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Match Report

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Match report by Ian Pluck

After a disappointing defeat at home to Bedford on Wednesday, the Ducks travelled to fellow relegation threatened Barton Rovers looking to right the wrongs of the previous match. Three changes to the starting line up saw the return of Jake Bewley after illness, with Ollie Stanbridge switching to right back in place of Callum Mapley, Ben Seaton in midfield in place of Greg Williams and Horatio Hirst starting up front in place of Bruno Brito; all 3 replaced players taking their bench on the subs bench.

It was evident quite quickly that the heavy pitch at Sharpenhoe Road would make flowing football difficult to achieve. The start to the match was predominately a midfield battle, with the Ducks trying hard to spread the ball wide and use the pace and trickery of Harry Jones and Connor Furlong on the wings. In the 3rd minute a good combination between Jones and Horatio Hirst saw a cross half cleared as far as Furlong, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area was wide of the right post. On the quarter hour mark a long diagonal pass from Sonny French over the head of Charlie Payne saw Jones in space on the right side of the penalty area; he advanced and shot, but his effort was straight at goalkeeper Matt Finlay when he will probably feel he should have done better. On 22 minutes a cross from Stanbridge went past Hirst to Furlong, but like his earlier effort he was off target with his shot.

The first chance for the home side came in the 26th minute; a cross to the far post was taken down by Andrew Phillips but his shot was weak and straight at Sillitoe.

From the next attack French collected a throw in and drifted inside skipping past defenders, but again his shot from 20 yards was straight at the goalkeeper. A long ball over the defence from Jack Keating saw Phillips bearing down on goal, but Jack Wood got back to make a trademark block as the striker got his shot away, conceding a corner which was well cleared.

As the half drew to a close, Hirst and Bewley combined well down the left, with Bewley’s cross blocked for a corner. Bewley took the flag kick and found Wood powering in to head home, just as he had against Ashford the week before. 1-0 Aylesbury

Half-time: Barton 0-1 Aylesbury

The second half started much the same as the first, with the visitors in the ascendancy. On 57 minutes Furlong and Hirst combined well after a corner and played the ball back to Bewley whose cross was headed over by Jeanmal Prosper.

A good pass forward by Hirst found French breaking forward; he jinked inside his defender and beat the keeper with his shot, only to see it clip the top of the bar and go over.

Five minutes later and Seaton lost the ball in midfield to Claudio Dias, who found substitute Kyle Lincoln, but as so often during the match, the shot was weak and straight at Sillitoe.

With 3 minutes left on the clock French collected a through ball and fed it to Hirst, but this time the striker’s shot was wide of goal.

The seal on the game was delivered in the 88th minute. Jones and Hirst again worked the ball well down the left with Hirst squaring the ball to French who sidestepped his defender and this time made no mistake, beating Finlay form 12 yards to double the lead and secure the points for the Ducks. 2-0 Aylesbury

That completed a hard-working performance from the Ducks, one in which they dominated proceedings against a struggling Barton who are yet to win at home this season. They take the confidence from the victory and more importantly the improved performance into two tough games in the next week, firstly away at Marlow on Tuesday evening, followed by Moneyfields at home next Saturday.