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Match Report


An 89th minute Richard Armstrong header produced another cup upset as Aylesbury dumped Burnham – a league division higher than the Ducks – out of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup, and a reunion with old rivals Wycombe Wanderers is now a distinct possibility for United.

Having beaten Hemel Hempstead Town in the Red Insure Cup already this season, the Blues of Burnham – wearing Red & White stripes more suited to Dennis The Menace – become yet another scalp for Tony Joyce’s men.

There was plenty of menace to Burnham’s play in the opening minutes; strikers Ryan Blake and Aaron Couch both showed threat but it was winger James Dobson who crashed the game’s first shot well wide on four minutes.

The one-way traffic of the early stages continued with Couch’s turn and shot well saved down low by Tokarczyk – who has extended his loan from Hemel Hempstead for another month – before the ball was swept away.

A cross in from former Aylesbury FC man Blake was then met by Dobson who towered above Reynolds but headed over the bar. Dobson came into the game as Burnham’s top scorer but struggled to find his mark as he was kept frustrated.

Aylesbury’s injury jinx of this campaign showed no sign of letting up as Zack Reynolds was forced out of the game after just nine minutes following a late challenge from Dobson, Lee Grace taking his place at right back.

Grace’s omission in favour of Paul Edgeworth was one of three alterations to the United team, with Daniel Jones starting his fourth game of the season, whilst Joey Acheampong was in up front in place of the unavailable Jason Blackett.

The visitors too had made changes to their lineup since the weekend, though they were far from wholesale. There were also notable absentees in the dugout, however, with former Ducks boss Martin Stone away, leaving his successor at United in 2009, Byron Walton, in charge of proceedings.

Following the brisk start from the visitors, the match degenerated into a scrappy midfield battle as Aylesbury began to get a foothold in the game.

They had their first chance after twenty nine minutes when a hopeful ball forward from Armstrong somewhat fortuitously found Dom Petrucci clean through and he lobbed Michael Watkins, but the ball dropped just the wrong side of the post.

After Dobson fired in another effort well over the goal, an Aylesbury attack saw Acheampong win a corner kick from which Edgeworth’s delivery was sent skimming past the near post by Bill Morgan with a hooked volley.

That was the extent of the first half action leaving supporters already looking ahead at the possibility of extra time, as the much used cliché of ‘had nill-nill written all over it’ rang true.

Aylesbury 0-0 Burnham

Five minutes after the restart and a risky short kick out by Watkins to a defender was snaffled by Edgeworth, but Watkins redeemed himself by standing tall to smother the United man’s shot.

Dobson’s luck in front of goal didn’t improve in the second half, and a ball spread neatly into his path was wasted with a first time shot which blazed over the crossbar.

Seconds later and a defensive mix up by Aylesbury let Blake in with a rare clear sight at goal which he put well wide. Eight minutes later and Dobson cut in from the left and this time at least hit the target, but Tokarczyk was able to easily catch the ball.

Armstrong then tested Watkins with a hooked shot after Jack Wood’s long throw had found its way to him, the visiting stopper diving to catch the ball. Almost immediately Ben Baines’s surge down the right ended with Petrucci’s spin and shot coming to nothing, and a flowing Aylesbury move saw Armstrong power an instant hit over the target.

Blake had another good opportunity, but this time Tokarczyk made another good save to beat the ball away, and although the ball fell kindly to Ryan Upward his follow up shot was straight at the United keeper.

The chances kept coming in a far more entertaining second half. Acheampong was the next man to have a sight of goal, but only served up an incredible miss, screwing the ball wide of the gaping goal after Watkins had spilled Petrucci’s drive.

With twenty minutes to go the referee’s thus far lenient stance finally gave way with Adam Martin, Liam Smyth and then Richard Armstrong booked for dissent and persistent fouling respectively.

As the game entered its latter stages, Edgeworth came to life with a flying left wing performance that saw him twice gallop away down the left and flash in dangerous crosses to no avail.

Burnham appeared to be making little headway in the final ten minutes, although they did have one moment of danger when a testing free kick delivery had to be headed behind by Wood, with the resulting corner kick taken short and completely wasted.

Acheampong then won the Ducks a free kick, sent crashing to the ground as he tried to get into the box, with the game entering the 89th minute. Smyth swung in the set piece from the left and Armstrong towered high to head into the net his fifth goal of the season. 1-0 Aylesbury

In an instant gone were all the thoughts of another thirty minutes on a chilly Bell Close evening, and the roar from the crowd probably as much from relief as the delight at a United breakthrough.

With barely a minute remaining the visitors had no response, and United’s superb defence weren’t to be breached and winning ways were returned to after back to back defeats.