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Match Report

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Aylesbury went out of the FA Trophy at the 1st Qualifying Stage for the second season in succession, suffering their first defeat since the opening day of the campaign in the process.

In appearance the 3-1 result for Oxford City looks like a routine win for Southern League Premier Division side, but two of their goals were gifts thanks to catastrophic individual mistakes.

In actual fact the Ducks were the better team in the first half, but for the second game in a row were unable to finish a number of gilt-edged chances. That said, their second half showing was disappointing, with heads dropping right across the pitch after conceding a third goal and the result was deserved.

Ex-Duck James Faulkner had the afternoon's first effort, turning Carl Kavanagh too easily but seeing his low effort well saved by Sillitoe.

In a lively start, Aylesbury then had an effort cleared off the line. Maynard's right wing cross came all the way across to Mead, and his low shot was scrambled away.

Disaster struck after just six minutes when Sillitoe completely misjudged the flight of a deep free kick, the ball dropping to Steve Jackman who hooked in from a tight angle. In trying to defend his lines Mark Jones sustained an arm injury which he struggled on with for nearly another hour. 1-0 Oxford

Rather than sulking at their concession, the Ducks set about trying to level the game quickly and began playing the ball about well. Marsh came through and had a shot from the edge of the area held by Ryan Harrison, then two minutes later he fired just past the top corner on his weaker left foot after being fed by Maynard on a counter-attack.

United were controlling proceedings at this point and it looked only a matter of time before an equaliser would come as Maynard hit straight at Harrison after another great precisely built up attack.

Harrison was tested again by Maynard, tipping the ball wide to his left. The resulting corner kick was taken short to Mead, whose cross was flicked on into the path of Marsh, who nodded into the net for his first in Green & White. 1-1

The goal was just rewards for the sustained spell of pressure by Aylesbury, but they had to be alert at the other end when the typically busy Faulkner went clean through, but his shot was again matched by Sillitoe's save with his legs.

Aylesbury came agonisingly close to a second when the excellent Marsh nutmegged Andy Gunn on the touchline before delivering a great cross which was turned goalwards by Jones, only for Nathan Graham to try and carry it over from within the goal ? and being flagged for offside.

Tony Thompson was forced to make his first substitution ten minutes before the break, the unfortunate Sam Swonnell taken off injured and replaced by Aaron Flood.

For all their attacking play, just as at Soham on Tuesday night, Aylesbury hadn't turned their chances into goals, and were once again made to pay. A quick breakaway from Oxford lead to Gardner playing through to Jamie Brooks, whose shot deflected off the outrushing Sillitoe and into the net. 2-1 Oxford

It was rough justice on the Ducks as half-time loomed, but yet another example that they need to be scoring more goals when on top in matches.

Half-time: Oxford 2-1 Aylesbury

Aylesbury never hit the same heights after the break, although Marsh had a cross-shot held by Harrison in the opening ten minutes of the second period.

The Ducks suffered a further blow when Jones eventually went off with his injury, and was replaced by Kevin Mealor in an unfamiliar right-sided position.

And things got even worse four minutes later. A rare mistake by Nick Leach saw him fail to deal with a simple pass from Mead, letting in Brooks for an easy finish and his second of the afternoon. 3-1 Oxford

Although Aaron Flood tried an ambitious long range dipping effort, the earlier zest of Aylesbury's play was now sadly missing as heads appeared to have dropped following the third goal.

Indeed, the tempo of the whole game had visibly slowed as proceedings moved into the final twenty minutes. Marsh mis-hit a shot badly over the bar after some decent build-up from Aylesbury on seventy-five minutes.

Both sides had chances to increase the scoring inside the last five minutes. A curling free kick from Maynard was comfortable held by Harrison, then at the other end Craig Faulconbridge rode two challenges before smashing a shot over the bar.

Marsh summed up Aylesbury's efforts in front of goal with virtually the last kick of the game. Having burst into the box and beaten two men, he elected to shoot instead of squaring for two waiting players, and Harrison was able to gather the ball.

In the end defeat was the right result, the Ducks just unable to raise their game enough in the second half. But with two injuries sustained, and plenty of misfiring in front of goal, there's cause for concern ahead of Aylesbury's biggest game in many years.