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Match Report

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Conceding two early goals cost Aylesbury dearly as they slumped to a home defeat at the hands of St. Margaretsbury, who now have the chance to move above the Ducks in the league should they win their games in hand.

Daniel Jones marked his return to the club with a typical free-kick goal to reduce the deficit, and whilst United had plenty of possession and a number of chances to draw level, they weren’t able to do so and suffered a third league loss at Bell Close this season.

Jones came in at left back in one of three enforced changes – Hatch, Hammond and Bircham all out for various reasons, replaced by Zac Reynolds, Jones and Paul Edgeworth.

The visitors suffered an early injury as Sam Ruff hobbled off, but it turned into a moment of fortune as his replacement Connor Scully scored with his very first touch.

Aylesbury had three chances to clear the ball, before it eventually dropped to Scully who was able to sidestep Greg Williams’ desperate challenge and crash home a shot from just outside the box which gave Jack Sillitoe no chance. 1-0 St. Margaretsbury

Entertaining for the neutral, the match was played at a frantic pace throughout and United had a chance to hit back straight away when Ben Butler was picked out running between defenders but couldn’t generate enough power with his shot to test the keeper sufficiently.

St. Margaretsbury then stunned the home side by extending their lead to two. Leigh Rose performed a juggling act on the right flank having received a throw in, overhead kicking forwards to release strike partner Anthony Anstead who outstripped Jack Wood before firing across Sillitoe from a tight angle. 2-0 St. Margaretsbury

With Aylesbury reeling, the visitors nearly added a third from the boot of Ricky Light who tried a long range low drive that had Sillitoe beaten but whistled just the wrong side of the upright.

The Ducks had barely registered as an attacking threat to that point, and as the game grew to twenty minutes old they started to turn things around.

A great free-kick delivery from Reynolds was helped on by Ben Baines to John Mulholland, but he could only hammer a volley over the bar. Paul Edgeworth then fired a weak shot on the turn which was easy for Matt Deamer.

United got the breakthrough they sought when Stacey Field was manhandled on the edge of the box, allowing Jones to step up and curl a perfect free-kick around the wall and into the bottom left corner. 1-2

The match continued to swing to and fro in end to end action, and Jones’ defensive duties were put to the test as he made a saving tackle in the six-yard box to deny Rose from a dangerous free-kick delivery.

Rose was, once again, St. Margaretsbury’s stand out player and five minutes later he delivered a searching cross from the left which the unattended Lawton met at the far post but could only head over.

At the other end Austin sprayed the ball forwards for Baines who saw his effort blocked, whilst Ed Taylor was the visitors’ hero – making a last ditch tackle to block Austin’s low cross with Field waiting to tap the ball into the net.

A couple more close shaves for Aylesbury before half time saw Lee Roberts fire an effort from the left well wide of the target after a great switch of play by Rose, before Rose himself then flashed a ball cross the face of goal with nobody able to claim a touch.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-2 St. Margaretsbury

Aylesbury stepped up the pressure from the restart and were dominant for the first fifteen minutes or so of the second half, though they had little reward for their efforts.

Baines went close with a volley that dropped just over the bar after Deamer flapped and eventually lost the ball from a cross, whilst Edgeworth was inches away having broken onto a searching pass but only able to toe-end the ball just wide with Deamer a spectator.

With the Ducks pushing forward, the pace of the visiting attack was always a threat on the break, and one such move saw Anstead play the ball to Rose who could only crash an effort well over the bar.

United’s closest attempt at levelling came with 74 minutes gone. Jones with another peach of a free-kick delivery found the unmarked Field at the near post, but his guided finish struck the base of the post before bouncing clear.

Three minutes later Deamer did well to hold on to a shot from substitute Joey Acheampong, his early effort having fed off a left sided throw in nearly enough to catch the keeper out.

Once again the match swung from one penalty area to another as first Sillitoe did well under immense pressure to claw away a cross which was just dropping under the bar, before a low shot from Louis Austin was spilled by Deamer with Aylesbury just unable to turn home the rebound.

St. Margaretsbury had a third goal controversially chalked off by a contentious refereeing decision, with, to the rage of the visiting team, Anstead adjudged to have fouled last man Jack Wood before running on to lob Sillitoe and find the net.

With fifteen minutes still to play it was a let off for United, but as the clock ran down there was to be no inspirational comeback on this occasion. The resolute Saints proved too strong, and Field coming inches away from turning in a fizzing low cross was the sum total of Aylesbury’s attacking product as the game drew to a disappointing close.

With that the visitors became the latest team to emphatically celebrate taking the points at Bell Close, which has hardly been a fortress this season to date.

Aylesbury have already played worse and won this season, so shouldn’t be too downhearted by the result, and with a break from league action have time to dust themselves down and recover for the next match.

Minute by Minute Updates

Daniel Jones makes his 3rd debut for the Ducks tonight as one of three Aylesbury changes alongside Zac Reynolds and Paul Edgeworth returning to the team. Steve Hatch, Lee Bircham and Ben Hammond those replaced

We're underway at a chilly Bell Close...

2. Austin wins United an early corner...
Early injury for the visitors as Ruff hobbles off
4. Scully on for Ruff
Williams turns but fires well wide after Mulholland heads goalwards
5. GOAL! 1-0 St. Margaretsbury. Scully with his first touch crashes home a 15-yard shot
Aylesbury had 3 chances to clear, then Williams dived in allowing the shooting chance. Took it well
8. Ball helped on for Ben Butler running between defenders, early shot without the power to beat the keeper
12. GOAL! 2-0 St. Margaretsbury. Rose breaks down the right, helps it on for Anstead who outstrips Wood to get in at goal and score
16. Light tries a long range low drive, just wide of the post with Sillitoe beaten
18. Great delivery from Reynolds from a free-kick, helped on by Baines then hammered over by Mulholland
20. Edgeworth shot on the turn easy for the keeper
21. Mulholland booked
23. Field pulled back on the edge of the box, free-kick for Aylesbury
Salih booked for the foul
24. GOAL! 1-2. Jones curls home the free-kick perfectly
27. Dangerous free-kick for St. Mags, to be taken by Roberts, wins a corner...
Jones with a saving tackle in the six-yard box to keep Rose at bay
31. Ball in from the left by Rose met by Lawton at the far post with a high and wide header
End to end stuff here
Austin sprays ball to Baines whose shot blocked, then straight down the other end as Ducks foil an attack
34. Field booked for a late challenge
35. Brilliant saving tackle by Taylor after Austin scampered free on the break then tried to find Field with a square ball
Corner...
Comes to nothing
39. Roberts fires an effort well wide after a fine switch by Rose
40. Ducks corner comes to nothing...
41. Williams down, United down to 10 temporarily
47. Rose flashes a cross across the front of goal

HT: Aylesbury 1-2 St. Margaretsbury - Fast and frantic first half, United right back in this game now

Second half is underway...

0. Austin tries an ambitious volley which flies wide
5. Baines strikes volley just over after keeper flaps at a cross
6. Ducks change: Acheampong on for injured Williams
Good pressure from Aylesbury. Win a free-kick on the kick which Jones delivers, met by Mulholland but cleared
13. Edgeworth mighty close having broken onto a pass forward but toed it just past the post
15. Anstead lays the ball into Rose, crashes a shot well over the bar
18. Light booked, free-kick to Aylesbury in the right corner...
19. Jones free-kick met by Field on the near post, should have scored - hit the post
20. St. Margaretsbury sub: Edmee on for Lawton
22. Acheampong receives a throw in, early shot nearly surprises Deamer but he does well to hold on
24. Light long shot straight at Sillitoe
25. Aylesbury sub: Hammond on for Edgeworth
27. Sillitoe does well to claw out a cross which nearly dropped in, Rose did his best to turn it in
28. Low shot from Austin spilled, Ducks can't quite turn it in
28. Roberts booked
30. Ball in from Reynolds teed up by Austin for Acheampong, shot deflected
32. Controversy as St. Margaretsbury have the ball in the net, Rose adjudged to have fouled Wood the last man before lobbing Sillitoe into the net
36. Acheampong booked
38. Ball fizzed in from wide, Field inches away from skimming it in
44. Edmee wins a corner for Saints... time running out for United
45. Saints sub: Grove-White on for Roberts
46. Stoppage time Aylesbury corner...
And a second...

FT: Aylesbury 1-2 St. Margaretsbury - The Ducks had plenty of play but couldn't force an equaliser