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The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report

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Match report by Chris Howarth

A bad day at the office for The Ducks as they went down 3-0 away at Berkhamsted F.C. The score-line may have flattered the hosts, but it was another tale of goals win games which was a similar tale the last time the two sides met in Berkhamsted.

Fresh off the back of a midweek cup defeat to Maidenhead United, the Ducks marched the short distance over to the Broadwater Stadium. Having faced the Comrades twice this year already and tasted defeat both times, Ben Williams side would have a point to prove this time around.

On a tough terrain the Ducks would still make their mark early having plenty of the ball and two efforts in the first ten minutes. First, Ben Seaton cut inside from the left and fired a shot from distance into Xavi Comas-Leon’s arms on five minutes. Sonny French would have a chance of his own three minutes later as he drove at the Berkhamsted defence, but he would also fire into the keeper’s hands.

Ten minutes later the Ducks would keep their press as again French found space 20 yards out, but this time would drag his shot wide. Berkhamsted made their presence known on 23 minutes when Antonis Visiliou whipped a free-kick towards Edward Canham, the centre back rose highest but pushed the ball wide with a header.

Despite the Ducks chances it would be the hosts that would take the lead on 25 minutes. Jonathan Lacey would be denied by Archie Davis, but the round unfortunately rebounded off Ducks defender Anthony Ball and into his own net. 1-0 Berkhamsted

The Comrades had their noses in front, and they aimed to push further. With half an hour played Andrew Ofuso latched onto a long ball and was in behind the Ducks defence. However, the striker fluffed his lines and couldn’t find the finish as Davis picked up the loose ball.

Five minutes later, Berkhamsted kept coming, Ofuso and Lacey combined well to allow the former past the United defence and he found an angle to shoot but couldn’t direct it on target. With five minutes of the half the play, Aylesbury attempted to level the scores. Jake Bewley’s corner caused problems for Comas-Leon as he was forced to punch clear, Hogg was there to have a crack at the loose ball, but his volley flew over the bar.

Minutes later, French would drive at the Comrades defence again and made space for another strike on goal, but again his effort wouldn’t trouble the Berkhamsted stopper as it went high above the goal. Just before half time Berkhamsted would have the last say on the half. Visiliou drove beyond the Ducks back line after latching onto a counter attack but Davis was there to match his effort with a good save.

Half-time: Berkhamsted 1-0 Aylesbury

The Ducks would need a big second half to turn it around but five minutes in, the exact opposite would happen. Will Summerfield would received the ball from a short corner and drive into the Ducks box running along the by-line. The winger cut the ball back to Lacey who passed it into the back of the net. 2-0 Berkhamsted

United would respond by making two changes, Seaton and Max Hercules would be replaced by Aaron Berry and Tre Mitford. With 25 minutes to play, The Ducks attempted to get back into the game. Jones drove down the middle and released Berry on the right-hand side but, he fired his effort wide.

2 minutes later, the Ducks pressure continued, Ball crossed in towards Greg Williams however, his header couldn’t be directed on target. United would then make their last change with Ball being replaced by Chris Crook.

Berkhamsted would go up the other way directly after the change as Ofuso found himself one on one with Davis but the Ducks keeper would win the battle and turn the striker’s effort round the post.

The Ducks had their closest chance of the game with fifteen minutes to play. Berry released Mitford in behind the Comrades defence, but his shot was brilliantly turned wide by Comas-Leon. 2 minutes later it was three. The Ducks pressure was cut open on the counter when Visiliou broke quickly and crossed for Lacey to head in his second. 3-0 Berkhamsted

Inside the last ten minutes, Jake Bewley’s free kick was headed clear but only as far as French but, the midfielder fired over the bar. The Comrades midfielder Max Farrelly found himself in the book for an elbow to the face of Hogg, much to the surprise of most in the ground who felt the midfielder was let off by the official.

In added time Chris Crook was booked for a last man challenge on Harry Dalton. This would prove to be the last action of the game. The Ducks will now have to dust themselves down and look towards bouncing back next week at home to Cambridge City.