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Match Report

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Match report by Ian Pluck

On the back of the disappointing FA Trophy replay defeat against AFC Sudbury on Wednesday night, manager Glyn Creaser made just one change to the starting line-up, with Ryan Coyle dropping to the subs bench to accommodate the return of Alex Collard, who was unavailable for the Trophy match. Going into the match in 19th position in the league, against opponents who were placed one below, this was a match both sides would be keen to win.

The Ducks started brightly, a free kick found Collard at the back post and his header across goal was met by Jack Wood, but the skipper could only place his headed effort wide of goal. Straight from the restart, a long ball forward found Yemi Adelani wide on the left. He cut inside on to his right foot and hit a dipping effort which Jack Sillitoe was relieved to see just clear his crossbar.

The action continued, as Sonny French robbed Rafe Goodman in midfield and exchanged passes with Tyriq Hunte, only to see his snapshot from 25 yards rebound off the post and away for a goal kick.

In the 13th minute, the visitors came close to opening the scoring, when a corner from the right was met by the head of Joe Steele, but he couldn’t keep his effort down, the ball clearing the crossbar.

On 23 minutes, the Ducks had another escape. A ball into the right channel by Elias Moses saw Adelani in behind the defence; he drew Sillitoe from his goal and squared the ball from an acute angle, but would have been disappointed that none of his team mates was close enough to supply the finishing touch.

With 10 minutes to go to the break, the Ducks had another opportunity; this time good interplay between Ben Seaton, Ollie Hogg and Wood saw the skipper shoot from the edge of the area, unfortunately his shot was straight at keeper Pedrycz.

Three minutes later came a moment when the luck was certainly on the Ducks side. Taz Andrews played the ball forward to the dangerous Adelani, who saw his header touched onto the bar by Sillitoe; Ryan Kinnane reacted quickest to the rebound, but could only direct his header back onto the bar, incredibly the woodwork was hit for a 3rd time as a follow up attempt hit the far post before being scrambled away to safety.

That was to be the last meaningful action of a first half, where both teams had worked hard to create openings, but neither had the necessary composure in front of goal to capitalise on good approach play.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-0 Arlesey

Four minutes after the restart Taylor Rhiney was the next to come close to opening the scoring, seeing a right footed shot narrowly miss the target.

On 54 minutes, a long ball forward found Hunte wide on the left. He drifted inside and hit a goal bound shot which hit a defender; the ball fell to French who fed midfield partner Hogg 25 yards from goal. This time there was no mistake as his sweet shot arrowed into the top corner, giving Pedrycz no chance. 1-0 Aylesbury

Four minutes later and the visitors could and perhaps should have equalised. Another ball over the top caught the defence static, and Adelani again advanced towards Sillitoe’s goal. As the keeper came out, Adelani chose to lob the ball over him, but his attempt was wide of the goal.

On 70 minutes, French found Bewley advancing down the left, but his hard low cross was well cleared for a corner. From Hogg’s delivery, Wood couldn’t get his header on target and another chance went begging. With 2 minutes left on the clock a deep cross from French found Hogg at the far post, but this time his shot from 15 yards was well saved by Pedrycz.

With 4 minutes of added time played, substitute Maciej Tajs drove infield and slid the ball into French. As he attempted to go round his defender, he was fouled just inside the penalty area. Although referee Turner was unsighted, his assistant on the near side saw the foul and flagged for a penalty. Sadly though, in common with much of the shooting during the match, Bewley’s penalty was skied and easily cleared the crossbar. His attempt would have been worth 3 points with an oval ball, and ironically shortly afterwards the referee blew his whistle to confirm just that for the Ducks, as a result of their first league win since beating Hanwell by the same score weeks ago.

A game which will leave both managers with much to ponder as they strive to move away from the bottom of the table. Next up for the Ducks is a trip around the M25 to face 9th placed Egham Town on Tuesday evening.