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Ardley United 0 - 1 Bracknell Town
Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup 3rd Round16 Jan 2018 - 19:30Fritwell Road, Ardley OX27 7PA



The hosts started the brighter of the two sides but wasted early chances to take the lead. A difficult surface stopped the Robins from playing their usual passing football and It wasn’t until the 20th minute that they registered their first effort on target, when Carl Withers’ 20 yard effort was turned round the post by the Ardley keeper, shortly after that McClurg played Bennett in on goal but a combination of keeper and defender stopped him from getting a meaningful shot away.With the pitch cutting up more as the first half went on neither side could break the deadlock before the break. 

Jon Bennett twice came close to putting the Robins ahead early in the 2nd half, his first effort was a quick turn and snap shot that bent narrowly wide and his second stopped agonisingly short of crossing the line after he’d squeezed and effort under the keeper. On 54 minutes Bennett was in the thick of the action again as he was brought down just outside the D of Ardley’s box, Jamie McClurg took the resulting free-kick but the home side’s double wall managed to clear his driven effort off the line.

The Ardley manager continued to urge his side forward and threw caution to the wind by making a double attacking change, On 60 minutes It nearly paid off when an Ardley forward turned smartly in the box and just as he was just about to pull the trigger Joe Gater was on hand to slide in to deny him, three minutes later they threatened again but blazed over when well placed.

The game was starting to open up as both sides tired on the heavy pitch, skipper Carl Davies thought he’d given the Robins the lead when he rose highest to head McClurg’s free-kick towards goal but an Ardley defender retreated back and managed to divert the ball over the bar.

As we neared the final whistle the Robins looked to find a late winner, Withers smashed a 20 yard free-kick at goal but an Ardley head was in the way once more. With 92 minutes on the clock and extra time looming, Davies headed McClurg’s free-kick back across goal to an un-marked Kensley Maloney and he had the simple task of heading into an empty net. In the minute or so that was left Ardley piled forward but the Robins held on to move in the quarter-final.

Full Time – Ardley Utd 0-1 Robins

Bracknell Town – Grace (GK), Gater, Parsons, Maloney, Withers, Davies (C), Senussi, McClurg, Bennett, Fitzgerald, Roberts

Subs (not used) Mugoya, Short, Bohane, Lamb

Goal Scorer – Maloney (90+2 minutes)