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The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report

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Match report by Ian Lowe

Aylesbury United could not emulate the impressive FA Cup run of recent weeks in the FA Trophy, as they exited another cup competition at the first hurdle. This followed early exits from the big Free Bet Cup and Berks & Bucks Cup in recent weeks. Glyn Creaser’s men will now need to focus on catching up with league games that have been missed, as the targets change to focus solely on the Evo-Stik Division 1 South East campaign.

Aylesbury went into this replay with 3 changes from the starting 11 that came so close to winning the first game. Ollie Stanbridge, Alex Collard and Lea Coulter gave way to Ryan Coyle, Ben Seaton and Sonny French. AFC Sudbury went into the game with an unchanged starting 11 from Saturday.

The first challenge for both teams was to adapt to the conditions. Heavy rain had begun to fall early evening and by kick off time this had been coupled with a strong crosswind. The playing surface at The Meadow showed no ill effects from these conditions though.

It was Aylesbury who started the brightest, after just 2 minutes Sonny French angled a low shot just wide of the right hand side upright, before they did take the lead after 5 minutes. Tyriq Hunte collecting the ball and unleashing an unstoppable lofted drive that dipped over Walker and into the net. 1-0 Aylesbury

The early goal appeared to give The Ducks some confidence, and following good link up play involving Hunte, the ball came to Ollie Hogg, who shot just wide of the left hand side upright on 13 minutes.

Sudbury rallied and begun to show attacking intent as the first half approached the half way point. Ollie Dunlop got a shot away on the edge of the box that was deflected wide, before Jack Silitoe had to be alert to gather a low cross that was drilled across his 6 yard area.

On 23 minutes Joe Claridge found himself in an advanced position for the men in yellow. His shot blocked before it could trouble Sillitoe. 3 minutes later and Aylesbury hit back with some good link up play on the left hand side and a resulting cross that was hit on the volley by Harry Jones and narrowly missed out on doubling the lead.

Sudbury were continually causing problems for The Ducks, attacking at pace and playing a slick passing game. The pressure eventually told, as on 36 minutes the equaliser arrived. The ball was played in to Jack Clowsley. Clowsley turned and shot from 25 yards into the corner of the net, and the tie was level once again. 1-1

3 minutes before the interval and Sudbury almost went ahead. A rare mistake from Jake Bewley allowed Ollie Dunlop to have a run at The Ducks goal. Good work from the recovering defenders ensured that the shot was deflected away from danger.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-1 AFC Sudbury

The second half began in much the same vein as the first, with Aylesbury on the front foot. Hogg bent a shot from distance wide on 46 minutes, before captain Jack Wood was left with a free header a minute later. Unfortunately for the impressive Wood, he had to generate all the power into the header from a standing start and Walker was able to save the shot by diving to his left.

Sudbury enjoyed the majority of possession for a lengthy spell following these early chances, with an appeal for a penalty being waved away on 57 minutes, before on 63 minutes retaking the lead in the tie for the first time since the 12th minute of the first game on Saturday. As the ball rebounded off the upright, it fell towards Jamie Eaton-Collins, who reacted quickest, to put the rebound into the net for the goal that had been threatening to arrive. 2-1 Sudbury

Glyn Creaser responded to the situation by bringing on Ollie Stanbridge for Greg Williams, and as the game entered the final quarter he replaced Sonny French with Reece Cameron.

It was Sudbury who looked most likely to increase to score again as the game entered the final 10 minutes, the impressive Watson and Clowsley linking up to thread together a flowing move that had the tiring Ducks defenders desperately working to keep the tie alive. With 5 minutes left on the watch Hunte played a one 2, receiving the ball on the corner of the 18 yard area, before having his shot blocked. This was to be his final involvement of the match, as Glyn Creaser chose to replace him with Maciej Tajs.

The game had one final moment of drama. Ducks keeper Sillitoe went up for an 89th minute corner that was swung in from the left. As the ball dropped it came to the feet of Sillitoe. He turned and unleashed a shot that crashed into the crossbar before being cleared to safety. Sillitoe made another move forward for the final play of the game, when Sudbury again managed to scramble the ball clear, before the Referee blew for full time to give Sudbury a hard fought victory and a tie with Met. Police. This defeat will leave Aylesbury frustrated to have missed an opportunity to progress, with the need to now focus on the upcoming game with Arlesey Town at The Meadow this Saturday.