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Match Report



Back to back wins for the first time since January re-ignited the possibility of a late playoff surge for Aylesbury with a 1-0 win over lowly Barton Rovers.

In one change from the side which defeated Chasetown the previous week, young midfielder Danny Jones made his full debut in place of the injured Kevin Mealor, whilst there was a return for long-term absentee Leon Gutzmore who took a place on the bench.

The opening exchanges had a real 'end of season' feel about them, with the game played at a slow pace and little in the way of talking points.

The Ducks then had two half chances, Richard Pringle only connecting with a toe-poke which flew wide from Andy Shed's flick, then Liam Smyth striking a low effort which deflected and bobbled wide of the post.

The resulting corner was met with a crashing header by Pringle, but his effort was scrambled off the line by the well placed Graeme Buchanan. A feature of Barton's game was their quick counter-attacks, and they sprung such a move straight from Pringle's chance, the ball quickly played to Daniel Douglas who broke through but the ball ran away from him at the last and was stabbed away by Tom Vincent.

Four minutes later Douglas was at it again, his pace taking him away from Nick Leach, but as he struck the ball it rebounded off the advancing Vincent, before Douglas went down for a penalty appeal, Mr Field not interested.

Full-back Jermaine Daley drilled a long distance free kick wide, before Danny Jones nearly marked his first start with a goal - his delicate 25-yard chip just over after Robbie Timms was caught off his line.

Jones was in the thick of things again a minute later as he turned the ball back in after a half-cleared corner, before it looped up and was headed narrowly over by Carl Kavanagh.

Barton went close twice more when first James Hatch fired wide after a poor defensive clearance, then Douglas touched the ball to Adrian Bascombe who used his pace and trickery to evade three challenges before his shot was charged down by Daniel Mead.

Danny Jones fancied his chances again from similar range to his first effort, this time with a half-volley which dropped onto the roof of the net. At the other end Hatch smashed a shot high and wide after a ball ran loose on the edge of the area.

Aylesbury took control of the game with an opening goal just before half-time. Defender Jason Thomas misjudged the flight of a ball over the top, allowing it to bounce over his head, and Andy Shed ran through to calmly lob the stranded Timms. 1-0 Aylesbury

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-0 Barton

Barton were less of a threat after the interval, despite their attacking intent of throwing a third striker on in the form of ex-Duck Meshach Cole shortly into the second half.

The Ducks came close to a scrappy second on two occasions, Kavanagh's headed effort flicked narrowly over his own bar by Thomas, then a long-throw causing confusion in the Rovers' area before Pringle swivelled and shot wide of the target.

As the visitors grew tired, their attacking threat fizzled out, and with the withdrawal of dangerman Douglas assumedly through fatigue, Leach and Kavanagh were generally comfortable at the back.

On 71 minutes Shed was desperately unlucky not to double his side's lead. Pringle rose to head Timm's weak goal kick straight back, Shed running on and sliding in, but his poked effort went just the wrong side of the goal.

A Jones free kick went well over the bar, before Liam Smyth tried to double his goal tally for the season with a driven effort that was always going off target.

The return of Leon Gutzmore, on for Shed, added fresh legs to the Aylesbury attack, but it was Barton who so nearly grabbed an equaliser when Stuart Strange's free kick from near the byline flashed right across goal.

Gutzmore made his presence felt in stoppage time, taking down a free kick and shooting all the way across goal with his left foot.

After some lengthy stoppage time due to earlier injuries and an off the ball altercation between Kavanagh and Cole, the final whistle eventually sounded to the relief of United's players. Five points between the Ducks and the holy grail of a playoff place, perhaps there's still time for an unlikely late playoff challenge?