Hitchin Road, Arlesey Attendance: 162
Referee: Mr P. Martin (Wellingborough)
A dismal 2-0 reverse at Arlesey Town meant six games without an away win for the Ducks. Given Arlesey's own record of four successive defeats, and no goals scored in the last three games, the result looks even worse for United.
Aylesbury's team had another new look to it, as new Peterborough United loanees Darren Gourlay and Lewis Webb lined up in defence and midfield respectively. Both stood out, as would be expected of full-time professionals dropping to this level, and were perhaps the only bright spots of another afternoon which should be quickly forgotten about.
The first shot of the afternoon went the way of the Blues, Jamie Osborne getting the better of Gourlay and receiving a ball but shooting over when well placed.
United's performance wasn't all that bad though, and after that early scare they were by far the better team for the first fifteen minutes, as Arlesey were unable to contain them. Mead cut inside from his unfamiliar right-sided position, and saw his shot held by James Russell.
Russell went on to be named man of the match, highlighting further that Aylesbury had deserved more from this match. He made another good catch to stop Chris Marsh's effort, after the striker had showed good skill to create room for the shot.
The pressure on the home side was intense, and it seemed only a matter of time before a goal would arrive. A great ball from Jones released Marsh, his ball across the area just missed by the arriving Boyce. Then the next minute Marsh played the ball in to Hawkins who could only toe-end the ball wide. Mead then also had an effort after some fantastic build-up play from Aylesbury.
Blues manager Matt Corbould then altered his team's shape to match Aylesbury's packed midfield, and it worked a treat as the visitors' period of dominance began to fizzle out and the pace of the game slowed drastically as the sides started cancelling each other out.
Hawkins went close for the Ducks on 18 minutes when his shot from a tight angle was kept out more by luck than judgement by Russell a the near post, his save ricocheting off the upright and back to him.
Former United favourite Richard Pringle then showed a reminder of his threat inside the area, shooting wide across goal after the ball dropped invitingly for him
The game was now more evenly poised, and Aylesbury had two chances before the break to Arlesey's one. A good attack ended with Hawkins having a shot charged down in the area, then on the stroke of half-time his excellent cross in from the left was just missed by the stooping Mead.
At the other end the Blues' best chance of the half was wasted, when a long, straight free-kick wasn't dealt with properly by the Ducks, falling kindly for Tawhid Januja who could only fire straight at Vincent.
Half-time: Arlesey 0-0 Aylesbury
Aylesbury's failure to take their chances is nothing new, it's been a problem for many months, and yet again it proved to be their downfall, as Arlesey took the lead five minutes after the restart with a goal that they should never have been allowed.
Matt Waldron miscontrolled the ball in midfield, but instead of possession being won back by Aylesbury, he managed to pick himself up and drive forward past two challenges before feeding James Osborne. With defenders out of position he had time and space to slot calmly past Vincent. 1-0 Arlesey
Three minutes later it went from bad to worse for Aylesbury, the hosts grabbing a second in controversial circumstances. A corner delivery again saw some poor defending, Danny Mead went down with a head injury, unseen by the referee, and in the ensuing carnage Matt Kimani fired home despite Vincent getting fingertips to the shot. 2-0 Arlesey
Coming back from two goals down looked a very difficult task for Aylesbury considering their goal-shy performances of late, but they kept plugging away and after a frustrating and fruitless period they eventually began to come back into the game.
There was some pressure, but more often than not no product for their efforts. One move saw Marsh cleverly backheel into Boyce's path and his chipped effort was plucked out of the air by Russell.
Russell's best save of the game came with fifteen minutes still remaining, getting down low to tip Chris Marsh's deflected shot wide. If that had snuck in, it would have set up a very interesting last few minutes, but it just wasn't to be for United.
Pringle had a couple of chances as the minutes wore on, shooting a low effort wide of the goal, then unable to hit the target with a far post header when unmarked.
Graham himself went close in stoppage time, racing through but seeing his low shot saved well by the alert Russell. It truly summed up Aylesbury's afternoon in front of goal.
The full-time whistle couldn't come quickly enough for some, and was met with a disgruntled response and loud boos from certain sections of the large travelling contingent as another disappointing away result was confirmed.