Comfortable Win At Ardley Sees The Freds Go Top
Wantage Become Early Leaders
Wantage secured their third league win of the season at Ardley on Tuesday which elevates them to the summit of the Premier Division with a 100% record.
With Mark Flanagan failing a pre-match fitness test Cian McCormack switched to left back, Dan Comer return to right back and Brad Cox back to the centre of defence. Up front Kaylem Patterson replaced the holidaying Steve Robertson whilst recent signings Max Dunmall and Damien Robertson were among the substitutes.
Wantage played up the slope in the first half and were soon creating chances, with Patterson again looking lively as he fired high and wide in the third minute and had a tenth minute shot saved. The lead finally arrived on 12 minutes, Harvey Scholes crossing for skipper Chris Jackson to powerfully head home.
Ardley responded with a spell of pressure, although the closest they came was when Cox narrowly headed over his own cross bar with an awkward clearance on 17 minutes.
Ten minutes later Jamie McCathy had a long-range strike turned aside by Curtis Meare, and Deon Gallacher could only fire the loose ball over.
Wantage re-asserted themselves and a nice one-two between Jack Dunmall and Scholes saw the latter’s shot deflected wide for a corner. Cox then went close two minutes later but just couldn’t get high enough to get the direction on his head that was needed.
Ardley had the first attempt of note in the second half but Meare was comfortably able to hold on to Tom Moore’s long-range effort on 51 minutes.
Four minutes later a kick from Meare has headed on by Patterson to Dunmall who returned it back in to the tall strikers path but again keeper Christian Lawrence was to deny him. But the lead was doubled within the minute, the referee playing a good advantage as Dunmall shrugged free of some grappling and advanced towards goal before passing the ball into the far corner of the net.
Saturday’s FA Cup heroe Connor Mattimore replaced Jim Glover, and was soon setting up Patterson who again couldn’t keep his shot down. Mattimore then had a chance of his own, but saw it tipped round the post on 73 minutes as Wantage looked to finish the game off.
Which is exactly what they did with 13 minutes remaining when Dunmall found himself clear of the Ardley defence and stroked home his second and Wantage’s third.
But it wasn’t quite done and dusted as Gallacher reduced the deficit in the 84th minute for what was nothing more than a consolation as Wantage never looked in any danger of not claiming maximum points.
New boy Damien Robertson, who has been banging in the goals for Chasewell Park, made a brief appearance, but hardly saw the ball to show what he can do.
Next up for Wantage is a home game with Bishops Cleeve on Saturday.
Ardley United: Christian Lawrence, Jamie Mundy (Tom Van Gucci 47), Lewis Gabbidon, Tom Moore, Troy Bryan (Mikey McKirnan 39), Daniel West, Greg Hackett, Jamie McCathy, Billy Gillett, Deon Gallacher, Halley Giles. Subs n/u: Brew Boyd, Jordan Moore
Referee: Tom Green