The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report



Ben Seaton’s first goal for Aylesbury United proved decisive as the Ducks recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since September by beating Marlow 1-0 at Oak Tree Road.

Without the injured Jeanmal Prosper through injury, Callum Mapley made his second United appearance as a direct replacement, whilst caretaker manager Ben Williams opted to replace Sonny French with Greg Williams in midfield in the only two changes from the crucial weekend win over Barton Rovers.

Marlow had held the upper hand in recent meetings between the two sides, and the hosts started on the front foot when Curtis Chapple got beyond Jake Bewley but couldn’t pick out a man, and there were further nervy moments for the defence when Jack Sillitoe twice failed to gather the loose ball after Kelvin Bossman got the better of Mapley. The ball was eventually teed up to Junaid Bell who fired straight at Sillitoe from the edge of the box.

At the other end Horatio Hirst was a constant threat for the Ducks, and a great burst into the box by him saw him reach the byeline, but like Chapple earlier was unable to find a man with his cut back. He repeated the trick seven minutes later and as the Blues defence panicked when trying to clear the ball it fell to Seaton who could only produce a tame shot straight at Simon Grant.

Marlow’s own number 9 continued to ask questions of Aylesbury, and when a long ball took out the defence Aylesbury were indebted to Jack Wood’s recovery in charging down his shot.

On 18 minutes a move down the left saw Bewley find Connor Furlong, the young MK Dons loanee drifting inside before going for goal, and although his shot lacked the power required to beat Grant, it was another effort on target for Aylesbury.

Bossman continued to orchestrate and midway through the half found himself in behind the defence before playing the ball across goal early where Chapple went for power but smashed his shot wide of the far post.

Marlow missed the target again shortly afterwards when a cross was half cleared as far as Jay Welch whose half volley was always rising over the crossbar.

On the half hour mark a chipped pass over the defence found Greg Williams on a run into the box and unmarked, where he was able to bring the ball down and fire in a left footed effort that was deflected wide by the legs of Grant.

Aylesbury ended the half strongly with a number of corner kicks, and from one had a great chance to go ahead. Bewley’s flag kick fell at the feet of Jack Wood, but he could only scoop it wide from six-yards out, no doubt surprised at the time and space he found himself in.

Half-time: Marlow 0-0 Aylesbury

Half time saw the Ducks forced into their first (and only) change as Sonny French replaced the injured Connor Furlong.

Three minutes after the restart and it was the home side’s turn for a ‘should have done better’ moment when a mistake by Ollie Stanbridge presented Jordace Holder-Spooner the opportunity to bear down on goal, but the ex-Eastleigh man’s shot was easily fielded by Sillitoe. Seemingly limping, he was replaced by Allen Bossman three minutes later.

The deadlock was broken on 56 minutes, with Seaton making himself the match winner. Ollie Hogg’s wayward shot was heading well wide, but turned into the perfect pass for Hirst initially, and although he was unable to get it under control it subsequently fell kindly for Seaton who kept calm and dispatched it past Grant. 1-0 Aylesbury

Aylesbury had a decent chance to double their lead seven minutes later, Hirst the architect again. The Sheffield United youngster once again made it to the dead ball line, where he played a ‘one-two’ off the goalkeeper before picking out Hogg who was only able to crash a shot over.

The Blues responded almost immediately when substitute Charlie Barton chipped a pass over the defence Kameron English in a near-identical position to Greg Williams’ chance earlier, but English’s acrobatic volley drifted harmlessly wide.

English had another chance soon afterwards when Allen Bossman’s cross allowed him to turn and shoot, but the effort was placed over the bar and still Sillitoe waited to be seriously tested.

With twenty minutes remaining the Marlow pressure was steadily growing, but a tremendous rearguard action from the away side – Mapley growing in stature as the game progressed alongside the ever-reliable Wood – saw Aylesbury comfortably soak up whatever was thrown their way.

In stoppage time there was one last cause for alarm when Jack Kerrigan broke into the box, but there was Wood again to make a tremendous defensive block and snuff out the danger, and that was that.

Another win, and nine points from their last twelve mean a very pleasing January so far for Aylesbury who are now up to 18th in the table, 16 points clear of this season’s one relegation place. Next up the Ducks welcome Moneyfields to The Meadow as they look to continue their improvement against a side that beat them 3-0 a month earlier.