Late comeback not enough for 1st team
By Mark Rozzier
1st team bow out of Reading Invitation Challenge Senior Cup in five goal thriller that went to extra time
A cracking cup tie saw Woodley United bow out to Premier Division Ardley United, who scored the decisive goal in the first minute of the second half of extra time after Woodley had scored two late goals in normal time to level the match.
The first half saw Woodley start the stronger and enjoy the better possession playing some of their best football of the season but for this where unable to trouble Christian Lawrence in the visitor’s goal.
Such was Woodley’s play that Ardley made a substitution midway through the first half introducing forward Tobias London, and it was London who opened the scoring two minutes before half time against the run of play.
The second half was a more even affair with Woodley looking to level but wary of being caught on the counter attack which happened in the eight fourth minute when Harley Giles scored of the underside off the cross bar with the ball crossing the goal line before rebounding back onto the pitch.
With nothing to lose Woodley threw caution to the wind as they assaulted the visitors’ goal which saw Harry Hawkins goal close with an overhead kick before a Pablo Fernandez assist allowed Freddie Barron to reduce the deficit in the eight sixth minute.
Buoyed Woodley continued to press and two minutes later were level when following a corner Adam Barnard scored his first goal for the club from close range. Not content with the scores being level being in the ascendancy Woodley went in search of the winner which nearly came when Liam Wilson out a half chance wide.
The first period of extra time was goalless mainly due to three outstanding saves by Woodley’s Tom Bryant with the winning goal coming quickly after the start of the second period with Woodley slow to react to a Ardley break that allowed Conor Harris to score unchallenged.
With the winners facing a trip to holders Wantage Town, the match became feisty with Woodley continuing to throw men forward and Ardley defending well but at the final whistle it was the Premier Division side who emerged winners.
Bryant, Barron, Hagger, Hawkins, Malone, Barnard, E Thomas, Fernandez (Briggs), Laschok, H Moore (Wilson), Jewell (Wood) Sub not use Axton - Hall