The ASM Stadium, Thame Attendance: 109
In their third from last ‘home’ match at The ASM Stadium, three first half goals helped the Ducks to a 3-1 win over Uxbridge and first ever back-to-back league wins at the ground.
The returning Alex Collard got the ball rolling with an early goal, before two further efforts within 90 seconds of one another from Sonny French and Lea Coulter put the game beyond doubt just before the interval.
Collard was accommodated by a switch to a three at the back system that seemed to suit Aylesbury well, with another returning face – Jonny Miller – slotting in at right wing-back as if never having missed a game, despite being unavailable since January.
Uxbridge forced a couple of fruitless early corners, but it United who threatened the goal first. Bruno Brito was released in an inside-right position, his fine cross was only cleared straight back to him for a first time shot that was well covered by Paul McCarthy between the posts.
From the resulting corner, Aylesbury opened the scoring. Jake Bewley’s inswinger caused mayhem in the area, where the Reds were unable to clear allowing Jack Wood to stand up a cross to the far post for Collard to nod home. 1-0 Aylesbury
Most of Uxbridge’s good work came through young winger Abobaker Eisa, and on 14 minutes he cut inside before crashing a shot over the bar. He then turned creator as he laid on a fine through ball for Matt Woods who was denied by Jack Sillitoe springing quickly from his line, although the offside flag was raised anyway.
Five minutes later and the impressive Eisa outstripped Ryan Kinnane to reach the penalty area and get a shot away, which was well held onto by Sillitoe.
At the other end a bending effort from Coulter was comfortably caught by McCarthy, whilst a wayward Andy Dean shot was never troubling the goal as both sides were limited to half chances.
That all changed five minutes from the interval as Aylesbury stepped up their search for a second.
Another marauding run from Bewley ended with a cross to the far post where Sonny French was unable to generate the necessary power to beat McCarthy having flung himself at the cross.
Bewley himself then missed the target with a half volley on his weaker right foot having found himself in the centre-forward position to receive a pass played over the defence.
The Ducks weren’t to be kept at bay for long, and three minutes before half time had their second. Brito’s slide rule pass set French scampering clear of an Uxbridge defence appealing in vain for offside, and the midfielder slotted home through McCarthy’s legs. 2-0 Aylesbury
Things got even better almost immediately, as French broke down the left before picking out the arriving Coulter with a well measured sideways pass who made no mistake as he sidefooted the ball into the bottom corner. 3-0 Aylesbury
Half-time: Aylesbury 3-0 Uxbridge
With the game all but settled as a contest, it was no surprise to see Aylesbury take their foot off the gas in the second half, at times sitting back and allowing Uxbridge to dictate the play.
After an Eisa free kick bounced straight through to Sillitoe, the goalkeeper was more comprehensively tested on 52 minutes when a deep cross had to be parried away under pressure from Wayne Carter, the defence well stationed to smuggle it away as the ball span free.
Second half chances for United were few and far between – a speculative effort from Brito clearing the bar the best of their efforts for some time.
Meanwhile, Sillitoe was called into action again when David Manu dug out a cross from the right wing which was met by the head of Eisa but clawed away by the diving Sillitoe.
Brito was to come closest to a fourth Aylesbury goal; Once more it was a result of good work by Bewley on the left who delivered a telling cross into the box that the Portuguese forward met with an acrobatic volley that just missed the target.
Uxbridge did finally pull one back when Lewis Cole played in Eisa who skipped past a static defence to score the goal his performance deserved with aplomb. 1-3
Substitute Daniel Olusemo did momentarily find himself clear of the defence in a similar position, but couldn’t match Eisa’s composure in front of goal, whilst Uxbridge ended the game as they had started with some wasted set pieces, meaning their late goal served only as a consolation strike.
A good win for the Ducks that lifts them back up a couple of positions in the league table, Aylesbury will next be looking to continue a strong finish to the season as they host Chalfont St. Peter in their penultimate Thame ‘home’ match.