The Evo-Stik League South
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Match Report

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A comeback of epic proportions in the season finale saw never say die Aylesbury United overhaul a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 at London Tigers, and claim fourth spot in the league ahead of Haringey Borough.

The Ducks were poor for parts of the match, the first half in particular, and all looked lost when Tigers took a 2-0 lead early in the second half.

But this Aylesbury team have never been short of character, and they showed their fantastic spirit to fight back with three goals in ten second half minutes to turn the match around and finish with their best league record in over twenty years.

United made a decent enough start as a couple of half-hearted penalty appeals came to nothing in the first minute, before Paul Edgeworth, back in the team after a one-game cameo for Slough Town, curled a free-kick goalwards which was spilt by Christian Baffour but nobody was on hand to claim a rebound goal.

As the game ticked by it became clear that the 4-3-3 system wasn’t working for Aylesbury, as the Tigers full backs were time and time again afforded too much space to get forward.

From one such move came the opening goal, after 23 minutes. Jon Muzzi cut in from the left flank and struck a superb dipping effort which sailed over Jack Sillitoe and in off the bar. 1-0 London Tigers

Soon after the restart Stacey Field managed to run clean through on goal, but Baffour was off his line quickly to smother what was a rare Aylesbury attack.

After an even opening 15 minutes it had been one-way Tiger traffic for a spell, but momentum was coming back to the greens and a decent move down the right won a corner, which was met on the volley by Field beyond the back post but placed just wide.

Tigers wasted their best remaining chance of the half when Terence Cariba blasted a free-kick over the bar, and from that point on it was Aylesbury knocking at the door without being able to force an equaliser.

Sam Slatter’s long range shot was deflected over the bar, the resulting flag kick met by Melford Simpson whose header was cleared off the line, with Joey Acheampong unable to scramble home the rebound amongst the melee.

Simpson then headed over from a Daniel Jones free-kick, and, in stoppage time, the big striker released Field with a clever pass but his shot was too close to Baffour and beaten away.

Half-time: London Tigers 1-0 Aylesbury

Aylesbury started the second half how they’d ended the first, Field going close with an angled low shot, before Edgeworth hammered wide after Field was unable to get a shot away moments later.

Edgeworth then missed the best chance of the night when Simpson’s flick put him in for a clear sight of goal, only to fire wide with only Baffour to beat from 8-yards.

When Field shot Warren Garcia’s square pass into the side netting, it looked only a matter of time before the Aylesbury chances would turn into an equaliser, but it wasn’t the case as disaster struck.

Tigers launched a swift counter attacking move down the left, and as the cross came in Khalid Hassan arrived at the perfect moment to nod the ball through the hands of Sillitoe leaving the Ducks stopper grasping at thin air and the ball powering into the net. 2-0 London Tigers

Other teams might have thrown in the towel at this point, but to United’s great credit they kept their heads up and put the home side under more pressure – Ben Baines heading a corner kick just wide.

London Tigers still had their moments though, and went agonisingly close when a brilliant dipping shot from Ivan Perez-Redondo crashed back off the crossbar.

A minute later Edgeworth fired over after being teed up by Joey Acheampong, before Aylesbury finally registered on the scoresheet courtesy of a gift from substitute Marcus Lansiquot who needlessly handled a right wing cross in the area for a penalty kick. Up stepped Stacey Field who convincingly sent Bafford the wrong way for his 30th goal of the season. 1-2

With a goal to build on, the green and whites flooded forwards in search of an equaliser, and it took just five further minutes to arrive. A free-kick dropped kindly for Edgeworth in the box, and his shot deflected off substitute Joe Donaldson, looping up and over the keeper into the net. 2-2

Now the Ducks’ tails were well and truly up and the stage was set for a winner. It came from that man Edgeworth, who crashed home a stunning shot from the edge of the box to send Aylesbury into euphoria. 3-2 Aylesbury

Just before that, Tigers were wildly celebrating a ‘goal ‘ of their own, having not noticed the linesman’s raised flag for offside – and their smiles were quickly wiped off their faces.

It was an unbelievable turn of events, and after all the excitement it was no surprise that the game lulled into an uneventful close, as the tired looking teams offered little further in attacking moves and Aylesbury were able to successfully close out the match.

A fantastic finale to a long season – a huge well done to everybody involved for the 4th placed finish.

Minute by Minute Updates

We're underway in Kingsbury...

1. Nice try at winning a penalty by Acheampong, almost comical slow-mo dive
1. Second penalty shout as Simpson goes down in the box
2. Ducks free-kick edge of the box... Jones lines up to take
Instead it's Edgeworth who curls it goalwards with his right. Keeper spills but nobody there for the rebound
4. Barinovas cuts in from the left and hammers a shot well wide, nearly out for a throw
13. Acheampong's low cross swept behind for a corner...
Jones' delivery causes havoc but nobody can get a touch as it flashes across goal
15. Needless free-kick conceded in the right corner, comes to nothing
19. Long range daisy cutter from Garcia, no danger
21. Similar shot comes in from Tigers, no danger either
22. GOAL! 1-0 Tigers. Player cuts in and curls a beautiful effort in off the angle of post and bar
24. Field runs clean through but keeper off his line quickly to smother the ball
After an even opening 15 minutes, it's been one-way traffic since then...
29. Decent move down the right wins Aylesbury a corner...
Met by Field on the volley at the back stick but just wide
33. Tom Barnett booked for a challenge from behind
Free-kick for Tigers...
Cariba blasts the shot over
38. Slatter long range effort deflected over the bar, Aylesbury corner...
Simpson's header cleared off the line, Acheampong can't force the rebound home as it's blocked again
Stacey Field - so far Aylesbury's only threat - is down injured
He's back on again...
45. Free-kick swung in from Jones but headed over by Simpson
45. Good ball from Simpson released Field, left-footed effort beaten away by the keeper

HT: London Tigers 1-0 Aylesbury: Typically poor end of season game, we improved a bit towards the end but need to be better for a win

Second half has started...

1. Field goes for goal with a low shot, cross goal effort just wide
4. Ball worked in from left, Field can't get a shot away but it falls to Edgeworth who hammers it wide
8. Simpson flicks on deep free-kick, Edgeworth with a clear sight of goal pulls it wide - really bad miss!
9. Garcia wins the ball back by harrying, slides in Field who fires into the side netting
10. GOAL! 2-0 Tigers. Totally against the run of play a left wing cross is headed out of Sillitoe's grasp into the net24.
Looks like its 5th place for us then!
12. Corner kick headed wide by Baines. It's just not going in for us!
15. Fabulous effort from Perez-Redondo crashes back off the bar
16. Edgeworth fires a shot over having been teed up by Acheampong
24. Right wing cross handled by substitute Lansiquot in the box, PENALTY!
24. GOAL! 1-2. Field makes no mistake with the penalty
25. Aylesbury sub: Donaldson on for Barnett
27. Tigers sub: Anvari on for Ahmidi
29. GOAL! 2-2. Edgeworth fires home a deflected effort after a free-kick drops to him
The old 3-0-7 formation being employed here!
Acheampong forces a corner...
34. GOAL! 3-2 Aylesbury: Fantastic strike from Edgeworth to turn the game
Prior to that, Tigers had a goal disallowed
Unbelievable!!!
38. Salih booked for dissent
44. Garcia booked for encroachment
Ducks down to 10 with Jones off the field injured
46. Aylesbury sub: Clark on for Jones

FT: London Tigers 2-3 Aylesbury: An epic and almost unbelievable comeback by the Ducks

4th place is ours!!!