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Match Report

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Aylesbury made a winning start to their league campaign with a late rally enough to finally overcome a stubborn Stotfold side and win 2-0.

The visitors posed a tough test of United’s credentials, visiting Bell Close with a very tough defence that held out for 84 minutes before finally being breached.

When it came it was a goal worthy of winning the match, as Warren Garcia played an intricate one-two with Ian Cooper before finding the net. Cooper later scored in injury to time to cap what turned out to be an excellent night for the Ducks, when for so long the match seemed destined for a frustrating goalless draw.

It is exactly that kind of character and unwavering determination that United will need to display this season if they are to fulfil the ‘title challengers’ label placed on them, and whilst it’s early days, two wins, six goals and two clean sheets from the opening two games shows promise.

The Ducks made a decent start to the game and Acheampong might have done better with a header from the centre of the goal which flashed over, whilst an audacious effort from Edgeworth nearly caught Eely out – the visiting keeper having to tip the ball over after it bounced in front of him – and from the resulting corner Hatch hammered over.

In Paul Garrett, 31-goals for Langford last season, Stotfold always had a danger man up front to complement their mean defence and he went close with a shot on the turn, before feeding Lee Pateman two minutes later for a wild effort.

The first half continued evenly as Wood and Garcia both tried their luck with long-shots, before Sillitoe was called into serious action by Pateman who skipped past his man and fired an effort which was just creeping into the bottom corner but for the keeper’s intervention.

Hatch continued his unfortunate early-season theme of missing open goals when he spooned over at a corner kick from 2-yards, and United went close again on the half hour mark when a classy turn and shot from Cooper flew just wide having fed on Acheampong’s flick.

The high octane action continued with the Ambers escaping what looked a clear handball in the penalty box, then going straight down the other end to nearly score when Ryan Aldrin was just unable to turn in a right-wing cross.

It was United who looked more like making the breakthrough as a couple more efforts from Hatch – a header deflected wide, and a shot turned beyond the post - came and went as the busy end to the first half continued, although only half chances followed and it remained stalemate at the interval.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-0 Stotfold

At the break Aylesbury introduced Ben Baines for his 100th Aylesbury appearance, and the first minute saw a Bircham free-kick met by John Mulholland, who returned from suspension on Saturday, but his header lacked power.

Garrett should have done better seconds later when he scuffed a shot goalwards amongst poor defending by United. Sillitoe then made his second great save of the night to tip over a header from Garrett after a good run by Holmes and cross which looped up off Mulholland.

The corner kick flashed all the way across goal as the Ducks faced more danger, but following that the game settled down again and a quiet period yielded little in way of chances although Reynolds wasted a free-kick by smashing well over after Field had body checked in full flight by Bickerstaff.

Aylesbury were seeing plenty of the ball without doing much with it, and it was Stotfold who were threatening as the second period reached the midway point. A dangerous free-kick delivery had to be headed behind by Hatch, and successive corner kicks meant nervy moments for the Aylesbury faithful.

In the 70th minute Garrett got goal-side of Mulholland but went for goal with an early effort which went well wide and the visitors had two more long rangers which were fairly harmless.

Ten minutes from the end and Sillitoe rescued Aylesbury again with a low, sprawling save having come off his line to meet Holmes who had easily gone past a number of tired, desperate challenges in the box.

Having survived that scare, Aylesbury then dug deep and came up with a winner. Garcia collected possession near the left touchline, played a well worked one-two with Cooper before striking a shot which, although slightly scuffed, was in from the moment it left his boot due to its placement. 1-0 Aylesbury

In stoppage time Stotfold virtually giftwrapped a second goal for the Ducks when Acheampong retrieved a suicidal square pass across the box, went for goal and saw his effort parried by Eely – where Cooper said ‘thank you very much’ and rolled it into the empty net. 2-0 Aylesbury

Job done for Aylesbury and so ended an ultimately very satisfactory night’s work and make it two wins from the first two games for the first time since 1998.

Minute by Minute Updates

One change to the Ducks lineup for tonight's match - John Mulholland returns from suspension to replace Marcus Sawyer.

Ben Baines also returns to the squad, and will make his 100th Aylesbury appearance if he comes on.

Stotfold kick off and we're underway...

The Ducks are lining up with Jack Wood in central midfield

1. Good work by Cooper wins a corner
2. Edgeworth's corner is powered over by Acheampong in the centre of the goal
3. Audacious long range effort from Edgeworth nearly catches Eely out, the backpeddling stopper just managing to tip the bouncing ball over
3. Low corner kick hammered over by Hatch
Momentary delay whilst running repairs to the corner flag are performed!
8. Throw in found Garrett, shot on the turn wide of the near post
10. Garett with a square pass sets up Pateman for a shot outside the area, always going harmlessly high and wide
12. Aylesbury free-kick won by Bircham right by the corner flag...
Driven kick headed out as far as Wood, well struck return deflected over the bar
13. Corner kick from Edgeworth came to nothing
15. Edgeworth free-kick from right where he scored on Saturday
Didn't try the shot this time but teed up Garcia whose drive was eventually gathered in by Eely
16. Pateman skips past man and goes for goal, Sillitoe down to make a fine save from a shot which was just creeping in
17. Stotfold's first corner kick comes to nothing
19. Reynolds wins Aylesbury a corner... left sided delivery flicked on and spooned over by Hatch from 2-yards!
23. Stotfold ball in from the left headed wide by Garrett
27. Baird wins a corner for Stotfold on the right... went straight out - waste
29. Aylesbury go close... Classy turn and shot from Cooper after Acheampong flicked on Bircham's throw
35. Stotfold just got left off a clear handball in the box!
Go straight down the other end and Aldrin nearly turns in a right wing cross
36. Reynolds comes in field and drills a fierce shot goalwards - looks like another handball!
36. Cross in from the left met by Hatch, header deflected just wide across goal. Corner...
37. Hatch again! Turns a far post corner just beyond the target
Flurry of activity as the half comes to a close!
38. Long shot from Aldrin easily caught by Sillitoe
42. Another long ranger from Reynolds nearly causes the keeper problems, eventually gathered in
43. Corner kick for Aylesbury - would be a great time to score...
Cooper heads goalwards from beyond the far post, cleared away

HT: Aylesbury 0-0 Stotfold - Looking back at the chances we've probably shaded it but a frustrating draw so far

HT sub for Aylesbury: Baines on for Edgeworth - 100 Aylesbury games for Ben Baines

Aylesbury kick off the second half...

1. Bircham free-kick met by Mulholland but his header lacks power
2. Aylesbury get away with some poor defending as Garrett scuffs a shot wide of the target
3. Stewart misjudges a ball forward giving Field a brief sniff of goal but his shot hits Cooper and goes behind
4. Sillitoe with a great save to deny Garrett's header after Holmes runs against Mulholland, the Ducks' man's intervention spooning the ball up for Garrett
4. Corner kick flashes all the way across goal. More danger for Aylesbury
Tough game this - Stotfold are proving extremely strong at the back
11. Cooper goes close but he's offside
11. Field goes running through before being checked by Bickerstaff. Booking
Good free-kick opportunity for Aylesbury and Reynolds...
13. Blazes well over, despite the 'Ronaldo-esque' stance and runup
13. Cooper wins a corner with a twisting run in the box... too deep and comes to nothing
Aylesbury seeing plenty of the ball... no way through yet though
17. Stotfold sub: Herr on for Aldrin
19. Hatch booked
21. Dangerous Stotfold free-kick put behind for a corner by Hatch
21. Panicky defending sees Stotfold win a second... Aylesbury eventually clear their lines
23. Fantastic Stotfold defending to head clear a vicious inswinging Garcia free-kick
23. Cooper meets a Bircham free-kick but no power in the header, caught
25. Garrett gets goal-side of Mulholland to a long ball forward, early attempt well wide
31. Couple of long rangers from Stotfold come to nothing
31. Stotfold change: Ellis for Pateman
34. Stotfold corner... time's ticking away
Great delivery well defended this time
35. Sillitoe rescues Aylesbury after Holmes goes past several tired challenges
37. Field long ranger crashes wide
38. GOAL! 1-0 Aylesbury. Garcia plays an excellent 1-2 with Cooper and drills in a low shot into the bottom corner
44. Long shot straight at Sillitoe from Ellis
45. GOAL! 2-0 Aylesbury. Cooper finished after Acheampong hastled the ball back and his shot came back off the keeper

FT: Aylesbury 2-0 Stotfold - Took time but it came in the end!