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Match Report

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The first match of the post-Tony Joyce era was a curious affair at The ASM Stadium. Visitors St Ives Town had at one point looked likely to rack up a cricket score, before the Ducks rallied for an improved second half, netted two goals to give a more respectable feel to the scoreline and, momentarily, threatened an unlikely comeback.

Keen to make his mark, interim manager Glyn Creaser opted for six changes to the starting lineup, albeit two enforced with regular defenders Alex Collard and Shane Wood both injured, with the biggest surprise the inclusion of Dan Green for his first appearance of the season in goal.

St Ives came into the match with only one league defeat behind them but had their own selection issues with key defender Charlie De’Ath and midfielder Jack Higgs both unavailable leaving a light looking substitutes bench that was boosted by the signing of Jared Cunniff for a second spell earlier this week.

The Saints made a blistering start and early chances went begging as Steve Gentle flicked over a corner kick and Stuart Eason headed wide from Danny Watson’s dangerous ball into the box, and it was no surprise when they took the lead after just seven minutes.

A looping header from Eoin Casey was no test for Tim Trebes who caught the ball easily. His kick downfield was headed straight to Ben Seymour-Shove by George Tomlin, and he made no mistake with a clinical finish when faced with only Green to beat. 1-0 St Ives

Four minutes later and United’s fragilities were cruelly exposed as a corner kick from the right was not dealt with by transfixed goalkeeper and defenders alike, and Watson was on hand to volley the ball home at the far post. 2-0 St Ives

Eason should have added number three when a well worked move saw the ball sprayed out wide to Seymour-Shove who in turn crossed for his striker but he could only head the ball down and across goal.

It wasn’t long before the third did arrive, and this time from the spot as John Mulholland was penalised for a late challenge just inside the box. Watson stepped up and sent his former Leighton Town teammate Green the wrong way to score his second of the night. 3-0 St Ives

Midway through the first half and visiting goalkeeper Trebes’s attempts to get involved in the game nearly backfired as his dribble out of the area was intercepted by Greg Williams, but his shot towards the empty net didn’t have enough on it and Trebes was able to head it away.

It marked a brief upturn for Aylesbury, with Lee Grace crossing for Lewis Osborne to shoot straight at the keeper a minute later, before another Grace cross was nodded wide by Casey.

The brief respite was soon ended by a fourth St Ives goal. Once again, the Ducks defence was all at sea as Clark fed Seymour-Shove down the right, and his deep cross fell at the feet of Phil Draycott who fired home unopposed. 4-0 St Ives

Some decent play by Ash Farmer ended with Jordon Frederick poking a shot wide towards the end of the half, but it was in the Aylesbury box where the first half action ended with Mulholland scrambling the ball off the line.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-4 St Ives

Mulholland was replaced by Billy Adcock at the interval with Greg Williams dropping back into an increasingly makeshift defence, whilst the Saints also made a change with Cunniff on to replace Draycott.

The Ducks then also lost the services of Osborne to an early second half injury as he gave way to Taylor Collins.

Whether it was a case of the visitors easing up or an improvement from the Ducks, the second half was much better viewing for the home faithful, as their charges seemed quicker to the ball and generally closer to their opponents.

With the game seemingly settled as a contest, there was little action for the first twenty minutes of the second half. Jordon Frederick’s curling effort was easy for Trebes, whilst a fiercely struck shot crashed wide from Scott Sinclair having ridden a number of challenges and a good advantage from the referee.

Peter Clark then should have done better when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box after 65 minutes but he blazed high over the bar.

It was the Ducks next made a mark on the scoresheet when Jake Bewley’s 71st minute corner was headed back across goal by Jack Wood for Jordon Frederick to convert his first goal of the season from close range. 1-4

The deficit was reduced further just seven minutes afterwards with an even better goal. Collins fed Bewley’s overlapping run down the left and his raking cross was met by Casey who ended his goal drought by heading it home. 2-4

The quickfire double visibly raised the teams’ spirits and following a long shot from Casey which was easily held, Trebes made a very good save to prevent the score being narrowed to one. Grace’s ball split the defence and as Casey took it in his stride Trebes was off his line in a flash to beat his shot away.

Had that gone in then there was a genuine chance of salvaging an unlikely-looking draw, instead, Dan Green was called upon to make a good stop of his own in the dying moments. An offside looking Watson broke free on the right and played the ball across to Seymour-Shove whose shot was turned wide.

It was the last meaningful action of a game which ultimately wasn’t as comfortable for the visitors as it perhaps should have been, and for that the Aylesbury players deserve some credit.

Next up for the Ducks is another tough ask in the shape of a trip to ambitious newly promoted Kings Langley, who themselves have also made a decent start to the season. Creaser will be without the now suspended Mulholland but Shane Wood could be fit to make the trip.