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Match Report

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After their 2-5 home defeat by Southern League Division 1 Central side Northwood in the FA Cup Preliminary Round at Bell Close four days earlier, Aylesbury United were hoping to bounce back as they entertained Dunstable Town in a 4th v 1st league clash at Bell Close.

However, it was the visitors who ended victorious after inflicting the Ducks’ first league defeat of the season with a 3-1 win to maintain their own 100% league record and consolidate their place at the top of the table. It was the proverbial game of two halves with United having the better of the first half and Dunstable the better side in the second.

The first chance of note came Dunstable’s way in the 7th minute when skipper Shane Wood’s long through ball on the right found Lee Roache who shot over from the edge of the box. Then at the other end in the 10th minute a bad pass from former Duck Daniel Mead was seized upon by Joey Acheampong, who fed Warren Garcia who shot wide.

A minute later Town’s Moses Olalaye crossed from the right to the far post where Nathan Frater headed over Ducks keeper Jack Sillitoe’s right hand angle from inside the six-yard box. Then at the same end in the 12th minute, Jonathan Barnett sent a low shot past Sillitoe’s right hand post.

Three minutes later United took the lead when, after a swift break-out, Ben Baines ran down the right before crossing low for Acheampong who got ahead of his marker Graeme Buchanan to squeeze the ball home from two-yards for a well taken goal. 1-0 Aylesbury

The next chance came Dunstable’s way in the 17th minute when a right foot shot from the right by Olalaye was struck firmly enough but was straight at Sillitoe. The visitors went close again two minutes later when, after a bit of hesitancy in the Ducks’ defence led to Town’s Tony Burnett gathering the ball, his right foot shot went just past Sillitoe’s left hand post.

With exactly 30 minutes gone, the next chance came United’s way when Zac Reynolds ran down the left before cutting towards the front of the box and firing a right foot shot from 20 yards over the bar.

At the other end in the 44th minute, Leon Cashman ran down the right and into the box beating two men but was adjudged by Edlesborough referee Tom Ratherham to have fouled his man, with the ball running out for a goal kick.

The last action of the half came with 48 seconds of stoppage time gone when Warren Garcia’s corner from the right found Greg Williams, whose slightly miscued glancing header from 12 yards was gathered at his right hand post by Dunstable keeper Lewis Kidd.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-0 Dunstable

Whatever the Dunstable manager said to his players in the dressing room during half time must have worked because the visitors responded by having much the better of the second half.

The first chance of the half came Town’s way in the 50th minute when, from Barnett’s corner from the right, Olalaye’s shot was blocked by Reynolds. Just three minutes later, Dunstable equalised when United failed to defend from Barnett’s free kick from the left and the ball found Cashman who sent a powerful header into Sillitoe’s left hand corner. 1-1

Then, in the 62nd minute, Dunstable took the lead when, after some interplay between Roache and Frater, the former evaded some challenges on his way into the box before slipping a short pass to Frater who hit his shot from close range into Sillitoe’s right hand corner. 2-1 Dunstable

At the other end in the 68th minute, Acheampong chased a long clearance but was outwitted by Buchanan and Kidd punched the ball clear. Just three minutes later at the same end following a corner, John Mulholland fired over the bar from the edge of the box.

United made a double change in the 79th minute when they brought on Craig Townsend (for Williams) and Marcus Sawyer (for the below par Ian Cooper) as they made a late bid to try and salvage a point.

Frater had his shot saved by Sillitoe for a corner and then at the other end in the 80th minute, a long ball forward saw Kidd rush out of his goal to punch clear with a definite suspicion of handball right on the edge of the box, with the ball finding Acheampong who sent a lob from 25 yards wide of Kidd’s left hand post.

The visitors made sure of all three points in the 86th minute when a fine corner from the right from Cashman found the waiting Frater who made the most of some slack United marking to emphatically head home at the near post from close range. 3-1 Dunstable

Dunstable went close to adding a fourth goal 27 seconds into stoppage time at the end when a quick break led to sub Chris Francis firing over the bar from 10 yards on the left side of the box.

So a first league defeat of the season for the Ducks who will be hoping to bounce back when they make the short trip down the A41 to Berkhamsted on Saturday.

Thanks to David 'Brains' Figg for this match report