The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report


The Ducks were sent crashing out of the FA Cup by Division One West side Ashford Town (Middx), with the Middlesex side achieving a hard-fought but deserved win.

Paul Curtis brought fit-again Neil Champelovier back into the team at the expense of Dean Powles in an otherwise unchanged line-up.

Ashford took the game to the Ducks early, creating the early chances. Pacey winger Anthony Joseph beat Daniel Mead down the right and delivered a dangerous ball which had to be headed behind by Greg Williams. Paul Johnston then drilled a low-shot, which was fortunately deflected wide by a defender.

Aylesbury's best effort of the first half came early, and from a counter-attack. Leon Gutzmore held the ball up for Dean Cracknell to use his pace to run free - firing in a left-footed shot which was parried by the keeper, before being cleared to safety.

The game was somewhat lacking in action, with both sides happy to patiently play the ball around. Ashford were still having the better of the match, as Hibburt tried an ambitious long-range effort which went over, and a corner was headed just wide of the post.

Aylesbury often found lacking in the final third, but that couldn't be said of Cracknell, who was often our most dangerous attacking force. Turning sharply he fired in a crisp effot just over the bar, on thirty-five minutes. Just previously Paul Edgeworth had hit a firm shot from outside the area, which went just wide.

The final say went to Ashford though, as the slightly built Scott Todd arrived with a diving header, which went wide.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-0 Ashford

Aylesbury improved after the break, having reverted to a 4-4-2 system, but still couldn't unlock Ashford's defence. Edgeworth had a long-shot which Burgess got everything behind, and Mead went close with a free-kick.

The away side also had their chances - full-back Ryan Lake shooting over, before Jack Rashid made an excellent save, after Hibburt had caught Aylesbury out with a quickly taken free-kick.

The Ducks felt aggrieved after an hours-play, when they felt Ashford may have been reduced to ten men. Running clear with the ball Gutzmore went over under heavy pressure from Ben Whatmore. As the last-man a red card appeared a formality, yet yellow was the colour shown.

This seemed to fire Aylesbury up a little, and their game was stepped up. The free-kick from the Gutzmore incident was rolled to Mead, who smacked a fierce effort narrowly wide, before Lamb fired over two minutes later. Greg Williams then had an effort, having dribbled infield he fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Rashid made a miraculous save to keep the home side in the game. Having slipped on the greasy surface, substitute Ben Fasuhene flicked a shot goalwards from his grounded position, and with the ball heading for the top corner the backpeddling Rashid somehow managed to tip it over.

Aylesbury then thought they'd finally made a breakthrough, with Leon Gutzmore seeing a shot saved by the goalkeeper's legs from 4-yards out. The follow-up shot was slotted disappointingly wide by Cracknell.

As United turned the screw, it was make or break time. Williams fired well wide on his left-foot, before Danny Gray had an effort saved having had the opportunity presented thanks to an untimely slip by a defender.

This all came to nothing, and with the Ducks growing frustrated Ashford themselves began to push for a goal. Daniel Mead slipped and gave the ball away to Joseph, who seemed certain to score, but placed his shot wide, before Ashford did take the lead.

Full-back Ryan Lake found himself in the right place to take advantage of Aylesbury's hesitancy and fire his side into the lead. 1-0 Ashford Town

Aylesbury desperately tried to send men forwards, but there was to be no getting past Ashford's backline. Indeed, it was the away side who had the last say, with the final chances of the game. A corner was headed over, and Steve Willmore curled an effort wide.

The final whistle was duly blown, and Aylesbury were left to reflect on a good opportunity for FA Cup progression missed...