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Match Report



Danny Nicholls' side went into their match against 15th placed Rugby United looking to bounce back from the disappointment of losing 3-4 at Tiverton Town three days earlier. Paul Lamb returned to the side from long-term injury, in place of the departed Dean Cracknell in midfield, and there was also a place for Dean Powles with Gavin Jaggard shifting up front to replace the injured Drew Roberts.

The match couldn't have been more different to Wednesday's encounter, as the 442 in attendance at Buckingham Road watched a dire first half pass before them. Half-chances came for Danny Hall who hit a volley well off target, and Powles who also cracked an effort wide, in the opening twenty minutes.

A good run was let down by a weak shot by Robbie Beard, as the game reached the half-way point of the first period, and Craig Dutton shot wide having been played in by Julian Marsden.

Beard himself shot wide, before Aylesbury's first real opening was fashioned by Daniel Mead, crossing well for Greg Williams to get on the end of. Unfortunately the skipper got underneath the ball and his effort skimmed off past the post.

Two minutes before the break Rugby opened the scoring with the last action of the half. Dutton headed in a corner, after Jack Rashid made a rare error in judgement leaving him out of position. 1-0 Rugby

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-1 Rugby

The manager's half-time teamtalk had the desired effect yet again for the Ducks, as they levelled the match three minutes after kicking off. Daniel Mead's flighted pass was charged down by Leon Gutzmore, who held off his man and fired home with his left-foot. 1-1

Rugby had chances to re-gain the lead straight away, as first Hall had a half-volley smartly saved by Rashid, and then the same player fired in a low free-kick which was deflected away, after Beard had been fouled just outside the area.

They probably should have scored minutes later, when Marsden found himself running free of the defence, took the ball around Rashid, but then stumbled before he could get the shot away and took the ball over the byeline.

Aylesbury had struggled for inspiration throughout the match, clearly missing the inventiveness of a certain Bishop's Stortford bound midfielder. Their next effort at goal didn't come until past the hour mark, when Mead played the ball in, where Paul Edgeworth was waiting to tee up substitute Colin Baker, who's low shot was well blocked.

Neil Melvin had a header held by Rashid, before Edgeworth missed an excellent change to swing the game in Aylesbury's favour. Baker's direct running opened up Rugby's defence, and having set-up Edgeworth, the striker sliced his shot badly.

Instead, it was the Green's who were left staring at a deficit five minutes later when Rugby took the lead again. A corner kick was only half cleared, and as the ball dropped nicely for Hall he sweetly volleyed it into the back of the net. 2-1 Rugby

Mike Payne was called into his first real save of the match, to deny Aylesbury an equaliser with little time remaining. Mead's excellently delivered free-kick was met by the head of Edgeworth, but Payne was equal to it, tipping the ball wide.

The afternoon was to get even worse for Aylesbury, as the undercurrent of bad feeling came to a head in the final minute, and debutant Jamie Kearns was dismissed for retaliating to an apparent butt by Rugby's Jamie Williams.

The final whistle was shortly blown, and once again Aylesbury know they'll have to play a lot better if they are to realise any dreams of reaching the play-offs.