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The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report

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Match report by Ian Pluck

Manager Ben Williams chose to keep faith with the team that started the FA Cup match against Marlow in midweek, with the returning Callum Mapley and Aaron Berry taking a place on the bench.

The opening exchanges saw the Ducks struggle to control the play, the visitors retaining the ball better and winning the ball with ease when it was played forward out of defence. In the 6th minute a corner from the left was half cleared by the Ducks defence, but played back in to BJ Christie. He turned and went past Chris Crook on the edge of the area, only to be clipped by the Ducks defender for a straightforward penalty. Christie himself stepped up and scored the opening goal of the game from the spot. 1-0 AFC Dunstable

Stung by this setback, a good move almost resulted in an immediate equaliser. A short free kick from Archie Davis found Jeanmal Prosper on the right, who moved the ball on to Sonny French in the centre circle. A clinical pass bisecting the centre backs saw Harry Jones free on goal with just keeper Jamie Head to beat, however the keeper stayed big and saved well.

A worrying moment for the Ducks came in the 16th minute, when skipper Jack Wood was injured in a challenge with Head as a corner kick came in, to add insult to injury referee Luigi Lungarella awarding a free kick against Wood when it appeared that he was the man fouled, not the other way around. After a period of treatment, Wood re-joined the action, although limping noticeably.

In the 20th minute, Jones won the ball in midfield and passed to wide man Max Hercules. The winger cut inside and fired a shot goalwards, only to see the ball strike the outstretched hand of Ryan Frater; referee Lungarella was well placed to observe the offence and rightly awarded the second penalty of the game, and a yellow card to Frater for his protests. Up stepped Ollie Hogg to score the equaliser, the 9th different goal scorer for the Ducks so far this season! 1-1

This signalled a positive passage of play from the Ducks, as first Sean Coles had a speculative shot at goal which cleared the bar after a rushed clearance from Head, followed soon after by a Hercules free kick from 25 yards which was too close to the keeper, who made an easy save.

However, on the half hour mark, a poor header back towards Davis by Prosper saw the ball go out for a corner. From Newman Carney’s delivery, Ryan Frater rose highest and powered a header towards goal, where a combination of Davis and Jake Bewley by the post saw the ball cleared from danger.

Two minutes later, Charlie Clayton beat Bewley on the right and crossed towards Christie, whose acrobatic overhead kick from a tight angle flashed across the face if goal and out for a goal kick.

With half time looming, a long searching pass by Wood found Jones, who collected well and shot from the edge of the area, however his shot was well saved, rebounding to Sean Coles whose follow up shot lacked power.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-1 AFC Dunstable

The second half started with Christie laying the ball off to Adam Watkins who went on a surging ruin towards goal, but his shot was wayward and didn’t trouble Davis. Christie, as often seems to be the case, was proving a thorn in the Ducks side, always involved in much of his team’s forward efforts. It was he who gave his side the lead again in the 58th minute. A ball out wide from Tony Burnett to Clayton saw the winger beat Bewley and fire in a cross to the near post, where Christie tapped in his second of the game. 2-1 AFC Dunstable

Two minutes later it could have been a third for the visitors. Watkins found Clayton who passed inside to Nathan Frater whose shot from 20 yards was touched onto the post by Davis.

Soon after, a pass from Callum Mapley, on in place of Chris Crook, found Prosper, who in turn moved the ball onto Hogg. The ball was passed into the path of Hercules, who cut inside from the flank and shot from 25 yards, only to see his goalbound shot deflected up and over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, taken short by Jake Bewley to Sonny French, a whipped in cross by the full back found Wood at the back post but his headed effort from 6 yards was narrowly off target.

This was to be the last meaningful action of the game, a defeat which will leave manager Ben Williams scratching his head at the inconsistency of his team, who had played so much better in defeat at Marlow on Tuesday evening

A 10-day competitive break now awaits the team, although there has been a friendly arranged at Chalfont St Peter next Saturday before returning to Chesham to play Newport Pagnell in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup on Weds 26th Sep.

One piece of good news for the club and supporters is that Horatio Hirst has re-signed for the club after his release from Sheffield United to add to the attacking options at our disposal.