Cruse and Bryan double up as Ardley shock title chasers
Ardley United upset title favourites Bracknell Town in Tuesday’s UHLSport Hellenic League clash.
Manager Paul Davis saw his side sign off their home premier division fixtures with a thumping 4-1. The title race swung back in favour of Thame United who won at Tuffley and now lead by five points.
Ardley defended an early onslaught from Bracknell and several good save from Nick Bennion kept them on level terms. Ardley took a 14th minute lead through a rasping drive from Matt Cruse from the edge of the box.
But Bracknell levelled in the 34th minute when a shot was blocked by Bennion but Adam Cornell was on hand to tap home. But Cruse restored Ardley’s advantage three minutes from halftime when a ball across the box fell invitingly for the front man to thump home.
Just before the hour mark Ardley introduced Troy Bryan. And within a minute he increased Ardely’s lead when Cruse’s shot came off the underside of the bar, bounced down and Bryan leapt to head home.
As Bracknell complained to the officials about the goal, Jamie McClure was shown a second yellow card and subsequent red.
With two minutes left Declan Benjamin was floored and in the aftermath that followed, Bracknell skipper Carl Davies was shown a straight red card for violent conduct.
As Bracknell tried to push forward, gaps were left in behind and a ball over the defence saw Bryan race away to slot past Chris Grace.