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Match Report



Aylesbury's hopes of making a positive start to life at The ASM Stadium were blown away by Bedford Town, as their good form in preseason and an opening day win at Potters Bar Town were quickly forgotten.

Much changed Bedford had an entirely new starting eleven to the season previous, so it was an unsurprising statistic that four of their goalscorers were netting their first goals for their new club.

Tony Joyce made one change from that wekend victory, replacing Taylor Collins with Sonny French and opting for a diamond system in midfield.

That change seemed to hinder the Ducks, their narrow midfield regularly overrun and - despite the presence of four central midfielders - Bedford bossed the centre of the park.

Early warning signs were there when Joel Mason got the better of Jack Wood but could only hook a shot wide, and the Eagles duly took the lead on ten minutes.

Aylesbury switched off to the danger of short corner kick routine, and after a scramble James Peters was on hand to ram home the loose ball. 1-0 Bedford

The Ducks weren't entirely without threat of their own, and the visitors had to be thankful to impressive young goalkeeper Dillon Barnes who did excellently to tip over a Jack Wood header from brother Shane Wood's long throw. The same player then got on the end of French's corner kick but saw his header blocked.

Three minutes later and some of the good football that Thame's surface invites was played by Aylesbury, ending with French teeing up Billy Adcock with a square pass whose shot went wide of the target.

That was about the sum total of United's first half endeavours, as Bedford then went on to dominate proceedings and a flying header from Joel Mason hit the outstretched arm of Alex Tokarczyk following some spellbinding wingplay from Dylan Gittens on the left.

A free kick five minutes later saw Peters afforded a free header that he spurned with a header over the bar, before Ricky Case took his turn in the thick of the action firstly with a long shot that was dragged well wide, and then with a fine curling shot that was matched by a great Tokarczyk save to tip the ball onto the crossbar.

In a further blow for Aylesbury, a back problem forced the early withdrawal of Shane Wood, John Mulholland coming on for his first appearance of the season with Jack Wood shuffling across to right-back.

Bedford were soon back on the front foot with a swift counter attack seeing Gittens scamper away again before finding Joel Norris whose first shot was saved down low by Tokarczyk, then slotting the rebound wide after it came back to him.

The Eagles didn't have to wait long for their deserved second, capitalising on a wayward slice of the ball by Shaun Owens, Ricky Case ran on and slammed home a low shot that beat Tokarczyk on his near post. 2-0 Bedford

Two minutes later and Aylesbury were looking to hit back. A corner kick broke down but when French put the ball back into the box Mulholland's shot was blocked, as was Greg Williams from close range although the flag had been raised in any event. French and Adcock then combined down the right to pick out Casey who headed over what was a decent chance.

Tokarczyk's mixed night continued as he was booked for throwing the ball away having been adjudged to have handled a pass back, and from the rarely effective inside penalty area indirect free kick routine Norris's shot was charged down by Jack Wood, before time was blown on the first period.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-2 Bedford

Refusing to believe the game was beyond them, three passes and a shot over from Casey suggested an early improvement from Aylesbury, but after Bedford's Case crashed a shot over the bar as the ball broke to him, a killer third goal was found on 49 minutes to put the game beyond the Ducks. Slick passing movement had United cut apart and when the ball was threaded through to Gittens he made no mistake to score the goal his performance merited. 3-0 Bedford

Joyce responded with the quick substitution of Paul Edgeworth for Stacey Field, and when Taylor Collins entered the fray too it lead to a tactical rethink that brought about Aylesbury's best spell of the game. Williams fired an effort wide, and Collins over from seperate movements as the ball broke kindly for them.

United were now moving the ball well and some slick interplay ended with French shooting wide when laying the ball wide may have been the better option, and a minute later Casey wriggled in behind the defence before placing a shot wide across goal.

Once again though, any good work came undone in the blink of an eye. Case got down the right, produced an excellent cross for Joel Norris who, with some neat movement, got away from a static home defence to nod home his side's fourth. 4-0 Bedford

Barnes - released by Fulham in the summer - had been having a fairly quiet second half, but produced another moment of high quality goalkeeping when he got to a dangerous cross just ahead of Casey, with Collins placing the rebound wide.

Collins did open his account for the club on 76 minutes when he struck a peach of a free-kick, which arrowed into the far top corner despite Barnes getting fingertips to it. 1-4

It seemed scant consolation, but had he done better seconds later with a weak shot straight at the goalkeeper having found himself with a good shooting chance, then a more interesting close to the game could have ensued. Another Collins shot then saw a well executed volley caught by Barnes.

Instead, it fell to Bedford to end the gap essentially as they started. Another through ball exposed United's backline and substitute Josh Bamford kept his composure with a cool finish past Tokarczyk. 5-1 Bedford

Mercifully, there was no time for further embarassment as Bedford obliterated the memories of the six points United had taken from them in the 2014/15 season. One to forget quickly, regroup, and do better against Hanwell Town at the weekend. Much better.