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Match Report

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Aylesbury’s unbeaten march through March continued with a home draw against Hadley, but it was a case of two points dropped after the Ducks twice surrendered their winning position.

Jack Sillitoe was named captain for the day in recognition of his 100th club appearance, but the game will be remembered more for a near 25-minute delay following an injury to his opposition number Adam Robinson. The unfortunate Robinson required paramedic attention after a collision with John Mulholland at an otherwise routine corner kick.

From the restart United were caught almost trance-like as they simply couldn’t switch back on to the game, allowing Hadley to level, which, after an opening half hour of complete domination by Aylesbury, the Reds scarcely deserved.

It wasn’t a high octane start to the game, but Aylesbury were calmly controlling proceedings and had their first effort after six minutes when Mulholland’s skimming header from Jones’ corner drifted wide.

The Ducks had a goal rightly disallowed on 11 minutes when Townsend headed in Gordon’s searching cross, before Edgeworth fancied his chances with a long range shot which flew wide seconds later.

And as Aylesbury began to turn the screw, Robinson was called upon to make a superb save to tip Coulter’s top corner bound volley around the post having been teed up by Baines’ chest down.

Hadley’s first shot at goal arrived midway through the half when veteran Dean Parratt was gifted the ball back by Warren Garcia, but his early effort was well wide of the target.

Coulter showed how it was done as he gave United the lead with another stunning strike. Edgeworth cleverly lifted the ball over the defence, Coulter bringing it down and thumping home an angled shot from a tough angle which left Robinson no chance. 1-0 Aylesbury

It was just reward for Aylesbury’s control of the game to that point, and further chances came the way of Coulter who first found the side-netting having turned the defence inside out, before firing in another good effort which was plucked out of the air by Robinson following more good link up with Baines.

Once the game had got underway again following the long break, Aylesbury found themselves pinned deep back in their half as Hadley mounted sustained pressure for the first time.

Bruce Hutchinson’s cross into the box hit the inside of the post, whilst an effort from Simpson had to be clawed away by Sillitoe.

Still United were unable to clear their lines, and as the ball was played back to Simpson he made no mistake this time with a clinical finish which nestled into the bottom left corner. 1-1

Aylesbury would have appreciated the half-time whistle earlier than it eventually did arrive, and they left the field needing to regroup and recover.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-1 Hadley

To their credit, the Ducks did just that. Despite an early scare which saw Sillitoe have to be off his line smartly to smother an effort from Elsawahli, Aylesbury went on to control most of the second half like they had done earlier in the game, albeit with less in the way of chances.

In the 53rd minute Edgeworth’s free-kick was headed wide at the far post by Baines. Jack Wood then came within inches of re-establishing his side’s lead when he connected with Jones’ corner on the volley, the ball skimming the bar.

Edgeworth then came even closer when his peach of a strike from outside the box struck the upright full on, having looked like a goal from the moment it left his boot.

He had another shot blocked by a defender this time out for a corner kick having been up by Coulter.

The second goal, which had been coming, duly arrived with twenty minutes remaining and was the result of the best move of the match. Wood picked out Garcia who had made a lung-busting run from midfield, and his ball across the box took the keeper out of the game and found Baines who couldn’t miss an empty goal from 3-yards. 2-1 Aylesbury

Unfortunately Aylesbury weren’t able to build on their lead, and the three substitutions that had been made only served to affect their rhythm as the team’s shape suddenly seemed to go out the window.

Five minutes from time Hadley capitalised on some more sloppy play from United as they conceded a cheap free kick near the corner flag. The ball was swung in a joyfully headed in by Simpson who had risen highest to claim his 16th goal of the season. 2-2

The Ducks, with some tired looking players, were unable to recover and although Wood and Townsend had late efforts, they had to settle for the draw.