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Match Report

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A late Brian Haule goal saw Aylesbury United narrowly beaten in an entertaining New Year’s Day game with Aylesbury FC.

The game had seen a passionate response from United to twice falling two goals behind, bringing themselves level at 3-3 from 3-1 down only for Haule’s goal seven minutes from time leaving them empty handed.

After their Boxing Day draw, the Ducks went into the game without recent signings of striker Lewis Putman (chest infection),Tinashe Chabata and the injured Shane Wood, so in came Stacey Field after completing his suspension, Jack Wood, John Mulholland and Ben Baines – who was drafted in for his first game since August having been playing for Wolverton Town of late.

United lined up with a three-man defence, and it looked to have been a move suited to them as they made a strong start to the game when Stacey Field lashed a fourth minute shot into the side netting and Jake Bewley’s deep free kick was hooked over from close range by Morgan.

They then had another good chance when Blackett won the ball against his marker before feeding Bewley who rolled an effort wide across goal.

But as the minutes ticked by FC gradually began to take control of proceedings, and too often Morgan and Mulholland were exposed leaving Jack Wood or Tahj Bell to come to the rescue. Indeed, for a short spell it was the visitors against the on-loan Hitchin goalkeeper as he made a string of saves to keep the visitors at bay.

On sixteen minutes he made a fine double save after a move developed on the right flank, the second of which denied ex-Duck Aston Goss’s follow up shot.

Three minutes later and the ball was cut back from the right again to Brad Wadkins whose attempt was blocked by a combination of goalkeeper and defender, and with Bell stranded way off his line Lynton Goss could only fire wide.

It was the hosts who had the next chance when Steve Hatch lofted a left footed shot wide after good linkup between Bewley and Greg Williams, but it wasn’t long before FC took their deserved lead.

Yet another ball into the box from the right was miss-kicked by Mulholland where it fell kindly for Wadkins in the area to score. 1-0 Aylesbury FC

Despite the setback United were very much still in the game with half time approaching, and had two notable chances to equalise when Baines’s ball over the defence gave Field a shooting chance but he slotted wide, and then a combination of Mulholland and Hatch got on the end of Bewley’s free kick but headed it wide.

Exactly what the Ducks didn’t want was to concede a second goal, yet in first half stoppage time they gave away another terrible goal when Danny Murphy’s corner from the right travelled straight into the net without a tough. 2-0 Aylesbury FC

It was a sucker punch and at half time it already looked a long, long way back for the Ducks.

Half-time: Aylesbury United 0-2 Aylesbury FC

With just two minutes played Lynton Goss came close to scoring FC’s third when he took a pass, cut inside the box but curled it just wide and instead, it was the Ducks who grabbed a much needed early goal – John Mulholland heading home his first goal since the injury which kept him out for 18-months from Edgeworth’s corner. 1-2

The comeback turned out to be short-lived, however, as within seconds the visitors had re-established their two-goal cushion. Jake Bewley dived into a penalty box tackle, and Brian Haule made no mistake with a well placed penalty kick. 3-1 Aylesbury FC

Moments later Field’s shot came back off the body of goalkeeper Jamie Jackson having latched on to Jason Blackett’s flick on, but United’s afternoon was to take another turn for the worse when Blackett was forced out with a worrying looking injury sustained as he chased the ball, and was replaced by Joey Acheampong.

Another substitution soon afterwards saw Jesse Waites replace Paul Edgeworth on the wing, and he was soon curling a free-kick narrowly over the crossbar.

The Ducks were digging deep, and they scored another goal on 69 minutes when Bewley’s superb ball into the box was just over Baines, but perfect for the arriving Field to rifle past Jackson. 2-3

Once again, FC could have hit back straight away when Gareth Price was fed by Wadkins and produced a great effort which was poked just wide of Bell’s upright.

They were made to rue that miss when their hosts equalised, skipper Jack Wood marking his return after a one-game absence by turning the ball home after Jackson had spilled a Waites free-kick. 3-3

Stacey Field then had a goal chalked off for offside as United could have, incredibly, edged in front.

But with a full fifteen minutes still to play, it looked a big ask to keep the league’s 2nd placed side at bay – a team on a six-match winning streak – and so it proved.

In the 79th minute a shot in from range deflected ricocheted off a defender and fell at the feet of Brian Haule, who couldn’t miss the opportunity from six-yards as FC added their fourth. 4-3 Aylesbury FC

There was still time for United to push on in search of another equaliser, throwing everyone including Bell up for a stoppage time corner kick, but time had run out and it was actually FC who had the best chance when substitute Sonny French dragged a shot wide.

It was enough for Aylesbury FC to take the points, once more, and although a spirited performance by the Ducks – in the second half particularly - the nature of all four goals conceded was a big disappointment as the quest for a first result against their town neighbours.