Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard Attendance: 217
Referee: Mr M. Murphy
Aylesbury slumped to defeat at Bell Close following another dire meeting between the Ducks and Leighton Town. Recent clashes between the two sides have been generally lifeless and this awful demonstration of route one football was no exception.
As the teams struggled to create chances, ?goalless draw' was written all over the game and would have been a fair result, until James Hatch popped up to net with fifteen minutes remaining.
Leighton are notorious for scoring from set pieces, so it came as little surprise that the eventual winner came from a corner kick. They had given notice of their intent as early as the third minute when a corner was eventually scrambled off the line, and then a minute later a throw-in was flicked on and flashed across goal.
As is often the case, Aylesbury's visit brought Leighton their biggest crowd of the season to date, but they were being served up anything but a footballing feast.
Both sides had to feed on scraps throughout the opening period, Leighton's best chance coming at another corner kick which was met by Peter Clifford, but his looping header dropped over the bar.
Marsh was the man who came closest for Aylesbury to breaking the deadlock when he capitalised on a rare defensive error to run clean through, guiding his shot across the keeper and narrowly wide of the target.
It would have been the perfect time to score with the interval just seconds away, but instead the Ducks had to contend with a chance at the other end where Hatch was played in but blazed well over the crossbar.
Half-time: Leighton 0-0 Aylesbury
Aylesbury began the second half in more positive spirits and were the better side for a good fifteen minute spell. Sadly, they were lacking a creative spark and continually struggled to create any genuine chances.
Mealor had a half-volley deflected wide for a corner after three minutes, then Mark Jones called Turney into some action when he had to gather the ball down low after he connected with Marsh's ball in from the left.
Mealor was seemingly involved with all of Aylesbury's attacking play, and he met Jones' near-post corner ten minutes into the second half but his effort was scrambled away.
Six minutes later Mealor went on a surging run before eventually feeding Hawkins. His left footed effort was wayward but found Jones sliding in at the far post but he couldn't get the ball on target, otherwise it was a certain goal.
Leighton then forced yet another corner which Hatch met but could only guide his effort wide across goal; a warning of what was to follow and a sign that Aylesbury's best spell of the game had come to an end.
After a round of substitutions which saw Sam Swonnell make his return to the team for Aylesbury, Ben Gallant brought the ball forward before firing in a low shot from distance which was easily held by Vincent.
What proved to be the winner came on 72 minutes. In an almost carbon copy of his earlier effort, Hatch met a right-sided corner kick and guided the ball into the net despite Vincent's desperate attempts to keep the ball out. 1-0 Leighton
There was still the best part of twenty minutes remaining, yet the Ducks showed little to suggest there was a way back into the match for them in that time.
Leighton had the best of the two remaining efforts on goal, one of their several ex-Ducks Aston Goss came forward and went for goal with a left footed strike that had to be turned wide by Vincent.
In the very final minute Marsh struck a snapshot well wide which summed up United's afternoon in front of goal, and with that the game was over. Another to be consigned to the back of memories as quickly as possible.
It's clear on this evidence that Aylesbury's management team have plenty of work to do in the coming weeks, and will certainly need a much improved performance if the Ducks' are to get anything out of the Christmas derby match.