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Match Report

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Aylesbury United were well beaten at home by a Kings Langley side that returned to the top of the table as a result, and showed exactly why with an impressive performance at The ASM Stadium.

The Ducks lined up with two changes from their defeat to Ware a week earlier – Alex Collard called upon after injury to replace the unavailable Chris Crook in defence, whilst Vinnie Shrieves was chosen ahead of Stacey Field up front.

United took a shock lead with just six minutes on the clock, courtesy of veteran Greg Williams. Bruno Brito won a foul on the corner of the penalty area, and Williams stepped up to place a perfect direct free kick just inside the post. 1-0 Aylesbury

The early goal raised hopes of taking some unlikely points from a fixture where Aylesbury’s chances looked slim, but the visitors were soon on the attack with a ball over the defence finding Steve Ward who cut inside his man only to see his shot blocked by the sliding Jack Wood.

Despite that early scare, the Ducks were doing a decent job of keeping Kings at bay whilst playing some good football of their own. A notable move of six or seven passes sadly didn’t bring an end product as Williams ended it by crashing a shot well over the bar as the ball sat up for him outside the area.

A minute later and Langley should have found a way back into the match through Lorenzo Ferrari, who dribbled his way into the box before leaving two defenders grounded in front of him but placing his effort too high to trouble Zaki Oualah.

The away side forced six first half corners, with Ward and Ferrari both failing to make the most of opportunities from teasing David Hutton deliveries, and it was no surprise when the leveller arrived from the same source.

This time Hutton drove the ball in low and found Mitchell Weiss, the prolific striker striking a firm shot that flew in off the post beyond a bewildered Oualah. 1-1

Oualah was called upon again just past the half hour mark when a cross was headed out only as far as Ryan Plowright whose left footed shot had the United keeper flying through the air to turn it wide.

With Kings Langley dominant, openings for Aylesbury were becoming few and far between. There was, however, a chance for French when a long kick from the goalkeeper bounced through to him but he was just unable to beat the out of position Xavier Comas-Leon with a bending effort.

A swift counter attack then saw Ferrari hit the side netting having been found on the overlap by Hutton, and it remained one-apiece at the interval.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-1 Kings Langley

Both sides made a change at the break, with Gary Connolly coming on to replace Ferrari for the visitors, and Stacey Field for Collard – who was clearly struggling for most of the first half having seemingly returned from injury too soon.

Aylesbury were barely able to settle following their reshuffle that saw Lea Coulter dropping in to central defence, Kings Langley were applying the pressure with a neat move that saw the ball squared for Hutton whose effort hit a defender on its way behind.

After the first corner came to nothing, Ward was able to receive a short second from Hutton and waltz virtually unchallenged to the byeline with Aylesbury sleeping, before cutting the ball back for Callum Adebiyi to convert his first goal of the season from close range. 2-1 Kings Langley

With only two second half minutes having elapsed, United’s task now looked a monumental one and there was very nearly an instant third when Plowright arrived onto Weiss’s cut back to slot just wide from the edge of the box.

Another effort from range by Plowright saw Oualah down to comfortably dive on the ball, and as United found themselves continually forced back, the ever-threatening Ward was incensed at not being awarded a penalty after going down under Wood’s challenge that was deemed legal.

A rare Aylesbury shot saw Sonny French’s well hit drive comfortably fielded by Comas-Leon, and there was an air of desperation some ten minutes later when Shrieves tried his luck with a very ambitious 35-yarder that flew harmlessly wide.

Play was soon back at the other end and youngster Ward crowned his excellent afternoon by adding the third for his side, running on to a fine through ball to confidently slot past Oualah. 3-1 Kings Langley

Three minutes later and Weiss added his second, and 23rd of the season, when another ball through the defence found him beating the offside trap as Oualah was again clinically beaten. 4-1 Kings Langley

The rout was ultimately now completed, but there were still chances for an increase in the scoreline, and another three minutes on and Connolly whipped in a cross which Plowright headed straight at Oualah with players queuing up in the box.

Although likely to have only been consolation, Williams was cruelly denied a second with ten minutes remaining when Field won the ball back from Stuart Deaton before feeding the midfielder who struck an instant, fierce drive that struck the top of the upright full on.

Weiss was denied the opportunity of a hat-trick, but it was his replacement Immanuelson Duku who contributed to a great chance for a fifth when he latched onto a superb through pass before firing the ball into the box. Plowright’s woes in front of goal continued as he struck the post, before Connolly somehow put the rebound wide with the goal gaping.

Aylesbury’s defence wasn’t to be breached again, which would have been a little harsh on another fully committed performance, whilst new signing Shannon Jesson was brought on for a late debut, looking neat and tidy in possession.

United’s continued search for league points next takes them to Godalming Town, as the season enters the final ten games.