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Match Report



Gavin Jaggard made himself an instant Aylesbury hero with two goals within 45 minutes of his debut, as the Ducks came away from an action packed game at Grantham Town with a 2-1 win.

Liam Folds also made his first start for the club, and was equally important to the cause, with his dominance in defence a key ingredient missing for so long this season.

The only action of a limited opening spell saw Jack Rashid easily smother a shot from an attacker.

The game then sprung into life, with Jaggard netting in the sixteenth minute. A Paul Lamb free-kick was deflected behind for a corner. Grantham goalkeeper Mario Ziccardo had previously been laid out with an injury, and the corner proved to be a test too far for him, as the ball went loose in a mad scramble, and was eventually turned in by Jaggard. 1-0 Aylesbury

Ziccardo was then stretchered off injured, having suffered a suspected twisted ankle, replaced in goal by left-back Jim Neil.

Leon Gutzmore, back after his three-match suspension, looked to get involved in the game, chesting the ball down to Dean Cracknell, who fired his effort wide. Sadly this was to be Gutzmore's last action, as he left the field injured - substituted for Colin Baker.

The game was to take another twist towards the end of the half. A fifty-fifty challenge involving Grantham's Stuart Reddington and Aylesbury's Dean Cracknell produced a challenge not to the referee's liking from Reddington, and he was given his marching orders, a decision met with fury from the Grantham players and supporters.

Aylesbury looked to make their dominance pay at the end of the first half - and after one effort was deflected wide, they opened up a welcome two-goal lead on the stroke of half-time. Cracknell won the ball in a dangerous position, and he played the perfect pass through for Jaggard, who kept his cool and slotted past the stand-in goalkeeper. 2-0 Aylesbury

Half-time: Grantham 0-2 Aylesbury

As is often the case, having established a good lead, Aylesbury came out of the dressing room complacent and allowed the home side back into the game. Grantham's early dominance saw Rashid kept busy - plucking a free-kick out of the air early on, and making a good stop on his near post.

It wasn't long before the Gingerbreads did pull a goal back though. A rather bizarre effort was eventually credited to Adrian Speed, although the ball hit the post and Matt Hayward on it's way to goal. 2-1 Aylesbury

The important factor was that Grantham were back in the game, and with Aylesbury sitting deeper and deeper things were becoming worrying. An injury to Matt Hayward, who received an accidental kick to the face, took the sting out of the game, and the home side lost their momentum.

Dean Powles replaced the veteran defender, and Aylesbury were forced to shuffle their pack - with Greg Williams slotting in as the third centre-back.

United then started to turn Grantham's attacking play to their advantage - hitting on the counter-attack several times. One such move resulted in an early effort from Daniel Mead slashed well wide. Nine minutes later the wide-man's cross-shot was just too-far away for Paul Edgeworth to meet and divert into the net.

Aylesbury were then somewhat lucky to escape a penalty award, for an apparent handball by Edgeworth in the area, and the tricky number 7 fizzed an effort wide of the post, as Grantham continued to pose a threat. Jack Rashid was then called upon to make his regular blinding save - denying an attacker who had broken free and powered an effort goalwards.

As the game drew to a close the final chances went the way of the Ducks - yet again on the end of more counter-attacking play. Jaggard missed two gilt-edged chances for his hat-trick. The first saw him shoot over, having done the hard part of controlling a difficult high-ball, and the second saw him miss from close-range after Colin Baker's excellent play on the right-wing.

Baker himself also went close - half-volleying Daniel Mead's cross straight at the keeper, and Cracknell shot over, before the game was ended by the referee.