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Match Report

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Following the postponement of this fixture 2 days previously, both teams would have been relieved to have finally got this match on, at the 6th time of asking after a number of postponements and rearrangements. Glyn Creaser stuck to the old adage of “Never change a winning team”, selecting the same XI that had done so well to win at Petersfield on Saturday, their third successive victory in the month of April.

Urged on by their coaching staff to make a fast start, it was the home side which dictated the early stages of the match, with both wide men causing problems for the AUFC defence. With just 2 minutes on the clock, a dummy by Kieron Schmidt fooled Lea Coulter, allowing Aston Goss a free run into the penalty area. Fortunately for the Ducks, Zaki Oualah was alert to the danger and made a smart save at his near post. It was Oualah who again foiled the opposition in the 9th minute, Brian Haule beating the offside trap, but unable to beat the Ducks stopper who again saved smartly with his feet. The Ducks first opportunity came 2 minutes later; Stacey Field appeared to be fouled in midfield, but referee Joel Mannix played a very good advantage as the Ducks pressed forward. Bruno Brito picked the ball up outside the penalty area and beat 2 Moles defenders, but saw his shot comfortably saved by James Weatherill in the home goal.

The opening goal came in the 16th minute. Kyle Anthony sprayed the ball to Gareth Price wide on the right. He controlled the ball and cut inside Jake Bewley before unleashing a curling left foot shot which beat Oualah all ends up for a fine goal. Aylesbury 1 AUFC 0

Five minutes later a similar move saw home skipper Daniel Murphy drive a diagonal ball to Price again, this time his shot was saved by Oualah. On 25 minutes, it was the turn of the Duck’s fans to celebrate. Ben Stevens and Rob Tomlin both failed to deal with a long ball forward from Bewley; Vinnie Shrieves stole the ball and fed strike partner Stacey Field who finished with aplomb, high into the net past a helpless Weatherill. Aylesbury 1 AUFC 1

Buoyed by the goal, and playing with much more self belief, the Ducks started to take more control of the game in the middle of the park. Greg Williams won the ball and played in Shrieves, who beat his man and laid the ball into the path of Field. This time however, the finish was across the face of the goal and wide of the post. Three minutes before half time, Bewley took an inswinging corner which skipper Jack Wood met perfectly 10 yards out, but could only direct his powerful header narrowly over the bar. As half time approached, it was the home side who regained the lead. A corner was half cleared as far as Ben Bateman, whose shot seemed to lack power, but was sufficiently well placed to beat Oualah to give his side the lead, which on balance of play they probably deserved. Aylesbury 2 AUFC 1

The second half started with the Ducks in the ascendancy. In the 53rd minute, a ball into the penalty area found Field, who spun and hit a shot which beat Weatherill, only to see it bounce off both posts, before it was scrambled away from danger. Five minutes later a miskicked clearance from Weatherill saw the ball fall to Field 25 yards out, but his shot was wide of the target. The game was getting more physical by the minute, with no quarter asked or given. Some crunching tackles were being made by both sides, in keeping with a derby encounter with plenty at stake for both sides. The Ducks midfield had firm control of the game, with Sonny French particularly enjoying himself, with some trademark close control and forward runs troubling the home defence. It was his defence splitting pass which set up the next chance for Field, who saw his shot well saved by Weatherill. As time began to run out, and the Duck’s faithful fearing that their team would go unrewarded for their honest endeavours, a long throw from Lea Coulter was collected by Chris Crook on the 6 yard line. He turned and crossed for Shrieves, whose firm header rebounded against the post and away to safety. Despair turned to delight two minutes later; a long diagonal to the right wing saw Reece Cameron chase a seemingly lost cause, controlling the ball just before it crossed the goal line. He spotted French in support just inside the penalty area and weighted a perfect ball into his path. French instinctively chipped the ball first time over Weatherill and into the far corner, to send the players and fans into wild celebrations. A goal the efforts of all the team, especially in the second half thoroughly deserved. Aylesbury 2 AUFC 2

Soon after the referee blew his whistle for full time, with honours even. The Ducks would be the happier, stretching their unbeaten run to 4 matches and strengthening their chances of survival. The Moles would reflect that their playoff chances now appear to be slim at best, with crucial matches at home against promotion rivals Royston and St Ives on the horizon - weather permitting of course.