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Match Report

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Aylesbury were back on form with a first league win in exactly a month, as goals in each half from Sonny French and Bruno Brito gave the Ducks a 2-0 victory at Hanwell Town.

With Histon defeated at home by Barton Rovers, United’s Southern League status was mathematically secured for another season, on the same ground where a nail biting 1-0 win had gone a long way towards the same at a much later point of the previous season.

Of the four team changes following the limp loss at Marlow, the biggest came in goal where Jack Sillitoe returned having been playing for Leighton Town – to rack up his 277th club appearance.

The Ducks stalwart couldn’t have hoped for a smoother reintroduction, relatively untested over the ninety minutes but fully commanding when called upon.

It took just twelve minutes for Aylesbury to go ahead. Sonny French – back in the side having missed the Marlow game – tapped home from close range after Bruno Brito had unselfishly squared the ball having seized onto a woeful Callum Duffy backpass. 1-0 Aylesbury

At that point the Ducks were dominant, Minter having already made two good saves to keep the visitors at bay. Brito was denied low after French had slipped the ball into his path before Minter stood up well to block French’s shot after his own poor goal kick had played Hanwell into trouble.

Frederick and Brito had also had rather more extravagant long range efforts miss the target, whilst at the other end ex-Duck Dean Allen went close when Jesse Kewley-Graham nodded on for him to bend a shot wide, in what was Hanwell’s first chance of the game.

French was involved in most of Aylesbury’s attacking play, and he fired wide having taken the ball past his marker, whilst some more good football three minutes later saw Frederick and Witter combine before the latter’s low shot was blocked.

Sillitoe’s first meaningful involvement came on the half hour mark when the ball found its way through to Allen but the United goalkeeper was smartly off his line to smother.

Two fine passes gave from Hogg and French respectively then gave Brito two further chances with Hogg firstly finding the Portuguese for an overhead kick that was blocked, before French’s raking ball set him away, but the ball sat up high and his half-volley flew high and wide.

Minter saved again – from Baines this time - after a slick move involving French and Witter, whilst Sillitoe was forced into a save of his own when Zak Joseph’s shot was kept out.

Hogg put a free kick over the bar for Aylesbury, who then had skipper Jack Wood to thank for preserving their lead to the interval as he slid in to take the ball away just as former Aylesbury FC favourite Lamar Simpson was about the pill the trigger.

Half-time: Hanwell 0-1 Aylesbury

The start of the second period saw the teams both cancelling each other out, until Aylesbury doubled their lead on 69 minutes.

Gavin Hinds-Cadette made a foray from right back, cut inside and went for goal where the ball took a couple of ricochets, leaving Minter unable to hold on and as it squirmed loose Brito was on hand to roll it into the empty net. 2-0 Aylesbury

Hanwell responded by throwing on an extra forward in the shape of Ricky Pither, but United continued to look the more likely to score with Brito dragging shot well wide from a left wing position, and then the same man miscuing after great work by French who simply shrugged off a defender to reach a long ball.

Six minutes from time and French’s free kick into Brito resulted in an outrageous overhead kick which was blocked, the ball half cleared as far as Bewley who fired a long shot wide.

The hosts threatened late on when Bewley’s attempted clearing header fell straight to the prolific Billy Healey who could only send a half volley over the bar.

An even better chance was to follow in the last minute of the game when the ball came all the way across the box to Simpson who lifted his shot over the bar with the whole goal to aim at.

Prior to that, youngster Alex Chilcott entered the fray for his first team debut, before Josh Baines struck the woodwork having flicked the ball up for a well struck effort, but there was to be no further scoring.