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After two 1-1 draws, Aylesbury got back to winning ways with a straightforward 2-0 win at Biggleswade United, courtesy of carbon copy headed Steve Hatch goals.

Struggling Biggleswade went into the game with renewed confidence after a decent performance against league leaders Dunstable Town and then a 4-0 midweek thrashing of Holmer Green, but they fell behind to the Ducks after just nine minutes and never looked like threatening a dominant Aylesbury.

Stacey Field went clean through in the very first minute and should have scored but shot tamely at veteran keeper Scott Waters, but United didn’t take long to edge in front.

Daniel Jones picked out Ben Baines in the box whose shot was well saved by the legs of Waters, and from the resultant corner Hatch arrived unmarked with a bullet header into the net. 1-0 Aylesbury

The Ducks remained well on top and some good linkup play between strikers Louis Austin and Field resulted in the former curling a shot wide, whilst Hatch tried a spectacular acrobatic effort after another corner kick fell to him three minutes afterwards.

Ben Butler was the next man to go for goal as he dribbled a long way with the ball but could only shoot well wide, before Baines then shot over the bar after a ball in towards Field had come out as far as him.

Biggleswade had barely entered the Aylesbury half as the midway point of the half came and went, let alone tested Jack Sillitoe, and the one-way nature of proceedings continued with Hatch heading Jones’ free-kick wide and Austin’s attempted lob caught by Waters.

Field should have done better again after 32 minutes when a misplaced pass from Angus Stewart gave him a free run and shot at goal, but he fired wide.

The hosts then finally had their first shot on goal when John Mulholland slipped and conceded a free-kick which striker Sean Murray blasted straight at the wall.

It marked a slight improvement from the Reds and, after a brief delay where Sillitoe received treatment having landed awkwardly on the hard pitch collecting a fine James Peters cross, they threatened again. Another good cross in from Peters was met by Lee Bilcock whose header dropped just past the post.

Play was soon back at the other end though, and a superb effort from Zac Reynolds saw him cut inside and fire a swerving shot that crashed back off the upright with Waters beaten all ends up.

Then, on the stroke of half time, Jack Wood caught a sweetly struck volley which Waters was able to claim well to round off a half that really should have seen the Ducks further in front.

Half-time: Biggleswade 0-1 Aylesbury

After the break Aylesbury still controlled proceedings without creating quite so many chances, although Austin’s run past a couple of defenders ended with a shot straight at Waters and Field screwed an effort wide after being teed up by his strike partner.

Just before the hour mark Hatch rose majestically and, once again, unchallenged to meet Jones corner kick and make it 2-0 Hatch, 2-0 Aylesbury and quite frankly there was no way back for Biggleswade. 2-0 Aylesbury

A third nearly followed in quick succession when Waters went wandering, managing to scramble the ball away with his knee on the left side of his area but only as far as Reynolds who lofted in a cross that Field headed just over the empty goal.

Seconds later and Butler was unlucky to be denied by the woodwork as his stunning 25-yard shot cannoned back off the crossbar, before another Austin effort was straight at the keeper after good dribbling once again.

Hatch twice went close to completing his ‘Hatch-trick’ as Biggleswade continued to lose him at set pieces, one corner kick header being cleared off the line and another, towards the end of the game, striking the post.

It was a mistake by the greens’ number six that let in Robbie Freeman for a clear sight at goal though, but his shot was easily enough for Sillitoe to save – the first time Aylesbury’s custodian had been called upon with just over twenty minutes remaining.

His defensive colleague Mulholland then made a similar error with a wayward header that let substitute Connor Waite in on goal but he dragged his shot badly wide when hitting the target was the minimum expectation.

The two efforts provided a timely reminder that United, despite having cruised through the game, could afford no complacency in the closing stages.

Joey Acheampong’s introduction had breathed new life into Aylesbury’s attacking forays as he menaced the home defence, and in the closing stages, after Hatch had hit the post, Mulholland headed over whilst another substitute, Paul Edgeworth, poked the ball straight at Waters after Baines had fed him from the left.

In the end a well deserved three points against a side Dunstable had to work hard to win against a week earlier was a satisfying return for United after two games without a win, although on another day the scoreline might have been higher.

Minute by Minute Updates


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John Mulholland is having a late fitness test but is expected to play

He returns alongside Steve Hatch at the back, with Greg Williams and Joey Acheampong on the bench the two changes from Wednesday

1. Long clearance from Mulholland, Field went clean through but poor shot straight at Waters
9. Jones picked out Baines inside the box, low shot saved by keeper's legs, corner...
9. GOAL! 1-0 Aylesbury. Hatch with a bullet header from the corner
11. Good link up between Field and Austin, Austin tries a curler well wide
14. Corner for United...
Spectacular try from Hatch, gathered in by the keeper
18. Butler dribbles a long way forward, shoots well wide from range
21. Ball into box towards Field rebounds out to Baines who curls effort over
25. Hatch header wide from deep Jones free-kick
26. Austin attempted lob caught by Waters
29. Couple of half chances involving Jack Wood and Austin come to nothing
32. Freeby for Field as Stewart passes straight to him, allowing him to run on and shoot just wide from 20-yards
33. Free-kick for Biggleswade, this will be their first shot...
Sean Murray blasts straight at the wall
35. Sillitoe down under challenge from Murray from Peters cross
Landed hard on a tough pitch, Timberlake is warming up
41. Peters good cross in from the right met by Bilcock whose header drops just wide
43. Fine effort from Reynolds with swerve comes back off the upright, Jack Wood following up can't bundle it in
45. Jack Wood volley after Shane Wood throw fell for him well caught by the keeper

HT: Biggleswade 0-1 Aylesbury - We should be out of sight by now with the dominance we had

Second half has kicked off...

1. Shane Wood clipped on the right flank, free-kick by the corner flag...
4. Austin shrugs off a couple of challenges, cuts inside shot held by keeper
4. Scotney clears Mulholland pass behind for corner...
Comes to nothing
6. Reynolds shot from range well over
10. Austin breaks away, cuts ball back for Field who screws it wide
12. Aylesbury corner...
12. GOAL! 2-0 Hatch. Deja vu! Jones' corner headed in by that man Hatch again
15. Waters goes wandering, ball comes off his knee. Reynolds swings it in towards goal where Field heads it just over
16. Butler with a 25-yarder back off the bar!
16. Austin run at defence, near post shot caught by keeper
18. Corner from Jones met by Hatch again, off the line but foul awarded
20. Aylesbury sub: Acheampong on for Austin
Double Biggleswade sub: McGuinness and Waite on for Bilcock and Childs
23. Mistake by Hatch let Freeman in for a shot, saved by Sillitoe - his first save
24. Biggleswade sub: Jones on for Nicholl
28. Ducks sub: Smyth on for Reynolds
32. Misplaced header by Mulholland, Waite screwed easy chance wide
35. Long dribble from Acheampong wins a corner...
36. Ducks sub: Edgeworth on for Field
37. Corner blocked by keeper with men over, another corner...
Hatch hit the post with a header!
39. Waite cuts inside and blazes over
42. Acheampong wins corner...
Headed over by Mulholland
45. Edgeworth pokes a shot goalwards after Baines feeds him

FT: Biggleswade 0-2 Aylesbury - Cruised to three points in the end, two well taken goals from Hatch