ARDLEY United boss Kevin Brock is backing his side to banish the blues against Kidlington in tonight’s all-Uhlsport Hellenic League final at the Kassam Stadium (7.45).
On Monday, Ardley’s Premier Division title dream ended as Wantage Town won the championship with a 5-1 victory at Abingdon Town, despite United’s 2-1 win at Bracknell on the same night.
Brock feels his side will be mentally strong enough to cope with the blow in the first all-Hellenic final since 1985 when Morris Motors beat Bicester Town 1-0 at Witney.
“We’ve had a few days to pick them up, so I don’t think that will be a problem,” he said.
“Playing in front of a decent crowd will be a good incentive for them.”
Ardley have never reached the final before and Brock, who has been boss for six seasons, wants to make it special.
He added: “We know Kidlington are a decent team, so it won’t be easy.
“For Ardley to win it would be a fantastic achievement.
“We want to finish the season with something.”
It is the second time that Kidlington, who beat Oxford United on penaltie in the semi-finals, have appeared in the county’s showpiece.
They reached the final in 2011 when they lost 4-0 against the U’s.
Boss Martin Wilkinson is away on RAF duty in Oman, so Paul Harwood and Chris Peacock will continue to stand in.
Harwood said: “Ardley are a good team so it will be a tough test, but If we play like we did against Oxford United, then we have every chance.”
Kidlington will be without Jack Quainton, who is suspended, while Ardley have injury doubts over their 52-goal striker Ryan Brooks and midfielder Tommy Kinch.
Ardley Utd: from Harding, Smith, Kinch, Convey, Thomas, Jackson, Stanbridge, Bridges, Bryan, Brooks, Howkins, Gardner, McIntosh, H Brock, D Beckett, A Beckett.
Kidlington: from Hyslop, Sanders, Barratt, C Weedon, B Weedon, Rice, Turner, Mason, Brownhill, Boxer, Cassetarri, Duerden, Castle, Coyle, Bone, Woodbridge, Green, Geary.