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Match Report

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Match report courtesy of Ian Pluck

The first away match of the season saw the Ducks return to the Eyrie, as they had done in the last match of last season, hoping to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing opening day defeat at the hands of Beaconsfield. No doubt with that defeat in mind, manager Glyn Creaser made changes to the starting line-up, with Chris Cordara-Soanes making his debut in place of Gavin Hinds-Cadette, Ollie Hogg replacing Olly Stanbridge in midfield and Lea Coulter returning to the attack in place of Harry Jones; all 3 replaced players taking their place on the bench alongside Jamie Jellis..

With the memory of Saturday in their minds, the Ducks would have been looking for a good start. However, it wasn’t to be; in just the 4th minute, the prolific Lee Roache collected the ball from a throw in on the right and wriggled past Cordara-Soanes. As he broke into the penalty area he fired a hard low cross into the six yard box, where it deflected off an outstretched defensive leg and beat Jack Sillitoe at his near post to give the hosts an early lead. 1-0 Bedford

After the bright start, the game descended into a midfield battle, with neither side taking the upper hand. The Ducks first effort on goal came when a Jack Wood throw was headed on by Greg Williams into the path of Bruno Brito. The striker took a look up and hit a dipping volley which was narrowly off target. On 34 minutes, the home side doubled their lead. Good work between Bradley Woods-Garness and Lee Roache saw the pair exchange passes on the right, drawing Ryan Kinnane out of the centre to cover. Woods-Garness collected the return pass, drew Sillitoe out of goal and calmly slotted it past him. 2-0 Bedford

Just four minutes later it got worse. Sillitoe came to collect a long ball through the defence, but inexplicably picked it up just before it reached the penalty area. With the home crowd calling for a red card, referee Hallam Cutmore consulted with his linesman and decided that as there was no striker close enough for the offence to be considered to be obviously denying a goal scoring opportunity, a yellow card was awarded. However, from the resulting free kick, Ryan Auger placed a superb shot into the top corner of the net to extend the lead. 3-0 Bedford

The half ended with a red card for the home side, winger Kyjuon Marsh-Brown leading with his elbow into a challenge with Jack Wood, leaving the Ducks skipper on the ground and giving the referee little option but to send him from the pitch.

Half-time: Bedford 3-0 Aylesbury

Stung by a somewhat lacklustre performance, the Ducks made a change in personnel and shape for the second half. Olly Stanbridge entering the fray in play of Cordara-Soanes, with Wood moving to right back and the team lining up in a 4-4-2 formation.

Whether it was the change in formation and tactics, or the fact that the home side although down to 10 men, were coasting at 3-0 up, the second half was much more positive for the Ducks. Just four minutes in an Ollie Hogg free kick was punched only as far as Brito, who composed himself and hit a powerful left shot which smacked against the base of the post and unlike Beaconsfield’s second goal on Saturday, rebounded safely into the goalkeeper’s arms.

In the 52nd minute, a long ball forward to a suspiciously offside looking Roache, saw him have time to look up and pass to unmarked strike partner Woods-Garness on the edge of the penalty area, but this time his shot lacked accuracy and cleared the crossbar.

Just before the hour mark and once again the woodwork came to the rescue of the home side. A corner fell to Alex Collard, who laid the ball off to Brito who again was unfortunate to see his shot rebound away after hitting the near post. Two minutes later, a long throw was headed goalwards by Ryan Kinnane, to be cleared off the line, only as far as Ollie Hogg whose shot lacked the power and was blocked by the defence. Shortly afterwards saw Jamie Jellis replace Greg Williams, hoping to inject some energy and purpose on his debut for the team. It could and perhaps should have been 4-0 shortly afterwards. A loose clearance across field by Jake Bewley found Ben Sawyer, who controlled the ball and fired across Sillitoe, who made a good save to concede a corner.

As the game approached its closing moments youngster Jellis had a moment to savour. A driving run across field by Sonny French saw him find Brito on the left. His cross was cleared as far as Jellis 25 yards out, who looked up and sent a left footed shot towards Adam Harpur in the home goal. The keeper made a mess of what looked like a routine save, fumbling the ball above his head and watching as it dropped into the net behind him. A consolation goal maybe, but the least the Ducks deserved for a spirited second half showing. 1-3

So after the defeat on Saturday and the poor first half tonight, encouraging signs from a dominant second half performance. Next up is the FA Cup tie at Spartan South Midlands side Leverstock Green on Saturday, who finally completed their tie, winning 5-3 against Edgware Town this evening.