Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard Attendance: 81
Aylesbury’s inexplicably poor home form again reared its ugly head as they were eliminated from their second cup competition in a week, going down 3-0 to a vastly improved St. Margaretsbury side over the one which the Ducks had beaten 5-2 at the start of the month.
But he could do little to prevent the Ducks’ slide, Aylesbury now having won just one of their last five matches at Bell Close, as they were well beaten by their visitors.
St. Margaretsbury threatened early on, with their attacking pace a threat the Ducks never truly got to grips with. 18 year old Leigh Rose – a very talented looking prospect – flashed in a shot in the very first minute which Jack Sillitoe clawed away, and the visitors had a goal disallowed a minute later when an offside player fired in the rebound after another Sillitoe save.
The Ducks had plenty of set pieces throughout the match but weren’t able to make the most of them – no doubt missing Daniel Jones’ expert deliveries. Joey Acheampong headed a Lewis Hallford corner wide, though appearing to take the ball of John Mulholland’s head, before Mulholland himself powered a header wide at another corner.
Sillitoe was again called into action, in the sixth minute, turning wide Anthony Anstead’s shot after Rose had set him up, before a couple of shots from Adam Lawton threatened goal, the latter a whisker away from being turned into the net by two arriving players.
Aylesbury had their moments over the course of the game, but for every clinical pass made, another dreadful gift back to the opposition was waiting seconds later on an another evening of frustration in front of their home fans.
Rose had a great chance to open the scoring on 25 minutes when he broke clear of the defence, but lashed an early shot well wide of the target, before Ben Baines called upon Bert Greenwood to make his first save of the game with a flicked header that had to be turned away.
The visitors were forced to make a substitution on the half hour mark, Marcelino Diambaka coming on for the stricken Tom Scriven, stretchered off after apparently sustained ligament damage, although on first glance it appeared that he had collided with the advertising boards on the far side.
United’s best chance of the half and, perhaps, the night overall came three minutes from the interval. A ball out of defence from Jack Wood was brilliantly taken down by Baines, who fired for goal but saw his effort deflect off a defender which took all the sting out of the shot and made it comfortable for Greenwood.
A minute later St. Margaretsbury gave themselves a deserved half time lead. United were unable to clear properly, gifting the ball straight back to Brett O’Connor who cut in from the left and fired in a shot which Sillitoe got glove to but couldn’t keep out. 1-0 St. Margaretsbury
Half-time: Aylesbury 0-1 St. Margaretsbury
The second period started with the visitors still looking the most likely to score, but from an Aylesbury counter attack Acheampong was brought down by the keeper right on the edge of the box. Once again, United failed to make the most of a set piece as Justin Gordon blazed the dead ball way over the bar.
Dave Edmee’s pace continued to be a constant menace and after leaving Mulholland in his wake on 51 minutes his low shot was blocked by Sillitoe, before his dangerous cross in came to nothing after doing the same to Gordon.
The risky high line of Aylesbury’s defence was breached again on 57 minutes as Anstead was played through, running free and slotting clinically past Sillitoe for a second goal which had been coming. 2-0 St. Margaretsbury
Anstead and Rose linked up again, their attacking pace once more too much for Aylesbury to handle, with Anstead firing over the bar, and the visitors had a second goal disallowed when Edmee had the ball in the net again but was ruled offside.
There was then a rare attempt from the Ducks when Stacey Field curled an effort just wide from beyond the far post after he retrieved an overhit corner kick, whilst another free-kick was wasted when substitute Paul Edgeworth fired straight into the wall.
Yet another break down the right from Edmee this time saw the ball played inside for Dan Gillett but his shot rolled wide across goal.
In the closing stages Melford Simpson levered a header wide from Hallford’s this time excellent free-kick delivery, and the Ducks finally hit the target when the ball was worked inside to Garcia, but his shot lacked the power or direction to seriously test Greenwood.
St. Margaretsbury emphatically confirmed their passage to the quarter finals with a third goal in stoppage time. The goal was rough on Sillitoe, who made a brilliant save at point blank range, but could only watch as Adem Salih snapped up the rebound and fired home. 3-0 St. Margaretsbury
There was barely time to restart the game, leaving the dominant visitors to celebrate their win. Aylesbury will be looking to bounce back again quickly, as they return to their ‘bread and butter’ of league action and a tough trip to 2nd place Leverstock Green.
|Minute by Minute Updates|
Only one change to the Ducks team tonight as Warren Garcia returns in place of the injured Dimitrov