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The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report

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As Aylesbury took on Heybridge, today was their last chance of recording points in February. Paul Curtis brought three debutants into the team, in goalkeeper Jack Rashid, signed from St. Neots Town, and Oxford United 'work experience' duo Adam Garner and Matt Brandish. Jay Gould was given a returning spot in the team.

The first half was uneventful to say the least, and for Heybridge's goal remained unthreatened for the full 45 minutes. The visitors however did create a few chances of note. After ten minutes some uncertain defending from Aylesbury allowed Charlie Bull in to shoot, but his effort went well over.

A hooked volley from Andy Tomlinson produced a straightforward piece of goalkeeping for Rashid after sixteen minutes. Five minutes later a flowing Heybridge attack resulted in the ball being laid back to John Pollard, whose shot was held at full-stretch by Rashid.

This was as exciting as the game got in the first half - and the Ducks made it into the break level with their opponents for the first time in two weeks.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-0 Heybridge

The second half was a much livelier affair, and Heybridge issued a warning to Aylesbury as early as the third minute. A curling shot from Bull produced an excellent tip wide from Rashid.

A minute later and Rashid was called upon again, to field a long-range drive from substitute Ben Peters. Kris Lee went close on fifty-five minutes, heading wide a cross at the near-post. Heybridge's best chance of the game was to follow, and fell to Simon Parker. Some more hesitant defending saw the ball bobble through to the suspiciously offside looking Parker, who found himself with only Rashid to beat. With the defence seemingly frozen still, Parker had time to look up and pick his spot, but still could only shoot tamely at goal, and Rashid managed to make the save. Quite how he missed only Parker himself will know.

The game by now was well and truly stretched, and although Aylesbury were keeping the ball well at times, and playing some good football, chances were lacking. In truth, a goal from open play looked unlikely.

The home sides best chance fell to Rory Hunter. Breaking from midfield in his trademark style, Hunter played a one-two with Ryan Wiffin, but his early shot didn't have the power to beat Pullen, and the keeper was able to save the ball to his right.

The final quarter of the match saw Heybridge dominate the play, and many chances came the way of the Swifts. Danny Barber latched onto a short free-kick, but drilled a shot closer to the corner flag than the goal. Peters then shot straight at Rashid after Aylesbury failed to clear the ball.

The final chance of the match saw John Buffong break free down the right of the penalty area, but once again Rashid wasn't seriously tested as he easily held the shot.

The match came slowly to a close, and although Heybridge had threatened to steal the points on several occasions, the Ducks battled hard to earn a point. Hopefully something to build on, but our next match is a tricky looking trip to Bishop's Stortford.