The Evo-Stik League South
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Match Report

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Aylesbury United got their Southern League campaign underway with an entertaining 1-1 draw at home to Chippenham Town. The Ducks were unlucky not to have taken all three points though, after the Bluebirds were awarded a last minute penalty.

It was cruel justice on United who had been the better side for most of the game, yet were unable to carve out much in the way of clear cut chances.

Danny Nicholls named two debutants in his starting eleven - young defender Liam Dolman, on-loan from Northampton Town, played at right-back as well striker Darran Hay. Aston Goss was handed a place on the bench and was also to come on for his first senior appearance for the club.

Neil Lazarus had an early effort go wide, after Jamie Kearn's free-kick caused a penalty area melee. Daniel Mead curled another free-kick just over the goal minutes later.

The early signs were promising as United played good football and put their opponents under pressure. Drew Roberts spread the ball out to Paul Edgeworth on the right, but Gavin Jaggard could only direct the winger's cross wide. An excellent delivery from Lazarus was then just missed by Darran Hay.

Aylesbury's best chance came after 16 minutes. Chippenham's left-back Wayne Thorne completely missed the ball, allowing Edgeworth to get free down the right. His low cross was dummied by Roberts, but Lazarus could only shoot over.

It was the Bluebirds who went closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half. A corner was half-cleared as far as Gary Thorne who unleashed a powerful effort which Jack Rashid had to be alert to stop reaching the top-corner. Defender Matthew McEntegart could only fired the rebound well over.

Edgeworth found the ball at his feet on 27 minutes, but the angle to goal was too great and he missed the target. Then Doleman nearly made a scoring start to his time at the club, cutting inside and driving the ball narrowly over from 20-yards.

Chippenham had an excellent chance just before the break. An intricate free-kick routine resulted in the ball being worked out to Sam Allison, but with the goal at his mercy he pulled his shot wide of the far-post.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-0 Chippenham

As the weather conditions deteriorated after the break and the rain began lashing down around Buckingham Road, the game began to lose its edge. James Constable hit a skimming effort from distance which Rashid comfortably gathered.

Roni Joe then replaced midfielder Jamie Kearns who appeared to be struggling with injury.

Roberts hit a speculator from range which caused Steve Perrin no problems, and Darran Hay headed a Mead cross well wide of the target. United at this point seemed to be drifting out of the game, unable to come to terms with the wet and windy conditions.

Aston Goss replaced Edgeworth with 15 minutes to play, and he played a part in the opening goal which followed five minutes later.

A raking pass played out to the left-wing was sublimely controlled by the young winger, who played the ball back to Mead. His delivery seemed to be handled by Gary Thorne, and as the referee waved away the protests the ball was worked out wide to Roni Joe.

Joe showed the skill that made him a favourite in previous spells at the club to beat his man and lay the ball off for Drew Roberts. The striker took one touch and was never going to miss from 5-yards out. 1-0 Aylesbury

Chippenham threw everything at United in the remaining ten minutes, bringing on an additional striker in Alan Griffin. His acrobatic effort went well wide, and as the clock ticked down it appeared as though Aylesbury had done enough.

But in stoppage time Jack Rashid came out of his goal to meet forward David Gilroy, and was adjudged to have fouled his man when diving to try and punch the ball away. A decision which was hotly disputed all around Buckingham Road. The result was Gilroy dusting himself off and coolly dispatching the penalty kick to rescue a fortuitous point for Chippenham. 1-1

With no time remaining Aylesbury pushed forward, but to no avail as full-time was blown almost immediately. A good point to start the season, but it could have been so much more.