The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report



The Ducks took on Rothwell Town on the back of a four match unbeaten run which had seen them creep up to 7th place in the league.

Rothwell's side featured a number of former Kettering Town players, including ex-Duck Jonathan Bewers in midfield, and with a new manager in Alan Biley were in confident mood.

Both sides could have scored in the opening five minutes when a goalmouth scramble was eventually fired over by The Bones at one end. Then Enzo Silvestri mis-hit a shot straight at goalkeeper Tom Smith after latching onto Richard Pringle's cross.

In the sixteenth minute Ricky Butler found himself free on the left, and drew a smart save at the near post by Tom Vincent with his legs.

Unlike so many of United's Southern League opponents this season, the visitors were proving adept at keeping the ball on the ground, and with both teams playing good football the match was developing into an exciting encounter.

Silvestri had a shot blocked after Pringle had levered a free-kick down to him midway through the half, before Liam Smyth cut in from his right-wing position but flashed a shot wide on his left foot.

Nick Leach came close to netting on the half hour mark when his header at a near-post corner was kept out by Smith, further pressure was applied with some dangerous crosses but the final contact was missing.

Two minutes later the Bones went close themselves. Michael Boyle-Chong cut in from the flank, and his shot was deflected wide for a corner. Aylesbury, looking predictably susceptible at corner kicks, struggled to defend the set-play which was eventually blocked on the line. The follow-up was then fired straight at Vincent.

Play was quickly at the other end of the field as Pringle ran onto a long ball and went for goal, the ball spilled by Smith and then fired right across the open goal.

Silvestri then wasted a good chance after Leon Gutzmore cut the ball back to him inside the area, but he shot well over the bar.

Rothwell edged in front five minutes before the break. Having almost scored with an identical effort six minutes beforehand, defender Richard Sturgess rose unchallenged to head home a left-wing corner. 1-0 Rothwell

There was still plenty of action before the interval, Gutzmore held the ball up for an eternity to the left of the area before slipping a pass into Kevin Mealor who, with a hefty deflection, hit the bar with his shot.

Aylesbury did had the ball in the net soon after, but the goal was ruled out for offside even though it appeared to have come off a defender on its way through to Pringle, who had finished well.

United were dominating play, but they couldn't make it count in the closing moments. Silvestri sprayed a pass forward to Pringle, who saw his fierce effort blocked. The resulting corner was taken short to Daniel Mead whose cross was headed away under pressure from Pringle, as an action packed first half was brought to a close.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-1 Rothwell

After the interval the game settled down into a quieter affair, taking a while to get up to speed again. Pringle had the first chance, flicking Carl Kavanagh's long throw over the crossbar.

Unfortunately the Bones doubled their lead just a minute later. Chris Difante did brilliantly on the right to beat his man and cross for Martin Flanagan, who had broken from midfield to meet the ball with a sweetly struck scissor kick that found the bottom corner. 2-0 Rothwell

The Ducks refused to give up though, and continued to keep the ball well at times without seriously threatening the goal. Half chances came and went, as balls were unsuccessfully delivered into the box.

Luke Melisi replaced Mealor and the substitute set up Pringle with a quality diagonal ball which the big man took on his chest, but volleyed wide from an ever decreasing angle.

Aylesbury's efforts were finally rewarded with a goal. Gutzmore did well to latch onto a ball over the top, beat goalkeeper Smith and lob for goal, Pringle applying the final touch to carry the ball past the recovering defender. 2-1 Rothwell

Liam Smyth went close again after another run with the ball, but his left-footed shot was comfortably held by Tom Smith.

The chances continued to fall for Aylesbury, literally this time as the ball dropped for Nick Leach after a corner kick, but his finishing resembled that of a centre back as the ball sailed over the goal.

In the final minute of the game the Ducks came close to nicking a point, which wouldn't have been underserved. After Gutzmore turned the ball goalwards Leach stuck out a leg to fire for goal, but the ball was cleared away off the line as Rothwell hung on for their 3 points.