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Match Report



Aylesbury moved up two places in the league by virtue of a second victory of the season against Potters Bar Town, but were denied a more comprehensive win by a fine goalkeeping display from visiting custodian Ben Goode.

With his first goal of 2015, Paul Edgeworth gave the Ducks an early lead, before Goode repeatedly saved shots to keep the Ducks at bay – with Lewis Putman the man most denied, although he later got his reward with a second half free kick to finally double the advantage, before a stoppage time goal halved the deficit and made the game look a lot closer than really was.

Jesse Waites and Jason Blackett were both ruled out by the injuries sustained in the weekend’s heavy defeat at Godalming Town, so in came Jordan Frederick to give an assured debut in midfield, alongside the recalled Greg Williams, with Stacey Field pushed forward into his favoured striking role.

After two early and dangerous Aylesbury balls into the box came to nothing, it was Potters Bar who had the first chance of the game when a ball forwards let Josh Hutchinson in behind the defence, but he lashed his shot high over the bar.

Less than a minute later and the Ducks edged in front when a move from one end of the pitch to the other – started by goalkeeper Tahj Bell – ended with Shane Wood’s shot deflecting into the box where Frederick was unable to make decent contact, but Edgeworth was on hand to poach a goal. 1-0 Aylesbury

Soon afterwards and Goode made his best save of the game. Field flicked Shane Wood’s throw on to Putman who cut inside onto his trusted left foot and let fly with a venomous effort which Goode matched with a superb reflex save to turn the ball behind.

A combination of Shaun Owens and Jack Wood then went close, as the former’s ambitious long shot deflected off his skipper’s head and looped just wide, before Putman again hit the target having cut inside but this time there was an easy save for Goode.

Putman had his hands on his head in despair again when his near post was repelled by Goode after he was put in behind the defence, and he went closer still on the half hour mark when, having engineered space for a shot, he saw the ball rebound off the upright, with Williams somehow putting the ball wide of an open goal.

For all their chances, it remained at 1-0 and Aylesbury should have been made to pay, but were let off the hook when Hutchinson, with 17 goals to his name already this season, slotted wide across goal when Cole Penny found him in the box with a clever reverse pass.

A decent long range shot from Chris Doyle which was held by Tahj Bell was the only remaining action of the first half, as Aylesbury maintained their deserved slender lead to the break.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-0 Potters Bar

Two Aylesbury corners was impeccably fielded by Goode early in the second period, in between which full back Joe Bennett intercepted a stray pass before crashing a shot way over for Potters Bar.

The Ducks strike partnership then linked up again with Field releasing Putman once more, who did well to hold off his man and get a shot on target but it was going to take a better effort to beat Goode.

When Jake Bewley’s free-kick was helped on, a Frederick header was also held by Goode, before Potters Bar began to register as a sustained attacking threat for the first time – Jack Wood doing well to block a shot from Doyle after a strong run by Penny, whilst another telling move a minute later saw another shot blocked.

Yet another Putman shot was saved, before the Ducks number nine turned provider, Jack Wood retrieving an over hit corner kick and finding Putman whose near post cross was headed wide by the airborne Williams.

Finally, in the 63rd minute, Putman had his reward as he found a way past the Potters Bar keeper. A free kick some 35-yards out was almost identical in position to where he had scored in the previous game, and although his shot was the polar opposite of that top corner thunderbolt, the ball squeezed inside the post with just enough on it to find the net. 2-0 Aylesbury

With the confidence of a two-goal cushion behind them, United set about looking to increase their lead and a third nearly came from the most unlikely of sources when Stacey Field switched the ball for the advancing Shane Wood who beat the keeper to it but saw his shot drop cruelly wide of the open goal, as the defender still seeks his first Aylesbury goal.

Potters Bar attacks were sporadic, but often involved the increasingly dangerous Tyler Hatherly. He got outside of Shane Wood midway through the half but powered an effort behind goal.

Another Putman free kick was straight at Goode this time, whilst Edgeworth chipped over from long range, but it was he who had the best chance for number three when Frederick found Putman who in turn squared the ball across the box, only for Goode to race from his line and charge down the shot.

With the visitors throwing everything forward in the closing stages. Hatherly blasted another shot wide before Hutchinson went on a mazy run and for a split second appeared to be walking the ball to goal, only for Bill Morgan to get in his way when it mattered.

Aylesbury continued to be under severe pressure in the closing stages, but time appeared to be running out with Hutchinson blazing the latest chance over the bar having turned inside Shane Wood.

Hatherly had other ideas though, and the rare prospect of a ‘clean sheet double’ was ruled out when he netted two minutes into stoppage time. The ball was hoisted into the box where Hatherly found himself unmarked and lashed the ball high into the net. 1-2

With essentially no time remaining, Aylesbury’s win was never seriously in doubt, but it was a much narrower margin of victory than it should have been.

The challenge now for Tony Joyce’s men is making it back to back league victories for the first time since September, with the tough home game against Royston Town next in line.