get a setback ahead of cup tie

Ardley manager Kevin Brock saw his side lose their first home game of the season on Tuesday
Ardley manager Kevin Brock saw his side lose their first home game of the season on Tuesday

Ardley United boss Kevin Brock saw his side’s preparation for Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Tuffley Rovers receive a setback on Tuesday.

Newly-promoted Longlevens produced a 2-0 victory in Tuesday’s UHLSport Hellenic League clash at Oxford Road.

Starting brightly in the premier division contest, Ardley almost took an early lead when a Reece Bayliss free-kick was deflected on to the post by keeper Ollie Hall. Ardley saw more of the ball but could not carve out any clear cut chances and were almost made to pay just before halftime when Ryan Down shot wide of the far post after he broke clear.

After the restart, Ardley again had the upper hand but could not convert their chances. Steve Howkins headed over the bar and Luke Ingram burst into the area but his shot was deflected into the side-netting and from the resulting corner, Chris Jackson headed inches over the bar.

The Gloucester side also had opportunities, Dave Merrick had a shot saved by keeper Jack Goode and Shaun O’Connor put a half chance just wide. At the other end, Ingram broke down the left flank and crossed for Howkins but Hall just beat him to the ball.

Longlevens finally broke the deadlock when a deep cross found skipper Craig Martin on the right flank and what appeared to be a cross sailed over Goode’s head and found the far corner of the net. The goal shook the home side and a minute later Down had a glorious chance to double his side’s lead but Goode did just enough to deny him.

Increase their lead they did though when Merrick converted a left wing cross to leave the home side with a mountain to climb. But, with the visitor’s midfield closing down quickly and their front line misfiring, Ardley never looked like pulling a goal back.