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Match Report

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Ten-man Aylesbury held on for another useful point – their second successive 1-1 draw – at Northwood as returning striker Jason Blackett had an eventful afternoon, netting the equaliser before being shown a second yellow card fourteen minutes later.

As has been the theme for much of the season, the Ducks were heavily depleted with Jack Wood (missing his first game since September 2012) and Richard Armstrong suspended, whilst Zack Reynolds and Lee Grace missed out due to illness.

It necessitated, in addition to Blackett’s recall, an earlier than expected return to action for Steve Hatch after his broken collarbone, who had an excellent game at right back and was one of United’s most prominent attacking forces in a rather lacklustre first half performance.

Northwood had the better of the opening stages with 17-goal striker Nico Muir looking lively as his third minute turn and shot had to be plucked out of the air by Alex Tokarczyk. Four minutes later and the Ducks stopper made a good save from a low shot, with Daniel Jones making a great block to deny the follow up.

The first goal wasn’t long in coming, and went the way of the home side in the twelfth minute. Aylesbury surrendered possession too easily just outside the area, and Muir progressed before laying the ball back for the in-form Dave Lawrence to ram home his fourth goal in three games. 1-0 Northwood

Aylesbury had seen a couple of half chances for Blackett come to nothing prior to the goal, but it took until the midway point of the opening period for another as Dom Petrucci was picked out by Jones and his curling effort was caught.

Hatch’s marauding runs down the right caught the eye on more than one occasion, but he was unable to force an end product, his best coming on 24 minutes when a low cross-shot was picked up by Israeli goalkeeper Tomer Sherman.

Northwood were still posing the bigger threat, and a Sprague-delivered corner kick was met by former Oxhey Jets stalwart Steve Brown’s free header which was blocked in the area. Then, less than a minute later, Muir’s swerving shot was turned behind by Tokarczyk.

Four minutes from the break and a rare moment of Aylesbury intent saw Smyth’s free kick from 30-yards played into the box, where the ball skimmed off Brown’s head but straight into the arms of the grateful Sherman.

Half-time: Northwood 1-0 Aylesbury

Fresh from a probable dressing room dressing down, it took the Ducks only twelve minutes to level the scores, but not before Ehui and Muir had linked up with the latters low attempt easily held by Tokarczyk.

The goal came from a free-kick just inside Aylesbury’s half, launched into the box by Keith Williams, where Stacey Field turned the ball across goal where Blackett was waiting to pounce and slide it into the net. 1-1

Woods tried to hit back seconds later as the ball was played into Muir, who again managed to turn but shot weakly at Tokarczyk.

Blackett then had a great chance for 2-1 when Smyth’s free kick delivery found him, but his faint back header was straight into Sherman’s gloves.

Both sides had openings in the coming minutes, with some neat typical good football from Northwood ending with Lawrence’s shot flying wide, and the same man volleyed over after a misplaced clearance came to him, whilst Petrucci went on a long run at the other end without finding a finish to match.

Blackett talked his way out of the match, appearing to be shown both his yellow cards for dissent, with exactly twenty minutes to play.

The Ducks faced plenty of late pressure, which the defence dealt with admirably. Tokarczyk held onto a Muir shot, and a fine free kick delivery from set-piece wizard Michael Murray, on as a substitute earlier, and subsequent danger were also well dealt with.

However, it was Aylesbury who had the best opening when substitute Paul Edgeworth swept the ball forward, releasing Field, but Tomer was off his line quickly to deny him when one-on-one.

A minute later, in the second of stoppage time, Northwood player/manager Mark Burgess, a one-time United player, strode forward in search of glory with a long left footed shot, but he got it all wrong and the ball flew harmlessly wide.

The final whistle sounded two minutes afterwards for another well earned and useful point for the Ducks against a very capable side who started the afternoon fifth in the league table.

Minute by Minute Updates
  • FT Northwood 1-1 Aylesbury - Hard earned point for the Ducks, far from a vintage display though
  • 90+2 Mark Burgess with late long shot well wide
  • 90+1 Edgeworth ball forward puts Field clean through, keeper off his line to save well
  • 82 Acheampong on for Petrucci
  • 80 Northwood free kick. Murray takes. Great delivery and subsequent pressure well defended
  • 77 Muirashot held by Tokarczyk after good build up
  • 76 Audacious 35-yarder from Field goes wide
  • 72 Ehui booked for hard challenge on Smyth
  • 70 Blackett second yellow, dismissed
  • 66 Lawrence volleys over as Hatch clears to him on the edge of the box
  • 66 Great long run by Petrucci but no finish to match as it trickles wide
  • 64 Edgeworth on for Baines
  • 63 Neat interplay by Northwood ends with Lawrence's low shot going wide
  • 62 Murray on for Oliyide
  • 61 Aylesbury free kick. Smyth delivery. Met with a feint header by Blackett, straight to the keeper
  • 57 Ball played into Muir who turns but shoots weakly at Tokarczyk
  • 56 GOAL! 1-1. Blackett slides in after Field turns the ball across goal from a deep free kick by Keith Williams
  • 49 Smyth shot blocked after free kick fell to him
  • 48 Blackett booked
  • 46 Ehui links up with Muir before low shot easily held
  • Second half has kicked off...
  • HT Northwood 1-0 Aylesbury - much to work on for Aylesbury
  • 41 Aylesbury free kick 30 yards out. Jones delivers. Skims off Brown's head straight to keeper
  • 32 Aylesbury corner. Jones swings in. Cleared away
  • 27 Northwood corner. Delivered by Lawrence. Misses everyone
  • 25 Petrucci gives the ball straight to Muir, swerving shot turned behind by Tokarczyk
  • 25 Northwood corner. Sprague takes. Free header for Brown, blocked in the area
  • 24 Northwood corner. Delivered by Sprague. Corner goes straight out
  • 24 Hatch runs down the right, low cross/shot picked up by the keeper
  • 23 Ehui wins Northwood a corner
  • 21 Petrucci picked out by Jones, curling effort caught
  • 20 Aylesbury free kick. Smyth delivers from 35-yards. Cleared
  • 19 Field with a snapshot from the edge of the box flies wide
  • 19 Northwood free kick. James Burgess takes. Offside
  • 17 Aylesbury corner. Smyth swings in from the left. Poor, doesn't beat first man
  • 15 Aylesbury free kick ten yards in the Northwood half. Smyth takes, offside
  • 14 Northwood free kick 10 yards inside the Ducks half. Training ground routine comes to nothing
  • 11 Lawrence scores after a cut back by Muir
  • 9 Northwood corner. Sprague delivers. United clear
  • 8 Muir fierce shot nicked wide for a corner
  • 7 Good play by Northwood, low shot well saved by Tokarczyk, then a great block by Jones denies the follow up
  • 7 Field and Petrucci combine to win the ball back on the left. Field's cross flicked goalwards by Blackett and caught
  • 3 Ball in from the left to Muir's feet, smart turn and shot plucked out of the air
  • 2 Blackett cuts in from the flank, shot easily held
  • 2 Northwood free kick. Swung in by Sprague. Punched out by Tokarczyk
  • Pre-Match Depleted is an understatement! Armstrong and Jack Wood suspended, Reynolds and Grace ill, plus the other long term injuries. On the positives, Blackett is fit to start, and Hatch returns to the side for the first time since early October after his broken collarbone
  • Pre-Match We're underway as Aylesbury kick off...