The Evo-Stik League South
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Match Report

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Aylesbury recorded their first win of 2005 in emphatic style against lowly Dunstable Town on a day that saw Drew Roberts make his mark in a Ducks shirt with a well taken hat trick in front of 482 spectators at Buckingham Road. Aylesbury came into the match looking for a return to form following the slip up at Bedford on Saturday, manager Danny Nicholls replacing the injured Liam Folds with Dean Powles, Dean Cracknell returning to the midfield engine room where he had so impressed before his injury, Greg Williams missing out on a place in the starting line up.

It was the visitors who started the brightest, clearly keen to make amends for the heavy 8-1 defeat at the hands of Chesham United on New Years Day. On 4 minutes a good Dunstable move exposed gaping holes in the Ducks rearguard but the eventual shot did not trouble Rashid in the Aylesbury goal.

On 20 minutes a mistake from Dean Powles allowed a cross into the area from the left hand side where Jonathan Barnett headed wide when he should really have at least forced Rashid into a save.

Aylesbury began to take control of the match, with the impressive Cracknell and Gould using the ball well in the midfield area, as the tackling became more desperate and crude Dolan became the first Dunstable player of the afternoon to be booked.

On 25 minutes Aylesbury got themselves in front, following good work on the left flank from Mead, the full back got in a good cross and Drew Roberts made no mistake, placing the ball into the top corner of the net from 10 yards out, the goal had been some time coming for the former Kettering striker and he could not hide his delight and relief, rushing over to the dug out to celebrate with Danny Nicholls and the team in front of the Ducks supporters. 1-0 Aylesbury

United double the advantage on 32 minutes, as Danny Mead and Jay Gould worked a free kick from the right into the area where Luke Graham was in the right place to find the net. 2-0 Aylesbury

Soon after though Dunstable sought to remind Aylesbury of their never say die attitude as a scramble in the Aylesbury area led to Rashid having to improvise and use his legs to clear.

Dunstable continued to look threatening in the final 10 minutes of the first half, Danny Mead shown a yellow card for desperately pulling back Robbie Kean on the right as the Town player made his way past The Ducks defender, before a scuffed shot from the same player forced Rashid into some brave work at the feet of Barnett as the striker slid in attempting to apply a finish touch. In between times Walker found his way into Referee Field's notebook for a heavy challenge from behind on Leon Gutzmore as The Ducks striker jumped for a header. It took the former Cambridge player some time to return to his feet following treatment.

Half-time: Aylesbury 2-0 Dunstable

On 50 minutes Drew Roberts hit a speculative shot from just outside the left hand corner of the 18 yard area which somehow crept into the goal to Taylor?s right. 3-0 Aylesbury

The introduction of Paul Lamb for Gould in the midfield only served to give Aylesbury an even stronger hold on the game and it was no surprise when mistakes began to be forced from the tired looking side in Red. On 62 minutes the ever alert Danny Mead took advantage of a slip from Ryan Frater to dispossess the defender and square for Drew Roberts to compete his hat trick from close range. 4-0 Aylesbury

United introduced Colin Baker in the 66th minute and he was involved in a goalmouth scramble on 69 minutes, as first Mead, then Gutzmore and finally Roberts failed to find the net as the visitors goal narrowly avoided being breached for a fifth time in the match.

It proved to be a temporary prevention, as in the 77th minute substitute Baker crashed a strike into the far corner of the net from the right hand side of the penalty area following good work and chipped pass from Cracknell outside the box. 5-0 Aylesbury

Man of the Match Drew Roberts was replaced by Danny Gray with 10 minutes remaining to the ovation that the hat trick hero?s performance deserved. Following this United could and perhaps should of scored more but credit to Taylor in the Dunstable goal as a quickly taken stoppage time free kick from Mead was kept out when many other goalkeepers would have been caught napping.

So a comprehensive win and a move up the table for Danny Nicholls' men, along with 2 milestones highlighted by Ducks supporter David Figg aka Brains. The first being that with this win Aylesbury marked their 500th appearance in the Southern League with a victory, on the day that the club recorded their first win in the same competition, a 2-1 away victory at Poole Town on 3rd January 1977. The Aylesbury faithful will begin to dream that The Ducks can climb out of The Southern League and follow in the footsteps of Trevor Gould?s team that achieved this feat in 1988.

Ian Lowe