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Match Report

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History repeated itself at Calthorpe Park, where Fleet Town came from behind to beat the Ducks by two goals to one, just as they had a season previously.

The Blues have made something of a recent habit of recoveries, and this result took them to the incredible statistic of 8 of their last 9 games having salvaged a result having been losing.

For Aylesbury it was a bitter pill to swallow and a long midweek journey in vein, despite a positive and hard working performance. There were positives to be taken though, including a lively debut from new striker Tre Mitford.

The first twenty minutes belonged to the confident-looking home side, and a shaky Ryan Kinnane earned himself a very early booking for diving into a challenge having initially hesitated.

For all their pressure, the only goal attempt from Fleet was a wayward Joe Sowden effort, until the 14th minutes when a rare misplaced pass from Ollie Stanbridge was seized upon by Ben White who in turn fed Dan Williamson to produce a low cross-shot that was just begging for a touch that never came.

Instead, it was turned behind by a Ducks defender, and from the resulting corner Josh Harfield flicked the ball across goal and just wide.

Having weathered the initial storm, Aylesbury then began to grow in stature and Jake Bewley made his first of numerous interceptions before seeing a shot blocked as he pressed high up the pitch.

Moments later and a passage of good football wasn’t matched by Bruno Brito’s finish as he crashed a shot over the bar, but he did better when Stanbridge found him on the left before his driven shot was deflected wide by a defender.

Mitford had the ball in the net ten minutes before the interval when he controlled Josh Baines’s early ball and finished well, only to see the linesman’s flag raised to deny him a debut goal.

Four minutes later and the Ducks had the ball in the net in legitimate circumstances this time, to break the deadlock. Ryan Pryce let a low shot from Baines squirm out of his grasp, where the unlikely figure of Jonny Miller was lurking to rifle home the rebound for his first Aylesbury goal. 1-0 Aylesbury

More great pressure from United saw them go close again before the half was out, with Baines placing a shot just over the bar as they underlined the shift in balance that meant their half time advantage was a deserved one.

Half-time: Fleet 0-1 Aylesbury

Pryce might have been at fault for the opening goal, but he kept his side in the game at the start of the half with two fine saves.

Firstly, the ball was worked back to Sonny French wide on the right after his corner kick had broken down. The midfielder looked up and picked out Baines with a pass across the box, and his instant volley was expertly turned away by the Fleet stopper.

Two minutes later and a deep ball into the box had the Town offside trap caught out, leaving Brito completely free to hang in the air and head for goal, only for Pryce to pull off another smart save to keep out his downward header.

Further good ball retention from United then ended with a shot wide from French, and at this stage it was hard to see how the game was destined for anything but an Aylesbury win.

But going close twice in the space of a minute boosted the home side’s spirits – Kinnane making a superb block challenge to keep White at bay from Sowden’s through ball, and then Zaki Oualah making a save from close range after Kinnane had inadvertently flicked a throw in across his own goal.

Another catalyst for the game’s change in direction came midway through the half as Fleet chose to introduce dangerous wingers Rob Carr and Danilo Cadete in a double substitution.

Momentum was now well and truly with the home side and a ball into White saw him produce a neat turn and shot that was well saved by Oualah.

Yet it was Aylesbury who once again were only inches away from claiming a critical second goal when Brito, in his last action before being replaced by Taylor Collins, cut in from the left and fizzed in a fierce shot that was helped just over the bar by a defender’s head.

Mitford also tried his luck from a similar area but crashed his shot wide on his left foot.

The equaliser came on 70 minutes, Fleet’s leading scorer Pat Cox, who had cut an isolated and frustrated figure for much of the match, found space between defenders to nod Craig Davis’s clipped cross into the bottom corner. 1-1

The hosts now smelled blood and the Ducks found themselves penned back under the same immense pressure as at the start of the game. Another Davis corner kick was punched by Oualah but only as far as Carr who volleyed over the target.

Carr then combined with Williamson on the right to pick out Cox at the near post who was only able to guide his header wide of the post, whilst another flowing move seconds later saw a ball in from the left missed by Cox, where it was cut back to White who placed his shot wide.

With Brito and Mitford now both substituted, Aylesbury’s attacking threat was seemingly withdrawn with them, the only notable attack coming when Jordon Frederick helped the ball on for the fresh legs of Collins to scamper clear, but he opted to take an early shot and blazed high and wide.

What had long looked like an inevitable Fleet winner duly arrived eight minutes from time. Davis delivered a corner kick into the heart of the six-yard box, and after a melee it was Cadete who managed to force the ball over the line and complete the comeback. 2-1 Fleet

Fleet successfully closed out the remainder of the game, with one last attack from the Ducks coming in stoppage time when Bewley’s low shot was turned wide. From French’s subsequent corner kick Kinnane couldn’t direct his header the way he wanted, but Frederick latched onto the ball only to shoot over, and that was that.