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Match Report

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Aylesbury's third trip to Twerton Park of the season brought about a narrow defeat at the hands of Bath City, but United showed great character and with a little more luck could have returned with a point.

There was one change to the side which had faced Grantham Town, with Mark Bridge returning in midfield to replace the unavailable Roni Joe.

The Romans made all the running in the early stages, as United struggled to get a foothold in the game. Scott Partridge was inches away from opening the scoring on five minutes, when he couldn't quite reach Tony Bird's whipped cross.

But for all their slick passing Bath's end product was lacking, and Reece Kirk wasn't truly tested in the opening twenty minutes.

United's physical play on the other hand was unsettling the home side, with Richard Pringle superb in constantly winning his aerial battles, often releasing either Gutzmore or Bridge with a flick on.

Aylesbury's first effort on goal came from a needless free kick conceded by the home side. Paul Kelly flighted an excellent ball into the box, but Rob Gould couldn't get the necessary power on his header, and merely guided the ball into Paul Evans' arms.

Gutzmore then went close, having used his pace and strength to run onto a long ball, but he couldn't control his finish whilst stretching, and the ball dropped over the bar.

City then took the lead with 22 minutes played, this time one of their slick passing moves had a finish to go with it. Bird's low cross picked out Jon Holloway in the area, his shot was well saved by Kirk but unfortunately for him the ball dropped straight to Scott Partridge who doesn't miss from 5-yards. 1-0 Bath

To their utmost credit United refused to let their heads drop, and their hard work paid off with an equalising goal. Aylesbury won the ball back in midfield, and played a through ball to Mark Bridge to run in on goal. His shot was well saved by Paul Evans at full stretch, but Gutzmore followed in to crash the ball into the net. 1-1

United had to defend strongly for the remaining 15 minutes of the first half, as Bath looked to re-establish their lead. Partridge went close again with a left-footed curler, having cut inside from the right flank, but the ball flew wide of the post.

Tony Bird then nearly scored with a spectacular volley, after Partridge had chested a long ball down to him on the counter attack, but his screaming effort went narrowly over the bar.

Holloway wasted a fantastic chance to score just before the interval. A free-kick was only half cleared by Aylesbury, and passed back low into the box, where Holloway found himself one-on-one. His shot was superbly tipped wide by Kirk, but he should have scored.

Half-time: Bath City 1-1 Aylesbury United

Bath started the second half on top again, and won a free kick just outside the area, but Bird struck it hard against the wall and the ball was cleared.

At the other end Richard Pringle did well to break down the right of the penalty area, but his cross-shot flashed over the bar.

The home side finally re-established their lead on the hour mark, but they needed a wondergoal from Bird to do it. Collecting the ball on the touchline, 10-yards inside the Aylesbury half, the veteran looked up to see Reece Kirk off his goal-line, and launched a spectacular effort which flew in over the goalkeeper and into the top corner. 2-1 Bath

Going forward Bath were a constant threat, but defensively they weren't at their best, and United's hard work forced regular errors. One such mistake gave the ball straight to Pringle, and he opened up and went for goal, but the shot went just wide.

Pringle then saw a headed effort held by Evans, after Bridge delivered a good cross from the left flank.

Bath's third goal on 68 minutes was another superb effort. Collecting the ball inside his own half, on the back of a United corner, substitute Craig Davidge ran the entire length of the pitch, past three players, before squaring for Tony Bird who had the easy task of slotting home. 3-1 Bath

But Aylesbury weren't quite done yet, and they responded with another goal of their own just a minute later. A free-kick caused havoc in the Bath box, and Leon Gutzmore was on hand to bundle the ball home. 3-2 Bath

The Ducks could have levelled to make it 3-3 through Bridge, but his fierce drive whistled just past the upright, after Damon Ming had knocked the ball down to him from Powles' long-throw in.

Sadly a dramatic comeback failed to materialise, Partridge hit the post with a strong shot, although he should probably have hit the back of the net.

But Bath spent the final five minutes of the match content to hold onto the ball in the corners, testament to the threat Aylesbury had posed in the game.

Another defeat yes, but more reasons for Neil Trebble to be upbeat for Saturday's crucial match against Rugby.