Match Report

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James Faulkner's second half strike was enough to divide the two sides as Aylesbury won a dour encounter with Rushall Olympic at the Meadow.

Both sides had been labelled 'promotion hopefuls' over the course of the season, and fans could have been forgiven for expecting a well fought match, but it was just as disappointing as it was lacking in quality.

Tony Thompson kept faith with the team that had lost out to Leamington the previous week, although Nick Leach and Stuart Cattell swapped positions in defence.

A tepid opening twenty minutes was short on incidents, although Faulkner was ridiculously booked for an alleged raising of the boot, although his opponent was on the ground at the time diving to head the ball.

Rushall also had a half hearted penalty appeal turned away after Neil Barnfield went down in the box coming across Kevin Mealor.

It took 22 minutes before the first shot on goal, and it came from the visitors when Dave Haywood lashed a shot wide from the edge of the box.

Despite being rarely involved throughout the first half, it was new signing Danny Nicholls who had Aylesbury's first effort five minutes later when he came forward and struck an effort wide with his left foot.

Cattell had the only other shot before the break when he fired the ball across goal after Faulkner's cross had been cleared to him.

Half-time eventually followed, and nobody was disappointed at the sound of Mr Muge's whistle after such an awful opening forty-five minutes.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-0 Rushall

In fairness, the second period was a slight improvement and a handful more chances were created as both sides went for an important win.

The half started with Nicholls again going for goal, this time catching a sweet volley, but seeing the ball fly past the post.

On the hour mark the deadlock was finally broken. Faulkner was in the right position to finish neatly on the half-volley after Rushall failed to clear their lines. 1-0 Aylesbury

Nicholls had more an impact after the break, but less could be said of his fellow debutant from the Leamington game, Mike Feely, and he was replaced by Liburd immediately after the Ducks scored.

It was Nicholls who set up the next opportunity when and Faulkner linked up, the latter firing wide of the target.

Despite holding the lead, Aylesbury were unable to go on and control the game, and there were nervy moments as Rushall came close to equalising on 68 minutes when Haywood's shot took a huge deflection and looped up. The ball rebounded off the crossbar to the waiting Craig Marshall, but he headed wide to his great embarrassment.

The hard working Andy Shed went close moments later after Faulkner flicked on a long-throw, and Shed hooked the ball over the bar first time.

Tom Vincent was called into his first save of the match, and went some way to preserving the three points for Aylesbury when he turned Haywood's driven free-kick around the post.

That was as good as things got for the visitors, and United's substitutions injected some fresh legs in attack for the closing stages.

Craig Henney brought the ball forward before seeing a shot held by Tony Breedon. Nicholls then did similar as he tried to catch Breedon out with an early effort, but it was also comfortably caught.

Henney had the game's final attempt on goal, and drew a really good save from Breedon after he had been played in by Graham, and it remained 1-0.