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Match Report

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On a freezing cold night at The Meadow, hopes that Aylesbury would be able to build on their late win against Ashford were dashed by Bedford Town, who were 2-0 up after a quarter of the game and won at a canter.

Caretaker Manager Ben Williams’ selection options were limited – with Jake Bewley out through illness, named substitute Aaron Couch injured, Kofi Lockhart-Adams caught up in an M25 incident and unable to reach the ground, whilst several others were far from fully fit. Recent signing Callum Mapley was drafted in for his debut with Ollie Stanbridge switching to left back in place of Bewley.

As a result there was little he could do to change the course of the game, and whilst the Ducks played some neat football at times they were rarely able to penetrate the Eagles’ experienced rearguard.

The match actually started with a shot on target from Aylesbury, albeit a 30-yard effort from Mapley from a half-cleared cross which Kyle Forster had no trouble catching.

Frustratingly, Bedford’s two goals - which gave them full command of proceedings - were the result of errors by the home side.

On 15 minutes Harry Jones’ wayward pass back went straight for a corner kick, from which David Manu flicked a near post header goalwards that somehow squirmed under Jack Sillitoe in goal before it was hacked clear – the linesman flagging to indicate the ball had crossed the line. 1-0 Bedford

One became two eight minutes afterwards and it already looked curtains for United. A rare mistake by Jack Wood saw him miss control the ball straight into the path of David Moli who ran clear and expertly lobbed Sillitoe for his first Bedford goal. 2-0 Bedford

In between the goals the typically lively Connor Furlong went close when he was fed by Bruno Brito before cutting inside and flashing a low shot just past the far post.

Brito was showing some good touches as he feels his way back to full fitness having missed most of the season with injury. The Portuguese’s flick on 26 minutes set Sonny French away but his finish, under heavy pressure, was disappointingly weak and rolled tamely through to Forster.

Two minutes later and Manu nearly had his second and Bedford’s third when he just beat the offside trap to go clean through, his lob not quite as well directed as Moli’s earlier and Sillitoe was able to tip the ball to safety.

There was to be limited further action as Bedford were able to coast their way through what remained of the first half, a thunderbolt long shot from full back Mayowa Balogun having to be turned wide by Sillitoe in the only goal action before the break.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-2 Bedford

The second period started with a flurry of activity as first a ball over the defence set Moli in again where he held the ball up before trying to find a teammate square. When it was cleared back to him he rifled in a shot from a tight angle that only found the side netting.

Aylesbury’s first corner of the game arrived on 50 minutes and was taken deep to Jack Wood who headed back across goal for Brito who could only flick a difficult chance over the bar.

The Eagles hit the side netting again moments later, this time through Devante Stanley, before the game entered something of a lull with the visitors more than comfortable in their lead. Sonny French did strike one notable 25-yarder that whistled past the upright.

Both sides then made substitutions, including a welcome return to Aylesbury action for Sheffield United loanee Horatio Hirst after a spell on the sidelines with Bronchitis whilst Ben Seaton was also thrown on.

Sillitoe was called upon again thirteen minutes from time when Moli was set up by Stanley but the Ducks stopper turned the ball wide for a corner.

Aylesbury had been mounting some pressure as the minutes ticked by, but their miserable night was then summed up as, from their own free kick, Bedford scored their third.

The poor delivery was easily picked off and as the Eagles broke they had men over as Moli fed Stanley who in turn picked out substitute Ashton Grant all alone to easily beat Sillitoe. 3-0 Bedford

Late on, Hirst showed hints of his promise as he linked up cleverly with Seaton before seeing his effort blocked as United once again found the defence impenetrable, Mapley crashing the follow up out of the ground from 20-yards.

All in all a frustrating night for United after their achievements of four days earlier. Next up for the Ducks is a trip to Barton Rovers, who sit one point and two places above Aylesbury in the table.