The Evo-Stik League South
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Match Report

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Aylesbury got the 2011/12 season off to a winning start, their first victory on opening day since 2003, but they did it the hard way by coming from behind at Goffs Lane.

Tony Joyce handed debuts to Tom Barnett in midfield and Stacey Field up front, but it was a returning old boy who arguably stole the show, as Enzo Silvestri produced an excellent display in the centre of the park demonstrating just why he deserved his starting role.

Silvestri scored what turned out to be the winner in the 29th minute, making a lung bursting run into the box to meet Field’s low ball across goal after home keeper Ed Thompson could only parry David King’s 30-yard fizzing drive.

It was all a far cry from the nightmare start the Ducks had made to their season, conceding with just three minutes gone. A low ball played into the box picked out Tony Cookey, who nutmegged Mulholland to get past him before firing into the net from 6-yards. 1-0 Broxbourne

Borough had further chances to increase their lead as Aylesbury made their traditional slow start to a match, with Cookey trying an audacious bicycle kick which failed spectacularly, and MacPherson miss-controlling having had the ball inch-perfectly threaded through to him.

Defender Albert Bostock hit the crossbar with a 12th minute header as the early one-way traffic continued, but as the half wore Aylesbury gradually began to grow into the game and they almost fashioned their first opening when O’Farrell outmuscled Bostock only to see his low cross-cum-shot scrambled away.

United slowly started to play some football and Field miss-hit a shot from the edge of the area which was easy for Thompson after some nice build up play. It was brighter from Aylesbury, who were finally finding some of their pre-season inventiveness which had so far been lacking.

The equaliser came at the exact midpoint of the half. Captain Mulholland went some way to making up for his earlier misdemeanour by turning the ball home from close range after Thompson had failed to claim a customarily dangerous inswinging free-kick from Jones. 1-1

Seven minutes later and the turnaround was complete when Silvestri marked his Ducks’ return by poking the ball home. 2-1 Aylesbury

After a quiet spell the first half was ended by Mulholland who applied a header from another Jones delivery back across goal which was begging to be touched into the net, but sadly nobody in green and white was there to get the necessary touch.

Half-time: Broxbourne 1-2 Aylesbury

The start of the second half was delayed by the bizarre non-appearance of the referee – as the two teams were kept waiting to kick off for over 5 minutes – with the second period eventually getting underway at 16:12.

It was Broxbourne who took the game straight to Aylesbury and only a saving challenge from Jones denied a home attacker with just two minutes gone.

Chances swung from one team to another with Field having a good run goalwards against Bostock, twisting him inside and out but seemingly unwilling to shoot with his left foot, allowing Bostock to intercept and clear.

Field again might have done better after some good work by O’Farrell in chasing down a right wing ball before crossing for Field, who could only weakly volley at Thompson.

Even so, over the course of the match the new recruit from Bedford did enough to demonstrate just why he’ll be a huge asset for Aylesbury this season.

Two minutes later and some superb keep ball football from the Ducks ended with another chance for Field which was claimed by Thompson.

In the 51st minute Broxbourne’s Leon Skinner could only direct a header well wide of the target having won the ball from a deep free-kick. He followed suit with another header which was blocked behind, and from the resulting corner Bostock’s shot in the box was blocked by Jack Wood.

Aylesbury were guilty of sitting a bit deep as they defended hard at this point. A poor defensive header fell to Cookey but he could only blaze over the bar, before MacPherson struck a shot which bobbled goalwards and very nearly dropped to one of the waiting Broxbourne players.

United continued to ride their luck and had a massive let off in the 76th minute when Billy Sentence’s shot from distance took a huge deflection to leave Sillitoe well beaten, only to rebound back off the inside of the upright.

Joey Acheampong and Vinnie Shrieves were introduced to the action for the closing stages, and both played a part with Acheampong winning a fair number of interceptions and Shrieves putting himself about well up front.

The Ducks could well have sneaked the killer third goal they craved, if had scant deserved late on. Field executed a great curling effort having taken Shrieves’ flick on, only for Thompson to go some way to redeeming himself for his earlier howlers by making a fine save to tip the ball wide.

In the end, time ran out for Borough fairly comfortably from the Ducks’ perspective, with the visitors proving able to defend strongly when needed and secure a good result from a tough opening match.

Minute by Minute Updates

And we're underway at Goffs Lane

1. Jones free-kick nearly turned in by Mulholland at near post
1. Unmarked Cookey found by low cross. Went for an audacious bicycle kick which he got all wrong
3. GOAL! 1-0 Broxbourne. Cookey scored having nutmegged Mulholland. Low ball played into him but good play by Cookey
7. Ball threaded through for MacPherson but he miscontrolled and the chance was gone as it ran out harmlessly for a goal kick
9. O'Farrell good work to get the better of Bostock, his low cross-shot was scrambled away
12. Bostock hit the bar with a header after a corner kick was flicked on his way. Lucky for Aylesbury
17. Mis-his shot from Field from the edge of the box. Nice idea after some decent football
22. GOAL! 1-1. Mulholland turns it in from close range after Jones' free-kick was lost by the keeper
29. GOAL! 2-1 Enzo slides in Field's low cross after a King drive was palmed away by the keeper
39. Referee has warned several Broxbourne players for persistent moaning
44. Nasty looking injury to Street. No-one anywhere near him when he collapsed
45. Kostalas drifted inside but blazed well over the bar
45. Street miraculous recovery(!) and has now returned to the field
45. Bostock booked for hauling Field to the ground
Jones' free-kick headed all the way back across goal by Mulholland, begging for a tap in but no-one there

HT: Broxbourne 1-2 Ducks: Aylesbury recovered well from the nightmare start and ended just about the better side

Referee has failed to appear for the second half! It's now 4.10
Now arrived... Bizarre!

16.12 we've kicked off again

2. Saving challenge from Jones after long dribble by home attacker
5. Field ran on goal against Bostock but didn't want to shoot on his left and tried to cut back, allowing Bostock to win it back
6. Skinner could only direct wide winning a header from a deep free kick
8. Petty refereeing display, half the game has been spent talking to players
14. O'Farrell chased down ball on the right wing, cross found Field but weak effort easy for the keeper
16. Superb keep ball football from Aylesbury ends with Field shot held by keeper
21. Skinner header from free-kick blocked behind for a corner
21. Bostock shot from the resulting corner blocked by Wood
22. Poor clearing header fell to Cookey who blazed shot well over
22. Substitution: Acheampong on for Silvestri
30. Aylesbury sitting a bit deep. MacPherson's bobbling shot nearly caused problems
31. Deflected shot from Sentence took a huge deflection. Sillitoe beaten all ends up but it hit the post (luckily!)
32. Struggling to keep the ball at the moment
34. Substitution: Shrieves for O'Farrell
37. Townsend shot saved after Mulholland played the ball into him
38. A combination of Skinner and MacPherson headed a great cross over the bar. Aylesbury need a third to kill this game
39. Brilliant save from home keeper to deny a Field curler from Shrieves' flick on. The keeper may have redeemed himself there
The resulting corner headed over by Mulholland
41. Awful misshit from MacPherson when presented with a good chance
42. Townsend chip easily caught by keeper

FT. Broxbourne 1-2 Aylesbury: Good result after a nightmare start