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Match Report

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Aylesbury missed out on the opportunity to move back up to third in the table as they drew 0-0 at home to Arlesey Town.

Josh Baines came in for his full debut as part of a reshuffled front three, and despite his decent showing, United’s fortunes in front of goal weren’t to improve as they drew a blank for a fourth time this season.

With the sides joint third lowest goalscorers in the league, a scoreless draw should maybe have been predicted, and Arlesey demonstrated similar deficiencies to Aylesbury with some neat build up play but a lack of incision when it mattered.

It was the visitors who threatened first when Jack Vasey slipped a neat ball through to debutant Mason Spence, whose low shot was comfortably dived on by Zaki Oualah.

Baines and Jack Wood formed a good partnership on the right side early on, and from one such move a cross in was cleared as far as Sonny French for a blocked shot, with Lea Coulter sending the ball goalwards having charged down a clearance but the ricochet wasn’t kind to United.

After Arlesey had caught the Ducks sleeping at a 14th minute corner kick, taken quickly to Taylor Rhiney where a scuffed shot was a waste, Aylesbury engineered another move down the right that saw Baines cross for Vijon Sentain who didn’t make proper contact with his headed effort.

French crashed a long shot over the bar as both keepers remained without serious test, although Oualah should have been worked harder when from a flowing Arlesey counter Tony Williams played the ball to Taylor Rhiney for a tame effort at goal.

Coulter and Baines had long shots over and blocked respectively, before the best chance of the game at that point came from an unlikely source.

Central defender Ellis Hercules went on a driving run at the opposing defence, firing in a shot that was well off target but fell kindly for Baines 12-yards out only for Pedrycz in goal to stand tall and make a good smothering save.

That boosted the home side’s spirits, and the Ducks finished the half in the ascendancy with Coulter seeing a shot on the turn caught three minutes later, and Jack Wood sending a free header sailing over having been picked out by a sumptuous Ollie Hogg corner delivery.

Town then nearly caused their own undoing as Pedrycz’s goal kick was closed down by Hogg, the ball running on for Coulter who rounded the last defender but saw his shot saved by the relieved goalkeeper.

A minute from the interval Sentain on the left found Baines just inside him, who drilled a shot just over the bar, but it wasn’t all one-way traffic and in stoppage time Vasey was allowed to bring the ball a long way before finding Rhiney to his left who could only produce a wayward finish.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-0 Arlesey

Whilst the first half had been of the ‘mildly entertaining’ goalless variety, the second half was far less inspiring, and it took until near the hour mark before the first action in the final third arrived when a passing move into Sonny French saw his shot comfortably held.

Vasey then sent a very ambitious 35-yarder well over the crossbar in what was as good as things got for a while.

Aylesbury were doing their best not to let the game peter out to the point that Arlesey already looked satisfied with, and they went close on 64 minutes. Baines was played in down the left, where his low cross was turned over by the sliding in French at the far post.

Having been fed in the box, Rafe Goodman teed up Vasey who could only produce a weak shot that trickled harmlessly wide midway through the half, in what turned out to be Town’s only meaningful effort of the second period.

At the other end Wood crashed a left footed effort over after his own long throw was cleared back to him. Despite the introduction of fresh legs in the shape of Taylor Collins, Aylesbury made few further inroads.

In the final minute though, the Ducks could have claimed victory. Wood’s long throws had often asked questions, and when one was only cleared to the edge of the area Baines’s volley dropped just the wrong side of the post.

Both sides therefore had to settle for a point, a better result for Arlesey than Aylesbury on the face of it, with the Ducks held to their first goalless draw since February.