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Match Report

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When Aylesbury United last travelled to take on Redditch United the year was 1988 and the Ducks were on course to win the Beezer Homes Southern League Championship and win promotion to the Conference.

Fast forward some 27 years and the two locked horns again in what some would call an insignificant Red Insure Cup tie. For Aylesbury though, there was the chance to stop the rot of four straight defeats and put in a morale boosting performance.

Not for the first time in his Aylesbury career, it was goalkeeper Alex Tokarczyk who was the hero after the game went to penalty kicks, as he saved two and scored the winner to send his side through to the second round.

Aylesbury were heavily depleted going into the game with Shane Wood and Paul Edgeworth unavailable, Lee Grace and Billy Adcock injured/ill, whilst Jake Bewley and Lewis Osborne suffered a puncture on the A422 and didn’t reach the ground until half time to further hamper Tony Joyce’s pre-match preparations.

It meant promotion from the Reserve Team for defenders George Tomlin and John Mulholland, a full debut for 16-year old Nathan Tshikuna, a hurried return from injury for Jordon Frederick who played his first game of the season and a recall for Stacey Field.

Redditch, fourth place in the Premier Division, were keen to press home the league difference and were soon on top. An early free kick was taken short where a weak effort came straight to Tokarczyk, before Luke Shearer met a left wing cross with a flying header that went wide.

In between Stacey Field did well to run onto a ball that Jack Westbrook let awkwardly bounce over him and hooked a first time effort beyond the target.

With the hosts well on top, that was to be Aylesbury’s only attempt for some time as Alex Collard made a good block to a low shot over good build up down the right involving Robbie Bunn and Daniel Dubidat.

The lively Dubidat – who scored a hat-trick against the Ducks for Bedworth United last season and already has six to his name this – then saw a shot on the turn deflected wide by the alert Collard. He had another chance on the quarter hour mark but fired wide having been teed up by Bunn.

A corner kick four minutes later ended with Tokarczyk having to beat another shot away, and although he found a free kick from Jamie Osborne somewhat easier to deal with he was left helpless when Dubidat got up to meet a flicked on long throw with an overhead kick that missed the target.

The busy Tokarczyk was clawing away another effort from Max Loveridge this time after another short corner kick routine, from which Aylesbury broke quickly and had a rare shot at goal but Tshikuna’s effort was wild having cut in from the left flank.

Shearer was the next man to try his luck when he drifted in from wide but dragged his effort past the upright, whilst Tokarczyk did enough to keep out Osborne’s long range effort.

At the other end Eoin Casey very nearly smuggled home Field’s ball into the box after Farmer’s cross from the opposite wing had asked questions of the Redditch defence for the first time. Jack Wood then flicked wide from a deep free kick as Aylesbury sniffed a chance to nick a goal before the break.

That wasn’t to be the case, and, having held out valiantly for 43 minutes, the hosts finally found the breakthrough. An incisive through ball finally had the Ducks defence breached, and Shearer produced a clinical finish to open the scoring. 1-0 Redditch

In stoppage time at the end of the first half Ash Farmer nearly scored with a cheeky free kick, when Jamie Moreton, expecting a cross, placed himself across goal and when Farmer went straight for the net curled just wide of the exposed near post.

Half-time: Redditch 1-0 Aylesbury

Nobody could deny that the hosts deserved their lead at the interval, and Dubidat should have doubled it with two good chances in the first fifteen minutes of the second period when first he shot straight at Tokarczyk on the end of a flowing move and then met a free kick but again sent the ball tamely at the Aylesbury keeper.

That they didn’t gave the away side hope, and with a bolt out of the blue the Ducks were suddenly level. Substitute Bewley – who had arrived on the field just two minutes earlier – caught a 35-yard half volley beautifully as the ball sat up for him, and Morton had no chance as the ball stunningly dipped into the net beyond him. 1-1

It wasn’t long before Redditch were back on the attack with Dubidat predictably involved again as his impressive looking bicycle kick clipped the past on its way behind.

Substitute Brandon Mutibvu fired a long shot high and wide and Shearer stung Tokarczyk’s palms with a fierce drive, but the best chance fell to that man Dubidat when a clipped ball over the defence gave him a clear sight of goal but his shot came back off the upright before being hacked away.

United’s end to the game then became a bit harder when Mulholland was shown two yellow cards in the space of two minutes for slightly mistimed challenges, leaving the Ducks to play the final fifteen minutes a man short.

The Ducks continued their dogged defending though, and Tokarczyk made a fine save in the last minute when Troy Baker bent an effort goalwards through a crowd of players restricting the goalkeeper’s view as he got down to tip the ball wide.

Still the chances came and went for Redditch as Dubidat hammered a chest down over the bar, Osborne placed a shot wide of the target and Dubidat then rounded off proceedings by volleying a cross over the bar, as time ran out.

With no extra time in the Red Insure Cup, the tie went straight to penalties, and Dubidat’s game showed no signs of improvement as Tokarczyk saved his opening effort and Stacey Field confidently dispatching his into the top corner.

0-1

Luke Shearer sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to get Redditch off the mark, but Jake Bewley’s eventful afternoon continued as he sent his into the bottom corner.

1-2

A good penalty from George Carline found the bottom corner beyond Tokarczyk, and Ash Farmer also converted.

2-3

Both the next kickers hit poor penalties to leave the scoreline unchanged as Tokarczyk was able to make a relatively easy save from Ashmore and Morton denied Lewis Osborne likewise to keep Redditch’s hopes alive.

2-3

Baker snuck his spot kick home but it was only a brief respite as up stepped Tokarczyk to fire a classy spot kick into the top right corner and send Aylesbury through.

Final penalty kick score: Redditch 3-4 Aylesbury

Although Redditch had more than enough chances to have won the game, a dogged defensive showing from the Ducks gave them a platform to take full advantage of the lottery that is penalty kicks. Hopefully their good showing, even with a patched up squad, can give confidence when league action resumes at Barton Rovers on Tuesday evening.