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Match Report

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A comprehensive defeat at the hands of title-challenging Royston Town saw Aylesbury slip back into the relegation zone after fellow strugglers Leighton Town won away at Potters Bar Town.

And with the Ducks and Reds due to meet next at Bell Close on Easter Monday, that match now takes on a crucial role in determining the two sides end of season fate, and now looks a ‘must win’ for both teams.

Meanwhile, Royston’s win saw them go ten-games unbeaten and take over from Kings Langley at the table’s summit.

Whilst the Crows win was eventually a comfortable one, the Ducks were matching them until a controversial handball decision midway through the first half gave the visitors a lead, and when they immediately added a second there was no way back for Aylesbury.

Possibly with the Leighton game in mind, United boss Glyn Creaser chose to leave out Greg Williams and Lea Coulter, and with Vinnie Shrieves injured there were a number of changes to the lineup. Youth team midfielder Jack Beech came in for his senior debut, alongside recalled duo Reece Cameron and Alvin Rajaram.

After a slow start to proceedings, Royston threatened first via a free kick that was teed up for Scott Bridges whose effort hit the bar and deflected over.

At the other end Bruno Brito had Aylesbury’s first shot, although it was a wildly ambitious effort from range that drifted harmlessly wide.

A decent move then saw Royston’s Simon Thomas lay the ball out wide to the ever-dangerous Rhys Hoeness who tricked his way inside before going for goal, the shot taking a fortunate deflection straight into the arms of Oualah.

Nine minutes later and the Crows were thankful to be gifted a rather soft opener, when the referee deemed a cross from the right to have been handled in the area. Up stepped the infallible Jack Bradshaw to net his 10th penalty of the season. 1-0 Royston

Royston wasted no time in adding a second just two minutes later. A cross from the left was knocked down by giant striker Thomas for Ryan Towner to clinically tuck into the bottom corner. 2-0 Royston

Rajaram, playing in an unfamiliar forward role, tried to bring the Ducks back into proceedings with a cross-cum-shot that sailed wide.

Brito then went closer with a well crafted chest control and half volley that narrowly cleared the crossbar, whilst the ball also grazed the bar five minutes from the break when a chipped pass into the box bounced up and nearly embarrassed Ronnie Yates.

The half ended with another dangerous Crows free kick, this time the ball squared and then blasted wide by Bradshaw.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-2 Royston

A clever low corner from Royston Assistant Manager Chris Watters picked out Bradshaw in the box but he could only scuff his shot when Town might have been celebrating an early third goal.

For Aylesbury, Cameron picked Tommy Hull’s pocket before feeding Rajaram who in turn went for goal with what was a rare, but easy, save for Yates.

With only nine second half minutes on the clock though, there was to be a third goal to put the game firmly to bed. Scott Bridges picked up the ball near the halfway line and found himself leading a 4-v-2 break. As United’s limited numbers continued backing off, Bridges completed a stunning solo run by drawing Oualah and slotting the ball home. 3-0 Royston

The ball was in the net again just before the hour mark when a cross in was converted by Hoeness, only for the flag to be raised for offside and the ‘goal’ ruled out.

Another excellent free kick effort from Bradshaw had to be turned over the bar by Oualah, which lead to a training ground corner kick routine from Royston that was eventually cleared by United at the last.

On 64 minutes the Ducks had their best chance of the match when star man Sonny French burst through the midfield in similar fashion to opposite number Bridges earlier, but Yates stood tall to save his shot.

The scoring was completed twelve minutes from time, captain Bridges adding his second and Royston’s fourth when he was played through by a fine pass, confidently dinking a shot over Oualah and into the net. 4-0 Royston

As the game drew to a close, young substitute Dan Pounds was twice involved in moves that nearly brought about a consolation goal for the Ducks.

Firstly, he found French linked up with Rajaram before skewing a shot wide. Then, he latched onto a crossfield ball before firing a 20-yard shot straight into the chest of Yates.

It wasn’t to be and although another spirited Aylesbury display, the class difference between the opposite ends of the league table was ultimately reflected in the scoreline.