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The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report

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Having gone since 2005 without a cup semi-final, Aylesbury now have two to look forward to in 2013 following this scrappy Premier Division Cup win at improving London Tigers.

A match played in, at times, horrendous weather conditions looked for a long while as if it would be decided by a solitary goal scored by United’s Louis Austin with just 50 seconds on the clock. Paul Edgeworth knocked the ball down for Austin to crash an unstoppable shot in off the bar from the edge of the box. 1-0 Aylesbury

Edgeworth, who once again showed his value to the side by creating both Aylesbury goals, was one of two changes to Saturday’s team as he and Ben Butler started the match in place of Shane Wood and Steve Hatch.

Aylesbury looked to build on their bright start and whilst clear cut chances were at a premium, United were having the better of proceedings with a throw in causing mayhem in the Tigers’ box, Butler shooting a tame effort straight at Adam Atour and then Austin seeing a shot deflected behind for a corner kick.

The resulting corner was only cleared as far as Butler who went close with a teasing curling effort that shaved the upright. Three minutes later and his midfield colleague Ben Baines was less successful as he dragged a shot well wide.

Tigers weren’t entirely devoid of attacking threat but Jack Sillitoe was barely troubled by a weak Carl Osbourne effort and a header by the same player produced the same result as he directed the ball straight at United’s stopper.

A minute later the first of a number of poor tackles from the home side resulted in a yellow card for Joao Rodrigues – the first of six for similar offences – as he came in late on John Mulholland.

The last twenty minutes of the first half were much more even as the hosts came into the game and after Edgeworth curled an Aylesbury free-kick over, Sillitoe had to field a shot on target from Jabir Laraba following a move down the left at the other end.

Another Ducks free-kick for another poor tackle by Tigers on the edge of the box this time saw Jones this time place the ball over the bar, and once again it was the hosts who had the next effort as Jose Huendar Dos Santos was found in enough space to shoot for goal but Sillitoe got everything behind it for a routine catch.

Aylesbury thought they had a second when a quickly taken free-kick was worked out wide and crossed to Baines to tap home, but referee Mr Lungerella was having none of it and the subsequent re-take was well defended by Tigers, before the half was brought to an end by a speculative Stacey Field that flew well wide.

Half-time: London Tigers 0-1 Aylesbury

After a wild effort from Tigers’ skipper Emmanuel Njodzeka cleared the crossbar at one end, Atour made a good save to deny Baines at the other, whose drilled effort had skipped up awkwardly off the turf. Although Aylesbury were afforded a free header at the set piece which was to come, the ball was guided straight at the home keeper.

As the heavens repeatedly opened with ice-cold showers and sleety combinations, moments of quality were becoming increasingly sparse as the teams battled out a scrappy affair.

Aylesbury continued to have the better chances and a cross from the right was met by a firmly struck Baines volley, but straight at Atour, before Edgeworth’s fierce low strike was well saved by Atour.

Midway through the second period Sillitoe made a good low save with his legs to deny an attacker, but the offside flag was raised in any case and as two Tigers substitutes were introduced the home side were just starting to build some momentum.

That should have been quashed by Field who had his best chance of an otherwise barren match when he intercepted a wayward pass to run through but could only produce a weak shot at Atour.

It mattered not as two minutes later and United did find their lead doubler. Edgeworth beat a rather optimistic offside trap on the right wing before waiting for support to arrive, seeing Baines pointing exactly where he wanted the ball and delivering a pinpoint ball allowing the Ducks’ man to dive in and head the ball home. 2-0 Aylesbury

The closing stages saw little more goalmouth action, but Jose Huendar Dos Santos was booked for a nasty challenge on Wood, before Zac Reynold was booked for a similarly poor tackle five minutes later.

Just as it looked like the Ducks were on course for a fourth straight clean sheet, there was some late drama as Tigers clawed a goal back a minute from time. Sillitoe made a superb save to tip away a swerving long range effort, but the ball fell kindly for Jose Huendar Dos Santos to find the net from a tight angle. 1-2

With just seconds remaining there was no time for further threat to the United goal, and it finished as the narrow win the match had always looked set for. Tigers are a much improved side of late so a pleasing result for Aylesbury who will face either Ampthill Town or Oxhey Jets in the semi-final.

Minute by Minute Updates

Two changes for United tonight, as Butler and Edgeworth replace S.Wood and Hatch

Aylesbury kick off, shooting towards the clubhouse end...

0. GOAL! 1-0 Aylesbury. 50 seconds and Austin crashes a shot in off the bar after a knock down by Edgeworth
4. Throw in from the right causes mayhem in the box for Tigers, eventually scrambled away
4. Free kick fell to Butler, tame half volley easy for the keeper
5. Shot for Tigers Osbourne but its poor
9. Field helps it on for Austin, shot in from wide deflected behind for a corner...
9. Corner cleared only as far as Butler, curler just wide of the post
12. Baines pulls a shot well wide after a short pass into him following a throw
14. Austin beats keeper to the ball, cross headed behind. Corner...
16. Flighted cross met by Osbourne, header straight into Sillitoe's arms
17. Late challenge on Mulholland, Mulholland tells the purpetraitor exactly what he thinks of that!
Rodrigues booked for the offence
19. Edgeworth free-kick on the edge of the box narrowly over the bar
20. London Tigers corner on the left side...
Comes to nothing eventually
24. Shot on target from Tigers as a move down the left feeds Laraba whose low shot is well fielded by Sillitoe
25. Another free-kick right on the edge of the box...
Jones effort curls over the bar
27. Ball falls for Austin to get to the byeline, his low ball just behind Baines and cleared away
32. J. Dos Santos found in space, curling effort stopped by keeper
33. Ayinde booked as Tigers concede another free kick
Aylesbury took it quick and crossed for Baines to put it in, referee having none of that though!
34. Eventual re-take curled in by Butler towards Edgeworth but Tigers defend it well
39. Field with a speculator, always going wide

HT: Tigers 0-1 Aylesbury - Narrow lead for the Ducks, both sides have had chances to add to the scoring

Second half is underway, United now kicking to the far end from where I'm sat so details might be sketchy!

0. Baines goes on a dribble but the ball runs through eventually to the keeper
2. Wild effort from Njodzeka flies over the bar as United struggle to clear their lines
6. Good stop from the keeper to deny Baines with an effort that skipped up off the turf. Corner...
Unmarked header from the set piece straight at the keeper
8. Superb free-kick from deep by Butler just needed a touch, flies across goal without one
Heavens have opened here - again!
10. Cross in from the right volleyed goalwards by Baines but straight at the keeper
The moat around the stand is rising :(
Horrendous conditions here now!
12. Tigers sub: L. Dos Santos comes on
14. Good save to deny a low, fierce shot from Edgeworth
21. Tigers corner kick eventually ends with a low shot, but the attacker is offside. Good save by Sillitoe though!
23. Second Tigers sub: Cariba is on
Such a scrappy game this, Tigers are starting to get on top though
28. Field latches onto a misplaced pass but his shot is easy for the keeper to save
30. GOAL! 2-0 Aylesbury. Edgeworth beat the offside trap and hung up an inviting cross for Baines to dive head home
34. J. Dos Santos booked for a nasty tackle on Wood
36. Aylesbury sub: Clark on for Edgeworth
39. Reynolds late challenge, yellow card
41. Free kick on the very left corner of the box
42. Number 2 booked
44. GOAL! 1-2. Late drama here. Superb save from a long shot, but ball pops out to Dos Santos who scores

FT 2-1 Aylesbury