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Match Report

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Having lost out at home to playoff hopefuls Kempston Rovers, Aylesbury travelled to another in the shape of fourth-placed Marlow, but were once again left empty handed - slipping another couple of places in the league as a result.

A poor quality game hindered by a swirling wind and a bobbly, unpredictable pitch saw few goal chances created from open play. The hosts, however, scored three goals from set pieces, taking full advantage of United’s season-long struggles in defending such scenarios.

As the game kicked off in glorious sunshine, proceedings were fairly even the opening exchanges with Tre Mitford firing an ambitious long shot well over the bar.

And once Marlow had taken the lead after just six minutes, and extended it to a comfortable two before the break, moods began to deteriorate as quickly as the weather.

The opener came amongst some controversy; Allen Bossman’s corner was half cleared before being hoisted back into the box where a very offside looking Nathan Poulton adjusted superbly to hit an acrobatic shot goalwards. Zaki Oualah matched it with a fine save but was left helpless as Jordan Brown followed up to fire home the rebound, with his defenders statuesque. 1-0 Marlow

The Blues should have doubled their lead when the next meaningful attacking action finally arrived quarter of an hour later. Bossman made progress down the right to reach the byeline before teeing up Brown who skied his shot.

In the same minute Aylesbury had their first threatening moment when Reece Cameron’s ball in from the right took cut out the defence to find Lea Coulter, who twisted and turned before getting away a cross-shot that flew across goal.

Marlow went close again when Brown’s clever reverse through ball set skipper Chris Ovenden away whose shot was deflected just wide of the scrambling Oualah’s upright.

A second goal scored by the home side ten minutes before the break. Amidst some more highly suspect defending, a free kick from the left was loaded into the box where Adam Richards was on hand to touch it home. 2-0 Marlow

Two minutes later the Ducks hit the target for the first time when an unusually subdued Bruno Brito hit a mid-air volley that was plucked out of the sky by Joel Driscoll following a corner kick that Marlow had been unable to clear.

Kameron English nearly extended Marlow’s lead when his wind-aided free kick from the right wing had to be turned over by Oualah. The resulting corner flicked off Ryan Kinnane’s head to land at the feet of Richards who could only smash over the bar.

In first half stoppage time Cameron’s fine pass released Lea Coulter who had been flagged offside in any event, but could only produce a tame shot straight at Driscoll, as Marlow left the field with their commanding lead intact.

Half-time: Marlow 2-0 Aylesbury

Manager Glyn Creaser’s views on the first half performance were plain for all to hear from the dressing rooms at the interval, the team sent back out early, and with his words still ringing in their ears United’s players made a promising-looking start to the second period.

A rare quality move saw Ollie Stanbridge find Cameron whose driven cross was headed wide by Tre Mitford.

Marlow were soon back on the attack though as a ball helped over the defence found Bossman whose shot was palmed away by Oualah before being gathered at the second attempt.

Aylesbury attempted to liven up their midfield with the introduction of Ollie Hogg, but too many aerial balls from both sides had the game soon dropping to dour new levels.

The Blues were happy to sit back on their lead, and although the Ducks were working hard they could find no way through as Marlow continued to look the more threatening.

Joel Driscoll caught an Aylesbury corner before quickly kicking downfield to Marcus Mealing who in turn laid the ball back for Brown for a shot that was saved by Oualah.

The closest United came to pulling a goal back came as a result of uncertainty between defence and goalkeeper, allowing Coulter to nip in and poke the ball goalwards with the ball dropping the wrong side of the vacant goal.

Three minutes later Mealing fired a free kick from the edge of the box goalwards but the alert Oualah got across to make a comfortable catch.

The big striker wasn’t to be denied though, and in the final minute of the game he added further gloss to the scoreline. Substitute Chid Onokwai – briefly an Aylesbury United and Aylesbury FC player earlier in the season – put goalkeeper and defence under pressure at a corner kick, allowing the ball to fall kindly for Mealing who found the bottom corner. 3-0 Marlow

With the heavens well and truly open, it was a thoroughly miserable end to proceedings for Aylesbury who can only hope to give a better account of themselves in the forthcoming League Cup semi final at St Ives Town.