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Match Report

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Aylesbury’s Creasey Park hoodoo was finally laid to rest as the Ducks claimed their first win on Dunstable’s ground since 1985 with a narrow victory.

That the result was such a close one in the end was something of a surprise after an opening twenty-five minutes where it appeared that a comfortable afternoon was in the offing for the visitors after two early strikes had put them 2-0 up in 20 minutes.

A shoddy defensive performance and air of complacency allowed Dunstable to level early in the second half, but United dug deep enough to score a deciding third goal and claim the three points – just.

United started with the same team that had won convincingly at Hatfield Town, and they were quickly on top against a side crippled by unavailability. Such was the depleted nature of Town’s squad they could only name one recognised defender, and had 43-year old keeper Nigel Blower in goal. And it showed.

Straight from kickoff Lea Coulter brought the ball forward before firing a left footed shot wide, and thirty seconds later Baines shot straight at Blower having been played in.

Some great football in the second minute ended with Townsend heading down for Garcia, whose resurgent recent form has been a key factor in Aylesbury’s upturn, but his well struck low shot was fielded comfortably by Blower.

It came as no surprise when the Ducks did net after five minutes. After several attempts, including one which hit the bar, Edgeworth was able to nod in from virtually on the goal line as keeper and defender stood motionless watching. 1-0 Aylesbury

Townsend tried to double the score soon afterwards when he hooked wide from Potter’s poor attempted clearance, before the Blues troubled Greens for the first time when Dale Turney walked his way through the defence on twelve minutes. It would have been a contender for goal of the season had Jack Sillitoe not pulled off a wonderful save to tip the ball over.

The resultant corner also brought about another good save as Sillitoe got up again to turn over from Pickering’s prodded effort this time.

The game was wide open with neither defence appearing to be on great form, and Townsend went close again when he nodded Mercer’s flighted cross just wide at the back post, before Luke Lincoln fired wide having peeled away from Mulholland at the other end.

United took further control of proceedings on 19 minutes when Coulter got the better of makeshift centre half Lee Burgoyne before squaring for Baines who had the simple task of rolling it into the net from close range. 2-0 Aylesbury

Aylesbury continued to have the chances with Edgeworth’s header going straight at Blower, before the same player took a quick free kick and curled the ball just past the unguarded net. The decision had caused some confusion in the first place with referee Mr Corner seeming to have awarded a penalty after Coulter had been unceremoniously hacked down, but then deciding the offence happened just outside the box.

Mercer and Coulter both had shots go wide, before Dunstable were gifted a route back into the match from the penalty spot. Mercer and Sillitoe both failed to deal with a long ball forward, the Aylesbury keeper subsequently bringing down Birch just inside the box. No complaints, and no mistake with the kick by Jon Cooper. 1-2

Even with the arrears reduced Aylesbury were still largely on top as the half came to an end. Townsend should have done better when he headed over from close range following a corner, whilst Baines had an effort held after Coulter’s lay off.

Sillitoe was called upon in first half stoppage time as he had to tip the ball over for a third time when Clark headed goalwards from a corner kick.

Half-time: Dunstable 1-2 Aylesbury

Aylesbury made a change at the break as Acheampong replaced the cautioned Townsend which may have affected United who seemed to still be in the dressing room in a poor start to the second half.

With just five minutes gone Edgeworth gifted Dunstable their second goal, as his misplaced pass fell straight to Lincoln who was able to turn and direct an accurate shot into the bottom corner past Sillitoe and bring his side level. 2-2

It took a full ten minutes more before United finally found themselves again in the second period, but as the minutes went by they gradually came back into proceedings.

Another effort from Garcia was well held by Blower, who had a fairly decent game all things considered. The Ducks’ number 7 was at it again moments later, this time his low shot zipping past the upright.

Dunstable were still having chances of their own though, as Aylesbury’s defending continued to be shaky. A cross was headed over the bar, before Jon Barnett was presented a free-shot but fired wide of the target. The same player fared no better on the hour mark when he could only produce a powderpuff effort as the ball dropped to him.

Jones curled a free-kick over the bar as the Ducks stepped up their efforts to find a winner, and it eventually came in the 70th minute when Baines grabbed his second. Pickering was at fault, ‘brushed’ off the ball by the strength of Baines who then fired home easily past Blower. Dunstable protested ‘foul’ vehemently and another referee might well have given the decision against Aylesbury, but on this occasion their luck was in, and, in any event, Mr Corner was 60-yards behind the play and in no position to make a decision. 3-2 Aylesbury

Still it wasn’t to be plain sailing for Aylesbury as the game entered its’ final fifteen minutes. Acheampong was rather harshly penalised for handball after Aylesbury FC loanee Luke Abraham blasted the ball at him, and from the resulting Barnett curled the ball wide.

Birch shot wide after a swift Dunstable break and Sillitoe had to claw a corner kick away as Dunstable kept up the pressure.

Then, for Aylesbury, Edgeworth showed some great skill to beat a man on the byeline before flashing the ball across the face of goal where it only needed a touch. Acheampong then drove forward with the ball before firing a low shot wide.

Mulholland had to make a couple of late interceptions to keep the hosts at bay as they pushed right to the end, as he made a last ditch challenge then headed a deep cross over the bar five minutes.

Clark sliced a shot badly wide, before, right at the death, Birch hit the post with a cross shot after Barnett had played him in.

It was a nervy end to the match for the Ducks, especially after the start when it had appeared that an easy win was on the cards, but they held firm and eventually were able to claim all three points.