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Match Report

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Aylesbury’s poor home form continued as a hat-trick from the league’s leading marksman Ian Cooper helped his Colney Heath side to a 3-1 win at Bell Close.

Highlights for the Ducks were few and far between, as they fell to their third defeat from five home league games, and, until the last ten minutes, looked a shadow of their normal selves, but by that point the game was long over as a contest.

Colney attacked straight from the kick off, when Jamie Eames’ purposeful run ended with him sending a shot crashing wide of the target.

He went close again on seven minutes when his 35-yard free-kick somehow got through the wall, taking a nick on its way just past the target which won the visitors their third corner kick of the night.

That was cleared away fairly easily, but shortly afterwards a defensive clearance ricocheted back against Ricky Perks but Jack Sillitoe was alert enough to make a save.

Aylesbury one and only true attempt at goal of the first half also came inside the first ten minutes. Warren Garcia – by far United’s best player on the night – pinched the ball back in midfield and went for a long range effort which was dragged wide.

He threatened again just past the mid-point, feeding on Simpson’s improvisation to drive into the box and flash in a dangerous cross-shot which was just begging for a touch to turn it into the net.

It was at the other end that the greater threat remained though, winger Eames firing well over and Perks having a goalbound looking half-volley blocked by Mulholland.

Six minutes from the interval and the worrying sight of Lewis Hallford going to ground struggling for breath – reportedly having taken an accidental blow to the windpipe shortly before. After a lengthy stoppage he was stretchered from the pitch awaiting an ambulance to be taken to hospital, and replaced on the field by Joey Acheampong.

Once the dust had settled, it was Colney who responded better to the brief pause in play, and in the second minute of lengthy stoppage time opened the scoring. Mercer was beaten by Eames down the right, who slipped in Cooper for a quick one-two with his strike partner Perks before firing home from close range a well worked goal. 1-0 Colney Heath

Perks went close seconds later as he headed over from close range, before a coming together between Barnett and Cooper saw both players booked, referee Mr Chisholm strangely awarding the visitors a free-kick for the incident.

Stranger still, was the award of a very harsh looking penalty before the half was out, the reasons for still unclear. Cooper stepped up and never looked likely to miss, making it 2-0 a full nine minutes into injury time. 2-0 Colney Heath

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-2 Colney Heath

In the first few seconds of the second period, Edgeworth was put in behind the defence for the first time, and although his lob was well over the bar of the empty goal, he was clattered by keeper Barnes who had come to meet him, but the resulting free-kick came to nothing.

The early optimism didn’t lead rise to the hoped for improvement in Aylesbury’s performance, and it wasn’t until the 65th minute, following a double substitution, that they finally carved out a decent opening. One of the replacements, Stacey Field, ran onto a ball over the top and drew a decent save from Barnes who turned the ball around the post.

Had that gone in then maybe it would have spurred the Ducks on to better things. Instead, a minute later, they were three down. The rare sight of a mistake by Jack Wood, who misplaced a defensive header straight to Cooper, gave the visiting number 10 the chance he needed for his treble. But it still required a fantastic finish from a tight angle, across Sillitoe and into the far side of the net. 3-0 Colney Heath

With the three points bagged, Colney turned their attentions to closing the game down and defended resolutely. Silvestri and Baines both had shots blocked, whilst Edgeworth placed an effort wide having been teed up by Baines following a quick free-kick routine.

Field went close when good play by Dimitrov down the left resulted in his ball across the box being turned just wide by Field.

Five minutes from time Aylesbury did pull a goal back when Silvestri was sent sprawling in the box, Hateley Mercer making no mistake by ramming home the penalty. 1-3

The goal marked a distinct improvement in United’s play, as they began to pass the ball freely for the first time of the night, looking more like the team which has been missing of late.

One such move lead to Field going mightily close again when great build up ended with Dimitrov slipping the ball into Field, who span and went for goal but just missed the target.

If there were any positives to take from the game, then Aylesbury’s display in the last ten minutes proves that they are still capable of the far greater levels they showed earlier in the season.

Hopefully they can take some confidence from that and get some much needed points on the board with another home game, against Hanwell Town, quick to follow.

Minute by Minute Updates

The Ducks lineup tonight shows several changes, probably not much of a surprise after Saturday's result.

And we're underway at Bell Close...

1. Jamie Eames ran through straight from kick off, shot flew wide of target
United lining up with Edgeworth and Simpson as the front pairing, Baines on the left and Hallford on the right
2. Early corner for Colney, ball punched away by Sillitoe under pressure after ball span up
6. Baines wins free kick. Mercer delivered into the area but easy catch for the keeper
7. Handball awarded against Wood 35-yards out. Eames lines up the free-kick... Got through the wall, taking a nick to go wide for Colney's 3rd corner of the night
Cleared away fairly easily
9. Clearance smashed against Perks nearly ricocheted in, Sillitoe alert to save
10. Garcia collected ball in the box, tried long range shot but pulled it wide
12. First bit of linkup between the front two sees Simpson put away by Edgeworth, but he's offside
16. Ball played inside to Eames, urged to shoot, fired well over
24. Drive into box from Garcia, feeding on Simpson's improvisation, cross flew across the face of goal - begging for a touch
34. Perks caught excellent half volley. Blocked by Mulholland when seemingly goalbound
37. Simpson booked for dissent
39. Game stopped, Hallford struggling with his breathing. Worrying looking
Stretcher called for, ambulance on its way now I believe
45. Hallford stretchered off, Acheampong replaces him
45. GOAL! 1-0 Colney. Neat one-two between Perks and Cooper after Mercer beaten on the far side, Cooper confident finish
45. Perks headed over from close range after ball helped on by Perks
45. Barnett and Cooper booked for a coming together
45. Embarrassingly the ref gave a free-kick to Colney for the incident. No idea how he came to that conclusion
45. Embarrassingly the ref has given a penalty.
45. GOAL! 2-0 Aylesbury. Cooper rolled home the penalty

HT: Aylesbury 0-2 Colney Heath: Poor first half matched only by Aylesbury's poor performance. In truth the scoreline is what we deserve, looking devoid of anything, but the referee isn't helping

Second half off and running. Let's hope it's better.

1. Edgeworth put in behind the defence for the first time, on the right flank. Went for a lob, well over, but taken out by the keeper
2. Barnes booked for the offence, but Mercer's free-kick delivery is eventually cleared away
7. Mulholland booked for taking Cooper out as he tried to spin
8. Resulting free-kick left footed but well over from Corran
13. Double sub from Aylesbury: Dimitrov and Field on for Simpson and Barnett
20. Ball over the top released Field, first decent chance for Aylesbury. Keeper made a good save to turn it around the post
20. The resulting corner headed wide by Mulholland
21. GOAL! 3-0 Colney. Mistake from Jack Wood (yes, you read it right, Jack Wood mistake!). Presented Cooper with a chance in the box, but still needed a superb finish to find the far side of the net
23. Silvestri shot charged down in the box
24. Wood lucky to escape a booking for a 'hard' challenge
28. Quick free kick rolled in to Baines, teed up Edgeworth whose shot from outside the box rolled wide
30. Colney defending resolutely. Shots from Baines and Silvestri blocked
32. Dimitrov played in down left, ball across goal turned wide by Field
32. Colney sub: Renphrey on for Cooper
35. Ball over the top allowed Perks in for a shot, excellent block by Mulholland
36. Dickie fired a shot over the bar
37. Colney sub: Williams on for Coombs
39. PENALTY to Aylesbury. Silvestri sent tumbling in the box
40. GOAL! 1-3. Late consolation as Mercer confidently dispatches a penalty
44. Acheampong booked. Reason ?
45. Much more like it from Aylesbury. Great football ends with Dimitrov passing to Field who spins and shoots just past the upright. So close

FT. Aylesbury 1-3 Colney Heath: Last few minutes were an improvement, but it was all over long before that. Poor overall