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Match Report

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Colney Heath extended their winning run over Aylesbury to four matches by taking a 1-0 victory from Bell Close in a game very similar to the previous meeting between the teams – Heath scoring an early goal from which the Ducks were unable to recover.

The visitors arrived with two former United men in their line up in Ricky Perks and Paul Armstrong. Perks played two Aylesbury games in goal on loan from Slough Town, and whilst last season he featured outfield for Colney – scoring 11 times in the process – he has now returned between the sticks, but was disappointingly untested for the evening’s duration.

It was forward Armstrong – who featured for the Ducks on-loan from Stevenage Borough some 12 years ago – who set up the opener. A poor corner from United was countered by the visitors with speed and precision, Armstrong sliding the final ball through for Kevin Ashwood and he made no mistake with an accurate finish across Jack Sillitoe into the corner. 1-0 Aylesbury

Colney were good value for their lead and they had further chances through Jamie Eames - briefly with Aylesbury FC in 2011 – who had a shot deflected wide, whilst giant defender Steve Barker headed a deep free-kick past the post.

Barker and his defensive colleague Glenn Draper were pillars of strength at the back for Colney as they made good blocks from Jack Wood and Ben Butler as United had a momentary spell of attacking play.

Too often Aylesbury were guilty of misplacing their passes, and when they abandoned their footballing principles with long balls they repeatedly found them returned with interest by Colney’s man mountain centre backs.

On 31 minutes Lee Bircham gave the ball away on the edge of the box, and United were somewhat fortunate not to concede a penalty not once but twice in the process as a Heath player went sprawling in the box.

Another let off followed moments later when Steve Hatch played a criminal ball across the edge of the area which was easily intercepted, but Sillitoe came to the rescue by springing from his line quickly to save well at the feet of the striker.

United then had their best spell of the first half with some decent and sustained pressure on the villagers’ goal for the first time. Acheampong won a corner which was met by Mulholland but blocked by the mass of bodies en route to goal. Gallen’s flick on for Acheampong then lead to an opening but the ball wouldn’t sit up for a shot and he had to settle for a corner kick as Colney cleared.

Heath continued to defend strongly as Butler also had a shot charged down, with the following corner kick cleared to safety leaving the Ducks with nothing to shot for the efforts.

The half ended with controversy when Zac Reynolds fouled an attacker when it could have been argued he was last man. The referee played a good advantage allowing for a shot to crash over the bar, before pulling Reynolds back for a yellow card, and not the red card Colney sought.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-1 Colney

Straight from kick-off Colney ran straight at the heart of Aylesbury’s defence, with Armstrong eventually shooting just over.

The Ducks did show signs of improvement though and the second half was finely balanced, with few chances, Butler choosing the wrong option with a 35-yard shot which flew way wide on 52 minutes whilst Ben Baines fired a low ball into the box which was cleared away on the hour mark.

Aylesbury did go close to an equaliser when John Mulholland rose highest to meet a corner kick, but was desperately unlucky to see his dipping header come back off the crossbar.

Two changes had been made to Saturday’s lineup as Acheampong and Butler had replaced Field and Garcia, with Ben Baines and Paul Edgeworth deployed in wide positions. Both had struggled to influence the game and it was little surprise to see it was they who were replaced in a double substitution as Greg Williams and Stacey Field entered the fray after 71 minutes.

90 seconds later though and it was Colney who very nearly doubled their lead. United went to sleep at a throw in allowing Ashwood to take the ball past his man, cut inside and hit a shot which took a wicked deflection, but Sillitoe dived full length to make an incredible save and tip the ball wide.

At the other Acheampong, one of few bright sparks on the night, also came inside and went for goal but his effort came off a defender and flew wide with Perks scrambling across his goal.

With Aylesbury committing numbers forward they were leaving themselves vulnerable to counter attack, and Heath should have scored when Ashwood was played in down the right and had time to pick out Josh Humbert in the box, but he could only shoot straight at Sillitoe from close range.

Even throwing numbers forward and with Field on the pitch, United had little to offer in the closing stages. A number of corners came and went, whilst Butler had a wild effort fly off target, but it was a disappointing end to the game from Aylesbury’s perspective.

United’s three-match mini unbeaten run was duly brought to an end, and Aylesbury will now be looking to bounce back with another home match against Hanwell Town coming up on Saturday.

Minute by Minute Updates

Two changes for the Ducks tonight: Ben Butler and Joey Acheampong come in for Warren Garcia and Stacey Field, the latter of whom came off injured on Saturday

Horrendous conditions at Bell Close - torrential downpours!

Aylesbury kick-off the match and we're underway... the rain has eased off at last

8. First shot of the match. Ball pops out for Cooke whose first time shot is misdirected and well wide
9. GOAL! 1-0 Colney. Ashwood rounds off a great counter by Colney, slid in by ex-Duck Armstrong
Came from Aylesbury's own corner kick
10. More poor defending from Ducks, shot deflected wide from Eames
15. Deep free-kick met by Barker, headed just wide
Aylesbury not at the races yet - going to be a long night at this rate!
19. Great touch by Gallen who then pokes it through for Wood, unfortunately his shot is charged down by the defence
21. Fine defensive block denies Butler after good play by Acheampong to drive for the byeline
22. Colney win the second ball and Williams fires a shot wide as it breaks to him
26. Aylesbury corner... doesn't clear the first man
28. Edgeworth free-kick... straight into the wall
31. 2 very strong penalties denied to Colney, Aylesbury survive... caused by United's own doing as Bircham gave the ball away on the edge of the box
32. Another let off as a Hatch criminal pass across the box is intercepted, Sillitoe off his line quickly to save well at the feet of the striker
35. Armstrong played the ball into the path of Ashwood who hits a shot wide
37. Acheampong wins a corner out of nothing on the right
Met well by Mulholland but hits the mass of bodies en route to goal
39. Gallen takes the ball down and plays to Edgeworth who cracks a shot well wide
40. Ball played in to Armstrong who gets a shot away but its well over
43. Another corner won by Acheampong but it could have been more after Gallen flicked the ball on for him
43. Ball skims through to Butler whose shot was charged down and deflected behind for another corner
Well defended by Colney
45. Zac Reynolds in trouble for bringing down the last man. Referee played good advantage as Colney in full flight and shot over
Reynolds lucky to escape with a yellow card

HT: Aylesbury 0-1 Colney - Tony Joyce with plenty of work to do at the interval

Second half has kicked off...

0. Straight from kick off Colney run at the heart of Aylesbury and Armstrong crashes a shot over
1. Barker down after a collision with Acheampong and the far side fencing
7. Butler picks up a misplaced pass, chooses the wrong option though with a 35-yard shot way wide
15. Baines low ball into the box cleared away after Gallen and Butler combine to release him
Improvement from the Ducks but still can't fashion much in the way of chances
18. Acheampong wins a corner... again
19. Mulholland header hits the bar! Unlucky
26. Double Aylesbury sub: Field and Williams on for Baines and Edgeworth
28. Aylesbury go to sleep from a throw in, Ashwood cuts inside his man and hits a deflected shot which Sillitoe incredibly saves
30. Acheampong running at goal, cuts inside and goes for goal - deflected wide for a corner
31. Colney should have scored. Ashwood in all kinds of space on the right crossed for Humbert who shot straight at Sillitoe from close range
Aylesbury committing massive numbers forward... but with little effect really
Now at risk of getting caught on the break
41. Butler lashes wild uncontrolled effort well over the bar
43. Free-kick from Bircham headed behind for a late corner...
Field's shot deflected behind for another corner
Header easily caught by the keeper easily
45+4. Another late corner, floaty and comes to nothing

FT: Aylesbury 0-1 Colney - Colney's early goal decides matters, but United offered little in response