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After five winless runs, Aylesbury came good at the sixth attempt as their best performance in a long time yielded a first ever positive result against Leverstock Green.

Joey Acheampong proved match winner, the quality his stoppage time winner matching the entertainment value of a fast and furious festive encounter which ebbed and flowed from end to end.

And whilst he was star of the show, scoring two goals, every player made an impression against strong opponents who came into the game on their own seven-match unbeaten run.

The opening exchanges gave preview of what was to come, as within the first minute a turn and shot from Dan Griggs was well fielded by Sillitoe, Aylesbury countering immediately resulting in West smashing the Hallford’s low delivery over his own crossbar.

Melford Simpson called upon Carl Tasker to make an easy catch when he met Hallford’s cross with the faintest of touches, before Marcus Sawyer went close with a cross-shot that fizzed just past the far post after the ball came back to him.

It was the visitors who drew first blood though. A fine pass forward by Griggs released Adam Hallissey and tempted an ill-judged charge from goal by Sillitoe, who brought down his man just inside the box and earned a booking for his troubles. Up stepped Farrelly and comprehensively sent United’s keeper the wrong way. 1-0 Leverstock Green

A combination of keeper and defender denied Aylesbury on 16 minutes as United quickly got back in the attacking groove, Mulholland’s header from one of a number of good deliveries by Hallford was scraped away at the last.

The equalising goal arrived midway through the half, Marcus Sawyer doing well to get to the ball first and head into an unguarded net after Tasker had been beaten to Daniel Jones’ teasing free-kick delivery by Paul Edgeworth. 1-1

Almost straight from the restart and the Ducks should have been ahead when Sawyer’s fine driven cross picked out Simpson, but he could only direct the ball straight at Tasker when anywhere else would have meant ‘goal’.

The next ten minutes or so saw a procession of Aylesbury chances come to nothing with Tasker remaining largely untroubled, as firstly Sawyer sent a drive crashing just inches over the goal after superb work and setup play by Acheampong on the byeline.

Max Farrelly did have a shot for the visitors, but it was a poor attempt and a rare one at that as United continued to dominate.

Sawyer had another similar effort fly over on the half hour mark having been teed up by Simpson, whilst Lewis Hallford was also unable to hit the target – first with an audacious long shot which he got all wrong, and then slicing badly wide from another tee up by Simpson.

Simpson himself had arguably the best chance when he hammered wide from just eight-yards with the goal gaping, and a minute later he was in the thick of the action again when Edgeworth’s ball in from the left just skimmed off his head and wide.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-1 Leverstock Green

The second half began in identical fashion to how the first had ended, Simpson this time guiding a header over from Hallford’s pinpoint delivery from the right.

A minute later Green wasted a good shooting opportunity with a free-kick right on the edge of the area which was blasted over by Lee Bircham.

Such had been the cut and thrust nature of the first period, it was little surprise that the game entered something of a lull, but it wasn’t a permanent state of affairs and, somewhat against the run of play, the visitors went ahead again.

The ball was moved quickly into the path of Paul Insley who thumped a shot goalwards, where the desperate slide of Sam Slatter could only help the ball on its way into the net. 2-1 Leverstock

Just two minutes later and yet another gilt-edged opening came and went, Edgeworth the guilty party on this occasion as he smashed a shot wide when it looked easier to score.

Yet again it looked like the Ducks were going to suffer for their host of missed opportunities, especially when Leverstock had a spell in the ascendancy during which they had enough chances of their own to put the game to bed.

A chipped effort from Griggs dropped just over the bar, before Lewis Pritchard’s superb cross-field pass put Insley in who cut inside his man before firing a reverse shot just past the upright.

Mulholland and Acheampong both went close with headed efforts, before another game-defining moment saw Green fail to take their best chance of the half Substitute Owusu-Akonor set Insley away for a one-on-one and, having successfully navigated his way around Sillitoe, he could only find the side-netting with the angle to goal ever narrowing.

Levy were made to pay the price of their miss as Aylesbury drew level within a minute. A superb pass from Edgeworth released substitute Field down the left, and his low ball found Acheampong in the box who turned and nearly burst the net with a venomous shot. 2-2

Aylesbury clearly weren’t content with just a point, and it took some good goalkeeping from Tasker to keep Acheampong at bay again on 77 minutes when he was released behind the defence, Tasker out swiftly to deny him.

Then, the confident looking striker beat two men on the right and swung in a cross which Field could only head wide.

The eventual winner, perhaps merited on number of chances alone, arrived in stoppage time. Tasker couldn’t claim another telling Jones free-kick in a crowded penalty area, the ball dropping to Acheampong who found the bottom corner with a superb half-voilley. 3-2 Aylesbury

Once the game had eventually restarted following the mobbing of Acheampong by his teammates, there was scarcely time for the visitors to mount another attack, and the Ducks were able to hold on for a long overdue and very, very welcome three points.

Minute by Minute Updates


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And we're underway at Bell Close...

1. Ball in to Griggs, turn and shot well held by Sillitoe
1. Immediately on the counter Acheampong feeds Hallford, his low cross smashed behind by West under pressure from Simpson
4. Mulholland's headed clearance from a corner fell to Insley, got the shot all wrong
5. Great work down the right from Hallford, his cross met with the feintest of flicks from Simpson, caught by the keeper
7. Leverstock make a hash of dealing with a simple flick from Simpson. Ball comes back to Sawyer whose cross-shot fizzes just past the post
11. Ball pinged through superbly for Hallissey, brought down in the box by Sillitoe
11. GOAL! 1-0 Leverstock Green. Max Farrelly sends Sillitoe the wrong way from the spot
16. Combination and keeper and defender in the right place to block a Mulholland header from a Hallford corner kick
18. Sawyer wastes a free-kick by curling a poor effort high and wide
22. GOAL! 1-1. Jones great delivery this time. Edgeworth towers high and heads it on where Sawyer is waiting to head into the net
23. Great chance for Simpson. Ball laid to Sawyer, fine driven cross found Simpson's head but straight at the keeper. Anywhere else and it's 2-1!
26. Sawyer crashes a drive over the bar after superb work and setup from Acheampong by the byline
This game is fast and furious now!
27. Farrelly poor effort over the bar
31. Sawyer with another shot over the bar after ball played in by Slatter and laid off by Simpson
34. Hallford saw glory as the ball bounced to him 35-yards out, got his outrageously audacious half volley all wrong
36. Long free kick levered down to Acheampong by Simpson. He in turn laid it off for Hallford who sliced his shot wide
37. Simpson misses a great chance. Hammers shot wide after Hallford plays in another fine ball
So many chances have come and gone already!
38. Ball in from the left by Edgeworth just skimmed off the top of Simpson's header

HT: Aylesbury 1-1 Leverstock: Good half from Aylesbury, like at their place earlier in the season: Had enough chances to be out of sight

Second half is underway...

3. Fantastic raking left-footed cross from Hallford, Simpson could only guide his header over
4. Controversial decision from the referee here. Player clipped, seemingly inside the box, but game played on where Insley fired wide, only for the ref to pull it back for a free kick right on the edge of the box... Blasted over by Bircham
12. GOAL! 2-1 Leverstock. Completely against the run of play the ball is moved into the path of Insley who thumps a shot goalwards, where the desperate slide of Slatter can only help it in.
14. Edgeworth smashes a shot wide when it looked easier to score
18. Insley played the ball inside for Griggs who tried a chip which dipped just over
20. Cross-field pass from Pritchard found Insley, cut inside and reverse shot rolled just past the post
21. Aylesbury sub: Field on for Simpson
21. Leverstock sub: Owusu-Akonor
25. Hallford corner met by Mulholland, headed wide
28. Acheampong somehow headed wide, looked like it was heading in only to somehow go wide. Mulholland headed back across goal
28. Insley set away by Owusu-Akonor for a one-on-one, went around the keeper but couldn't screw the ball back with the angle against him
29. GOAL! 2-2. Great goal - Acheampong turns, shoots and nearly breaks the net! Field played in down the left to provide the low pass for him. Edgeworth set Field away with a superb pass
32. Good goalkeeping from Tasker off his line swiftly to deny Acheampong a one-on-one having been put in over the top
36. Leverstock sub: Sean Biswell on for Lewis Pritchard
Green have gone to 1 up front - happy with a point?
41. Acheampong beat 2 men and whipped in the ball, Field headed wide
45. GOAL! At the death Acheampong wins it with a superb half volley after Jones' free-kick dropped to him

FT: Aylesbury 3-2 Leverstock: First win since ages, brilliant game and a brilliant late winner!