Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard Attendance: 160
A stoppage time penalty brought Aylesbury’s winning run to an end as they were held to a 2-2 home draw by Hertford Town.
Hertford were the first side to threaten when Lee Roberts cut inside from the right before firing in an effort which screamed over the bar.
Aylesbury’s Daniel Jones then really should have opened the scoring having been picked out by Acheampong 10-yards from goal, only to shoot over the bar.
Only a miraculous save then denied the visitors in the 13th minute as he clawed a shot off the goal line, after the ball was cut back in the box.
The match continued to ebb and flow in an open manner, and it was Aylesbury’s turn to try their luck when Acheampong chased down a seemingly lost cause to recover the ball but spooned his effort over the bar. It was typical of his afternoon, working as hard as any other in green but often being out of luck with his final ball.
Town took the lead midway through the first half from a poorly defended left sided corner kick which was inadvertently flicked on by Mark Toms into the path of Michael Nathan who easily headed in from close range. 1-0 Hertford
It was a blow for United, though not entirely unexpected after the evenly balanced start to the game. The Ducks were quickly back on the attack though as Mulholland headed wide at the far post from Mercer’s probing cross.
They had another half chance on 30 minutes when Baines was just unable to turn the ball home following Jones’ returned ball goalwards, as he was crowded out by defenders.
Aylesbury clicked into gear in fine fashion with a quality equaliser seven minutes later. Baines broke down the right flank and picked out Coulter in the box, and it turn his delicate pass found Garcia who headed down for Jones to fire in an excellent finish across goal giving Robinson little chance. 1-1
Baines fancied his chances in the next minute but dragged an effort horribly wide, before Edgeworth fired past the opposite post with a toe-poked effort moments later.
On the stroke of half time Aylesbury were centimetres away from taking the lead when Garcia’s tremendous effort crashed back off the crossbar, with Coulter tucking away the rebound only to be denied for offside – leaving Hertford thankful to reach the interval still level.
Half-time: Aylesbury 1-1 Hertford
The second half started with Michael Casey headed effort which flew well wide after a hanging cross, and a hooked cross-shot from Johnson which went all the way across goal and wide as the visitors made the early running.
Mulholland’s header across goal from Jones’ corner saw the ball drop for Baines to have a shot which was blocked, and the subsequent corner was headed straight at Robinson by Mulholland.
Hertford were then gifted a golden lead-taking opportunity when Roberts was hauled down by Toms in the box despite little apparent danger, but Roberts, having dusted himself down, was denied from the spot by a superb Sillitoe save down to his right.
After the game had settled following that latest drama, Garcia crashed another fierce drive wide before Kevin Ayodele entered the fray in place of Acheampong.
Somewhat against the run of second half play, Aylesbury then took the lead when Edgeworth met another Jones pinpoint delivery to head home from close range. 2-1 Aylesbury
United’s skipper then tried his luck again from long range this time having brought the ball forward, but blazed well over the bar.
Hertford used up all three of their substitutions in quick succession without having a marked impact on their game as the minutes ticked by with little in the way of pressure from the visitors.
Aylesbury wasted a had a good chance when Coulter badly screwed wide following a good break lead by Garcia, and Mercer’s miss-hit cross had to prevented from dropping in by Robinson who tipped it over.
Substitute Micky O’Farrell then wasted United’s best chance of putting the game to bed when, having been released by Edgeworth’s clipped pass over the defence, he could only produce a weak effort with only Robinson to beat, firing straight at the keeper.
As the minutes ticked on to the 90 mark it looked like Aylesbury had done enough to win, but disaster struck in stoppage time when, having been robbed of possession when trying to play ‘keep-ball’ in the corner first Toms was penalised for handball 35-yards from goal, for which he was promptly shown his second yellow of the afternoon.
The ball was swung into the area and as it bounced down it struck Ayodele’s on the arm, and Mr Anastasiou had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The award could be debated at length, but the outcome saw Roberts make no mistake this time as he fired high into the top left and rescue a point for his side. 2-2
With barely time to restart the game Aylesbury trudged off dejectedly, left only to reflect their inability to close the game down successfully which in the end cost them the points, but you can’t win them all.