Katsoloudi gives Ardley perfect start to campaign

Ardley United begin their FA Cup campaign this weekend.

Elias Katsoloudi scored the winner for Ardley United
Elias Katsoloudi scored the winner for Ardley United

And Paul Davis’s side go into Saturday’s extra preliminary round tie at home to Tuffley Rovers on the back of an opening success in the UHLSport Hellenic League.

A solitary goal from Elias Katsoloudi earned Ardley a 1-0 victory at Thatcham Town in Tuesday’s premier division clash.

Thatcham hit the post early on after a breakaway when Jemel Johnson fed Jon Bennett but his deft flick came back off the upright and Joel Meade was on hand to clear. The crucial goal came in the 20th minute when Katsoloudi drilled home from close range following a flick on from a long defensive clearance.

On a damp and gloomy evening in Berkshire, Ardley weathered a second half barrage as the defence stood firm and restricted Thatcham to long range efforts with no real threat on Lee Farrow’s goal.

Once Katsoloudi scored for the visitors the game was left with long range efforts that went wide or over and Ardley had a couple of late chances with Thatcham pushing for an equaliser.

Davis said: “I thought we were excellent from start to finish. I thought we managed the game really well. We’ve taken our goal well, in the end we’ve had the better chances.

“We restricted them to a couple of long distance efforts, a few crosses to deal with but Lee Farrow never really had a save to make. I felt we were a different class all night.

“We told the players in the dressing room we need to carry on this expectation and determination throughout the season. Up to now no-one has been talking about Ardley United but hopefully now people will be.”