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Paul Edgeworth’s first half header, coupled with an heroic defensive performance gained ten-man Aylesbury three points and 1-0 win at near neighbours Leverstock Green.

Edgeworth vindicated his manager’s decision to deploy him as a striker in Kevin Gallen’s absence by heading home Stacey Field’s cross, and though John Mulholland received his marching orders for a second yellow card with twenty minutes remaining, Aylesbury held on to win.

The first period was largely uneventful and a generally forgettable opening half hour had Aylesbury just shading possession but lacking the incisiveness to get in and test Leverstock’s goal.

Brad Wadkins dragged a shot well wide as early as the fourth minute, whilst Adam Hallissey – one of the few home players to have remained with the club over the summer – might have done better when he blazed high and wide on the end of a counter attacking move.

For Aylesbury Mulholland headed over an Edgeworth corner kick, before Zac Reynolds blasted a powerful free-kick high over the target. Steve Hatch, one of the ‘Levy Four’ to have moved to Aylesbury from the home club over the summer, had a shot blocked after Baines’ effort had fallen to him in the box.

The pivotal moment in the first half and ultimately the match followed soon afterwards. Levy’s most dangerous attacker, Tobi Akin, had the beating of the defence to run clean through and roll the ball past Sillitoe, but not the post – the ball hitting the base of the upright and going wide.

Akin was at it again, shooting over two minutes later, but it wasn’t to be his day in front of goal and moments later Aylesbury took the lead, quite against the run of play.

With the final meaningful action of the half, Stacey Field did well to retrieve the ball on the left touchline, cut inside and play a pinpoint cross for Edgeworth to easily nod home from inside the six-yard box. 1-0 Aylesbury

Half-time: Leverstock Green 0-1 Aylesbury

United kicked off the second half, now playing down the hill and hoping to use that to their favour. An early swift breakaway saw Field bring the ball forward before setting Reynolds away, who cut inside and pulled a shot wide of the near post.

Field had the ball in the net only to see the linesman’s flag raised after Jack Wood’s shot fell kindly to him in the area, whilst a decent effort from Greg Williams – starting the match in place of Gallen – had to be watched all the way by Bailey.

On the hour mark Mulholland was cautioned for taking out Hallissey on the right flank, and as the minutes ticked by the home side were growing into the game.

Wadkins had a decent hit from range go straight to Sillitoe, and a spell of good pressure by the Green saw a number of blocks in the Ducks’ box – notably by Hatch – who was immense in the second half – and Williams.

With United camped in their own half, Joyce elected to make a change and throw on Louis Austin for his second Aylesbury appearance in place of Edgeworth, and he did an excellent job – particularly ploughing a lone furrow after the Ducks were reduced in numbers.

That moment arrived just two minutes later when Mulholland was shown his second yellow card. Whilst worthy of a caution, another referee on another day might have issued a final warning, but not on this occasion, leaving Aylesbury were forced to play the last twenty with ten men – Jack Wood dropping into central defence.

Despite the numerical advantage, attacking threat from Leverstock Green was restricted by Aylesbury’s defensive excellence and Jack Sillitoe was largely untroubled in the closing minutes.

A long shot sailed past the keeper’s post, and a few corner kicks came to nothing, before James Dabbs cut across the edge of the box before skewing a shot wide of goal with eight minutes remaining.

A ball in from wide was met by Hallissey but his header was misdirected, and it was Aylesbury who had the best chance when Austin broke in behind the defence where he seemed to be impeded by last man Sam Lyon but was too honest by trying to stay on his feet.

Another long shot caused no danger to United, nor did a stoppage time corner, but a late effort from Akin did in what was the home team’s best attacking moment – Akin wriggling into the box but putting his effort wide past Sillitoe.

Aylesbury hung on through the four minutes of additional time to claim a most welcome and third successive three points.

Minute by Minute Updates


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One change for Aylesbury as Greg Williams replaces the unavailable Kevin Gallen

Joey Acheampong is injured, so looks like Ben Baines will play up front

Minute's silence in honour of league vice-chairman Terry Gilmore here before kick off...

Leverstock Green take the kick off, Aylesbury are kicking uphill in the first half

Edgeworth playing up front with Field

4. Long range shot from Wadkins dragged well wide
10. Baines tricked his way past a couple of men but shot eventually blocked
14. Great ball in from left by Butler punched away by Bailey under pressure
14. Flowing Levy counter attack, ball dinked over defence for Hallissey who blazes high and wide
16. Ball played over for Akin whose shot was well blocked by a good challenge by Hatch
18. Edgeworth corner headed over from deep by Mulholland. A hash from Alfee Robbins gave United the corner
19. Levy free-kick 35-yards out...
Wasted by Wadkins who tries to delicately curl it in but smashes it out
22. Williams wins a free-kick 35-yards out
Reynolds blasts it well over
24. Edgeworth to take a free-kick from the left corner of the box...
Straight into the wall where Baines collects the rebound, his low shot comes through to Hatch whose shot is blocked by a Levy hand but nothing doing
So far Aylesbury just shading it, but not enough incisiveness going forward and we can't get our forwards in the game
30. Akin miscued shot well wide
33. Edgeworth turns inside and fires in a shot which is easily gathered by Bailey
33. Akin-ell! Akin runs clean through, beats Sillitoe but hits the post. Should be 1-0
35. Akin beats defence to shoot over, was on the ground prostrate at one point only to spring back up and keep going
37. GOAL! 1-0 Aylesbury. Against the run of play Field crosses in from the left and Edgeworth heads in from close range

HT: Lev Green 0-1 Aylesbury - Fairly even half, Levy had the best chance and were getting on top before the Ducks scored

United kick off the second half, now playing down the hill

2. Deep cross from the left drops just over Sillitoe's bar
6. Swift break by Aylesbury, Field brought the ball forward before release Reynolds who cut inside and pulled a shot just wide
9. Card out for a late challenge by Wadkins
10. Field puts the ball in the net, but from an offside position and its ruled out after Wood's shot falls to him
11. Good long range hit by Wadkins, straight at Sillitoe then
13. Aylesbury win a corner from nothing as Cutler heads behind... cleared
15. Decent effort from out wide by Williams, caught by Bailey
16. Mulholland booked
17. Spell of Levy pressure as the Ducks make a couple of good blocks - Williams and Hatch in particular
18. Akin then also has a challenge closed down
19. Levy free-kick from a dangerous right wing position... Mannion's delivery well headed out by Mulholland
Camped in our own half at the moment!
23. Aylesbury change: Austin on for Edgeworth
25. Aylesbury red card! Mulholland second yellow card
26. Shot comes in from distance just past the diving Sillitoe
28. Levy corner... comes to nothing
30. Bircham booked
31. Aylesbury change: Korpala on for Butler
37. Dabbs cuts across the edge of the box, shot easily caught by Sillitoe
40. Ball in from wide met by Hallissey but his header is misdirected
42. Austin gets in behind Lyon, pulled back all over the place by the last man but stays on feet - too honest!
44. Another long shot by Levy, Dabbs this time, no danger
47. Best chance for Levy as Akin wriggles into the box but shoots wide across goal
48. Late corner for Levy! Comes to nothing as Akin fouls his man

FT: Leverstock Green 0-1 Aylesbury - A heroic defensive performance gets the points for United