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Match Report

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After the ups and downs of Saturday's trip to Basingstoke, the Aylesbury team was subjected to some reorganisation by manager Steve Cordery. This match had seemed like a fairly even contest for the most part, but it soon changed.

St. Albans had the first chance after 2 minutes with a free-kick that Steve Castle just failed to connect with. Aylesbury hit back with some nice play at the other end, with some delightful skill from the front pairing of Maskell and Ibe. In fact, it was Maskell who chested the ball down to the advancing Campion. The ball eventually fell to Mark Burgess, who hit a left-footed shot well over.

A superb Campion cross a minute later was just missed by a waiting Aylesbury player. St. Albans started to impose themselves on the game more and more, with the impressive Scott Oakes crossing for Gary Crawshaw to dive onto, and head the ball just wide. Another St. Albans chance came and went soon after, as Simon Martin hit a shot, which was deflected for a corner.

It was now Aylesbury's turn to put some pressure on the goal, as Gareth Risbridger saw his weak shot trickle agonisingly wide of the post, on 20 minutes. If it had any power in it, keeper Wilmot was well beaten. In another move involving Maskell, Risbridger was put free down the right, and his good cross was stabbed wide by Kezie Ibe.

Simon Martin was now running the show for St. Albans, as he first outpaced Scott Honeyball, only to be beaten to the ball by McCann. Three minutes later he was on target from a free-kick. On 33 minutes he had the best chance of the half. The ball was flicked on, and from an offside position, he managed to round McCann, but his shot was well wide.

The Ducks were still having chances though, as Campion's low cross was slid behind for a corner. From the short corner, Maskell curled a shot towards the top corner. Richard Wilmot extended his arm to prevent it dropping in. Right on half time Maskell volleyed the ball well over after some good work from Ibe to create a cross.

Half-time 0-0. A fair reflection of how the game had gone, with chances for both teams, and a fairly even competition. A fast and furious first half!

Risbridger nearly gave Aylesbury the lead 2 minutes into the second half, as he beat a few players, before scuffing his left footed shot. 3 minutes later though, and St. Albans took the lead. A corner from the near side led to confusion in the box, and Steve Castle took full advantage to send the ball home. 1-0 St. Albans.

The Ducks at this point did not seem too dispirited, and kept trying their best to get a goal, with Mark Burgess having a half-chance. St. Albans firmly shut the door, and were soon two goals up. On 62 minutes a nobody thought to pick up the forward charge of Saints left-back Beckett Hollenbach, and his superb low cross was finished from close range by Martin. 2-0 St. Albans.

Frustration and despair now followed, with some shots that were ambitious to say the least, and a weak penalty claim from Maskell. Steve Cordery brought on Sam Sloma and Martin Carter, but neither could influence the game. In fact, Sloma was heavily limping within 30 seconds of his competitive debut.

Miguel De Souza popped up to compound Aylesbury's miserable night, with his second St. Albans goal. Martin, who was impressive all night, had broken free and unselfishly crossed for his team-mate. De Souza finished without a defender in sight. 3-0 St. Albans.

Aylesbury searched in vain for a consolation in the dying moments, with Ibe going closest. In the end it wasn't to be, and more interesting was the St. Albans fan invading the pitch and getting lead away by stewards.