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The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report

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Aylesbury secured an excellent 3-2 win at eighth placed Hanwell Town, but they had to come from behind to do it in another eventful match.

Hanwell were without their 36-goal striker Blaise O’Brien – fit enough only for the bench due to a back strain – whilst Aylesbury were forced into a defensive rejig in the absence of Hateley Mercer and Mark Toms, with Jamie O’Grady and Justin Gordon coming into the full back positions.

The opening exchanges were fairly even, Aylesbury having the first attempt through the unlikely source of O’Grady who caught a volley sweetly as his dipping effort nearly caught keeper Keiran Jimmy out as he scrambled it behind.

Charley Baverstock, carrying the can for O’Brien, tried his luck from distance but got an ambitious shot all wrong as it sailed wide.

Mulholland headed a well delivered Jones corner kick over the bar, before Sillitoe had to turn Carl Powell’s bottom-corner bound effort away as both sides carried a goal threat.

After Edgeworth’s instinctive shot flew wide, Hanwell edged ahead in the 24th minute with a well worked goal. Baverstock played a neat one-two to work his way into the box before rolling a finish past Sillitoe and into the far corner. 1-0 Hanwell

The home side could have extended their lead when Mulholland had a couple of hairy moments, twice presenting the ball straight back to Hanwell’s strikers who couldn’t capitalise, Baverstock eventually pulling his shot wide.

Aylesbury then stepped up their own pressure and had a good spell where they were well on top. Baines shot wide having received O’Grady’s long throw in, and there was some controversy when Coulter appeared to be brought down by the keeper having hustled possession back from him but the referee wasn’t interested.

The same player then headed over a teasing Jones cross as the Ducks got closer to an equaliser.

It duly arrived in the 34th minute, brought about from a corner kick which Jones won with a good shot which took a nick on its’ way wide across the face of goal. The corner kick caused Hanwell all kinds of problems and on its second stab goalwards was smashed in from close range by the alert Edgeworth. 1-1

Mulholland wasn’t having the most accurate of evenings with his heading, as he again directed the ball wide at the far post after getting on the end of yet another pinpoint Jones free-kick.

Hanwell ended the half on top and nearly profited from Gordon’s misplaced clearance when captain Michael Buckley fired a first time effort wide.

They were then thwarted by Sillitoe four minutes from the break when Powell raced away from the defence only to find the visiting keeper smothering his shot having come off his line, with Buckley heading the resulting corner well over the bar.

Half-time: Hanwell 1-1 Aylesbury

1-1 was a fair reflection of an even first half, but the Ducks started the second half like a speeding car on the neighbouring A40, and within two minutes had completed their turnaround.

Jones’ free-kick found Mulholland at the back post who headed goalwards where Baines was waiting to turn it into the net from close range. 2-1 Aylesbury

Hanwell were quickly unravelling in defence, with Joe Hatcher in particular fast falling apart. A breakdown in communication between he and keeper Jimmy allowed Coulter to nick in and poke the ball goalwards, only for Scott Ensom to sweep it off the line.

Ensom was to be thrust into the thick of the action even more as he donned the keeper’s gloves for the rest of the match as Jimmy, injured in a first half collision with Mulholland, was forced out of the game and replaced by Antony Rowlands. It was a generally unhappy 99th Hanwell appearance for Jimmy.

Two keepers wouldn’t have saved what was to happen next though, as Coulter got the better of Hatcher to a bouncing ball before firing in a spectacular shot from a tight angle which dropped in off the far post. Superb. 3-1 Aylesbury

It gave Aylesbury the controlling advantage they wanted, and things could have got even better as they continued to enjoy a spell of dominance.

Townsend’s shot was excellently tipped wide by Ensom, before a Coulter header from Edgeworth’s cross was also kept out as Ensom proved himself to be a more than able deputy between the posts.

Aylesbury weren’t able to keep their pressure going though, and unlike other teams faced this season, the home side refused to simply roll over and die and soon hit back with some pressure of their own.

Following a dangerous corner kick the ball was fired wide, and then Baverstock tried his luck again from distance with an effort which flew miles wide.

Hanwell did pull a goal back with another well made effort, which saw the ball played in from the left to Baverstock who laid it back for Buckley to drive crisply into the bottom corner. 2-3

With nearly twenty minutes to play Hanwell would have hoped to have the kind of comeback which just wasn’t forthcoming, and Aylesbury for their part were able to keep their host largely at arms length.

Town’s cause wasn’t helped when their third substitute – and ex-Duck – Jason Tucker had to limp off having landed awkwardly, leaving them to play the last ten minutes or so with ten men.

There was also the worrying sight of United’s Lea Coulter also limping out of the game, but having been kicked from pillar to post all night with little protection from the referee it was hardly a surprise.

As for goalmouth action, there was barely any in the closing stages although Mulholland headed another Jones corner wide in the last minute, as Aylesbury did what they hadn’t been able against Hertford and successfully closed the game out.