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Match Report

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A battle at Bell Close went the way of Dunstable Town, promoted from the Spartan South Midlands League with Aylesbury last season, as nine-man United were defeated 3-1.

The sides were level at the interval after Lee Roache cancelled out Stacey Field’s opener, but things started to unravel as, after the Blues had gone ahead, United’s frustrations with the referee boiled over and the two sendings off – within three minutes of each other – effectively ended the match before Adam Watkins added a third Dunstable goal.

Dunstable had made a strong start with Danny Murphy and Tony Burnett shooting wide from range, Adam Watkins clipping the post with a volley and a Roache turn and shot deflected over all within the first twelve minutes.

The resulting corner saw Aylesbury break quickly and with purpose, with Daniel Jones finding Dom Petrucci down the left who in turn fed Stacey Field and his low shot trickled its way past Jamie Head for a lead completely against the run of play. 1-0 Aylesbury

United went close to doubling their lead four minutes later when Zack Reynolds got the better of Hutchins on the flank, cutting inside and sculpting a decent effort that curled just wide.

In the 27th minute only an outstanding one-handed save from Alex Tokarczyk denied Lee Roache’s header from point blank range and preserved Aylesbury’s lead.

With the game finely balance, the referee started making his mark with three cheap bookings – two for the Ducks and one for the blues – in quick succession.

Dunstable grabbed an equaliser in the last minute of the first half, with the man in the middle awarding a soft free kick as Roache went to ground rather easily on the left wing. Dunstable’s leading marksman picked himself up and got the faintest of touches on Chris Marsh’s telling delivery to find the net. 1-1

In stoppage time Marsh’s cross from the left was headed over by the prolific Roache as United ended the half under the cosh, and with their own top striker Stacey Field having to be carried off having sustained a foot injury.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-1 Dunstable

Field returned from the half time break but was badly limping, and by the time of his substitution, replaced by Jason Blackett, the Ducks had fallen behind.

Another free kick award against Aylesbury allowed Nathan Frater to step up and directly find the net with a powerful low strike. 2-1 Dunstable

The real drama was soon to ignite though, and after Jack Wood entered the notebook for a challenge on the edge of the box, tempers were beginning to fray.

On the hour mark Richard Armstrong was shown a straight red card for crashing into a Dunstable player, and whilst that was inexcusable, the disappointing behaviour of the visiting players and bench in the aftermath sparked a fracas which took some time to settle.

Just three minutes later and Jack Wood was following Armstrong to the dressing rooms, this time for a far less clear cut offence as Frater went tumbling and the referee deemed Wood the man nearest the incident.

Shellshocked, Aylesbury went for damage limitation mode by switching Dom Petrucci for Greg Williams, and with nine men it was no surprise as Dunstable put the Ducks under further pressure.

After Frater’s shot fell kindly for him, Roache fired over as he was pressured by Jones, whilst Roache lifted a shot onto the bar from close range having been set up by Marsh from the left.

The third goal duly arrived on 74 minutes, when former Luton Town midfielder Adam Watkins beat Tokarczyk from just inside the box as the ball was cut back to him. 3-1 Dunstable

It could have been a very long final fifteen minutes for Aylesbury had their visitors been sharper in the final third, and instead it was the Ducks who came closest to scoring when Blackett’s turn and shot squirmed through the legs of Jamie Head but was scraped away without the whole ball crossing the line.

Two minutes later and Blackett met Jones’s free kick with a back header across goal which was turned goalwards in acrobatic fashion by Williams, but the ball hit the bar.

Blackett was booked for retaliation after another late skirmish as Aylesbury’s frustrations continued right up to the final whistle.

An afternoon to get out of their systems quickly, the Ducks now have a full week to recover before another tough fixture in prospect against league leaders Barton Rovers.

Minute by Minute Updates
  • 86 Blackett booked for retaliation
  • 85 Corner kick punched away, penalty appeal
  • 83 Aylesbury free kick. Swung in, Blackett header across goal. Williams acrobatic effort onto bar
  • 81 Blackett turn and shot squirms through keeper's legs, doesn't quite cross the line
  • 78 Cooper for Olalaye
  • 74 Watkins scores from a cut back
  • 73 Cashman on for Frater
  • 72 Baines booked for dissent
  • 69 Roache hit shot onto bar having been set up by Marsh from the left
  • 68 Dunstable corner. Comes out to Frater whose shot falls to Roache who fires over under pressure from Jones
  • 66 Greg Williams on for Petrucci
  • 65 Federico on for Burnett
  • 63 Frater goes down under challenge, Jack Wood second yellow
  • 62 Bruce yellow card in the aftermath of handbags
  • 60 Armstrong straight red
  • 55 2-1 Dunstable. Dunstable free kick. Frater scores direct.
  • 55 Wood concedes free kick on the edge of the box
  • 54 Dunstable free kick cleared away
  • 52 Dunstable corner. Hutchins delivers. Tokarczyk claims
  • 50 Armstrong leaves the pitch with a badly bleeding nose
  • 49 Ball in from wide right Marsh can't get over the header
  • Second half is underway...
  • No changes at the break, although Field is limping heavily
  • HT Worryingly, Field had to be carried from the pitch at half time
  • HT HT: 1-1 - Late leveller has denied the Ducks a half time lead
  • 45+3 Marsh cross in headed over by Roache
  • 45 GOAL! 1-1. Marsh free kick goes straight in
  • 44 Roache wins a free kick for Dunstable
  • 43 Leach booked
  • 39 Dunstable corner. Murphy delivers. Cleared away at near post
  • 37 Murphy free kick headed out to Murphy, right footed cross headed by and easily caught
  • 37 Field booked for impeding keeper
  • 36 Reynolds booked for fouling Reynolds
  • 31 Bruce becomes the third Dunstable player to go down injured
  • 27 Aylesbury corner. Jones delivers. Keeper flaps but nobody can make contact
  • 27 Outstanding one handed save from Tokarczyk keeps out Roache header from Watkins flighted ball
  • 18 Aylesbury corner. Jones delivers. Missed by everyone
  • 17 Zak Reynolds got the better of Hutchins, crafted lob bent just wide
  • 13 GOAL! 1-0 Aylesbury. Quick counter attack as Petrucci holds it before releasing Field whose low shot trickles in
  • 12 Dunstable corner. Taken by Hutchins, cleared away by Aylesbury
  • 11 Roache turn and shot deflected well over, corner
  • 10 Watkins with a volley hit outside of the post on its way wide
  • 6 Jones concedes free kick
    Swung in by Murphy. Headed out by Armstrong
  • 4 Ball broke for Burnett outside the box, shot wide from range
  • 3 Long shot from Murphy slashed well wide
  • Pre-Match We're underway as Dunstable kick off...
  • Pre-Match One change for United today as Richard Armstrong replaces Greg Williams in midfield