Ardley United made UHLSport Hellenic League favourites Bracknell Town work hard for their 2-1 victory.
And, with a full strength line-up, United may have taken something from Saturday’s premier division game.
We’ve come here and had a real go, believing we could get something out of the game, and we came mighty closeArdley manager Paul Davis
The first ten minutes was all Bracknell without much real threat to keeper Nick Bennion. And it was Ardley who took a sixth minute lead when Jack Ross received the ball just inside the area and lifted it over a defender’s head for Nathaniel Lewars to coolly slot home.
Moments later Leam Howards crossed to Lewars in the six-yard box, the ball rolled out to Matt Cruse but Grace managed to make an important two-handed block.
Bennion thwarted Jamie McClure before Kensley Maloney fired over after the lively winger linked up with Gavin Smith.
After the restart, Maloney was stopped by a last ditch tackle from Chris Jackson and Ryan Knight. But Bracknell equalised in the 53rd minute, McClure’s shot was pushed away by Bennion and Smith netted when the ball was returned into the six-yard box.
The winner arrived in the 64th minute when a cross from Khalid Senussi was met inside the six yard box by Terence Bohane who bagged his 34th goal of the campaign.
Afterwards manager Paul Davis said: “We gave Bracknell a real fright, people look at us and our results and think we’re here to make up the numbers. But we’ve come here and had a real go, believing we could get something out of the game, and we came mighty close.
“Our second half performance was slightly disappointing as it wasn’t so long ago that I was talking about our character and professionalism. But after they took the lead we didn’t really show much of those characteristics.
“I felt after they equalised that we didn’t look like a team with anything to play for. So I’ve reminded the squad in the dressing room that we have four cup finals left, two cup competitions and, hopefully two cup finals with trophies to play for.
“I’ve asked that on Tuesday they all show me they have something to play for, two cups and a top five finish are achievable. We still have Bracknell to come to our place and hopefully we’ll have a full squad available again.”