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Wednesday 26th March 2014

Calor Southern League Division One Central

Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard Attendance: 76

Aylesbury United

3 2

AFC Hayes

  Half-time: (2-0)  
       
       
Teams
8Jack SILLITOEPlayer Image1
8Lee GRACEPlayer Image2
7Daniel JONESPlayer Image3
9(c) Jack WOODPlayer Image4
8Keith WILLIAMSPlayer Image5
7Liam SMYTHPlayer Image6
7Ben BAINESPlayer Image7
7Greg WILLIAMSPlayer Image8
7Joey ACHEAMPONGPlayer Image9
7Stacey FIELDPlayer Image10
715 78m Paul EDGEWORTHPlayer Image11
 
Bill MORGANPlayer Image12
Jason BLACKETTPlayer Image14
11 78m Liam MURPHYPlayer Image15
Tony JOYCEPlayer Image16
 
  Tony JOYCEManager ImageM
   
1Player ImageBalvinder KHAIRA
2Player ImageRhys PAUL
3Player ImageCharlie CRANE
4Player ImageCharlie GOODE
5Player ImageDan BAILEY (c)
6Player ImageLee MCMANUS15 88m 
7Player ImageMichael VINCENT
8Player ImageJake CASS16 69m 
9Player ImageTony MENDY
10Player ImageRomayne THOMAS
11Player ImageTashan JORDAN12 77m 
 
12Player ImageJames WALTERS11 77m 
14Player ImageJack STANTON
15Player ImageMitchal GOUGH6 88m 
16Player ImageRhys RABESS8 69m 
17Player ImageAndrew HAREWOOD
Match Report

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Report courtesy of Ian Pluck

After the disappointment of losing at home to Uxbridge on Saturday, the Ducks returned to Bell Close to take on AFC Hayes, who had been comfortably beaten on their own pitch earlier in the season. Tonight’s match was anything but a formality though, with the Ducks struggling to field a full squad due to a combination of the injuries that have plagued the season and player unavailability. Joey Acheampong and Stacey Field were both restored to the starting line up in the absence of Jason Blackett and Steve Hatch, with Keith Williams moving to centre back and Danny Jones to left back.

The game started on a very wet pitch, with standing water evident in both goal areas and in patches across the pitch, making playing conditions difficult to say the least. It was no surprise that the players took a while to come to terms with the conditions, the first incident of any note being AFC Hayes striker Tony Mendy deservedly kicking the ball away in frustration after being flagged offside. It was the Ducks who were to have the first attempt on goal in the 18th minute; Stacey Field latching on to a deep cross from the left flank by Danny Jones and lashing a fierce volley just wide of the far post. Two minutes later, Paul Edgeworth found Lee Grace advancing forward; he quickly brought the ball under control and from 25yds fired a shot at keeper Khairi who spilled the ball, fortunately for him behind for a corner. Khairi was in the action again 3 minutes later, charging out of his goal as Joey Acheampong ran clear of the defence. As the home striker pushed the ball round him, the keeper rashly challenged him just inside the box, conceding a penalty and earning himself a yellow card. This appeared to be the right decision as Acheampong had already pushed the ball away from goal, and in the referee’s opinion was not a goal scoring opportunity. Paul Edgeworth stepped up and calmly converted the penalty to put the Ducks ahead. Five minutes later, the visitors had a penalty claim of their own, as a tidy pass into the box found Mendy free 12 ydsout. From nowhere though, Keith Williams appeared and made a goal saving tackle, ball first, as Mendy hit the ground.

Despite the visitors getting more into the game, the Ducks were the team looking most likely to score. In the 33rd minute, a throw found Ben Baines on the edge of the area; he unselfishly played the ball square to Greg Williams, whose powerful goalbound shot was bravely blocked by visiting skipper Dan Bailey. Three minutes later, it was Hayes turn to threaten. Midfielder Jake Cass was afforded far too much room in the centre of the park. He advanced and fired at Jack Sillitoe’s goal from 35 yds, only to see the home keeper equal to the task and turn the ball away for a corner. Four minutes later a long ball forward found Sillitoe racing from his goal. His sliced clearance fell into the path of Mendy who looked odds on to equalise. However, he slipped on the greasy surface in front of goal, with a combination of Williams and Grace recovering to clear the danger. As half time approached, Acheampong beat left back Charlie Crane on the wing, who unfairly tackled him. He joined his team mates in the book, and his punishment was doubled when Danny Jones whipped in a great free kick on to the head of Ben Baines, unmarked 10 yds out, to double the lead.

Two down at half time, the Hayes management decided to change tactics, moving to a more offensive 4-3-3 formation, with 3 pacy strikers up top. The visitors started the half the stronger, with the Ducks defence struggling to come to terms with the new formation. Mendy picked the ball up wide on the left and drive towards the by line. His shot was smartly saved at the near post at the expense of a corner, from which centre back Bailey saw his firm header well saved with his feet by Sillitoe. Five minutes later a long diagonal ball from Bailey found Mendy on the corner of the box. Like Field earlier in the match, his volley fizzed across goal and out for a goal kick. Mendy was in the thick of the action throughout the half. Three minutes later he did well to control a cross well and shot at goal. Despite a deflection, the shot was well saved by Sillitoe. Two minutes later though, he was lucky to stay on the field. An off the ball altercation with Greg Williams saw him aim a head butt at the Aylesbury man, who fortunately didn’t make an issue of the incident. Fortunately for Mendy, the referee chose to administer a stern warning rather than get out his cards. Mendy made the most of his good fortune two minutes later, collecting a long ball from Rhys Paul, turning and firing a precise shot across Sillitoe into the far corner of the net. In the 75th minute, it was visiting skipper Bailey who was fortunate to escape a red card. Keeper Khairi charged from his area but missed the ball, leaving Acheampong bearing down on the left side of the penalty area. Bailey made a desperate attempt to tackle him as he approached the area, bringing him down. Again though, the referee chose to exercise discretion and issued another yellow card. Three minutes later the Ducks increased their lead. Edgeworth’s deep corner cleared everyone, but was collected by Liam Smyth. He found Stacey Field wide on the right, who crossed low into the 6 yd box where skipper Jack Wood stooped to bullet a header home to put his team 3-1 up. That man Mendy wasn’t to be denied though, and 2 minutes later scored his and his side’s second goal. In a goal somewhat reminiscent of his first, he collected the ball on the left flank, cut inside Lee Grace and fired a shot beyond Sillitoe into the far corner.

It’s fair to say that the last 10 minutes was a backs to the wall affair, with Hayes’ pacy strikers trying all they could to force an equaliser. However the defence, well marshalled by skipper Wood, repelled all that was played towards them to ensure a welcome home win was achieved. This was another resolute battling performance from a Ducks side down to bare bones again, with just one fit substitute available to manager Tony Joyce. Hopefully he will have a larger squad to choose from as we travel to face promotion chasing Barton Rovers on Saturday.