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Match Report

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Aylesbury maintained their unbeaten start to the season with another goalless draw to continue their unusual sequence which has now seen them draw all three of their home matches 0-0.

This was an entertaining encounter against another of the league’s unbeaten teams, and built on a solid foundation that saw free-scoring Berkhamsted denied a goal for the first time of the fledgling 2019/20 campaign.

After his impressive cameo in the 4-1 win at Daventry, loan signing Sydney Ibie made his full debut for the Ducks, whilst also in came Harry Jones and Anthony Ball in place of Melvy N’Somi and Dave O’Connor.

Aylesbury’s visitors had started the week top of the table, but United took the game to them in the early stages and were well on top for the first 25 minutes.

Straight from the kick off Jones and Ken Feyi were causing problems, and it only took until the second minute before the game’s first shooting chance arrived for the former - whose effort was blocked behind for a corner which was well defended.

Five minutes later Ball - no doubt looking to make a point having been discarded by Berkhamsted a year earlier - strode forward through midfield before firing in a 20-yard drive that Xavi Comas Leon saved but rather unconvincingly parried away, though nobody was on hand to profit.

Another promising move soon afterwards saw Ibie break down the left, riding the challenge of Daniel Akubuine before cutting the ball back to Feyi who got his angles wrong as he shot past the post.

Comas Leon was called upon again on 16 minutes when Sonny French’s harrying won him back the ball before his cute pass found Feyi whose low effort was clutched at by the goalkeeper.

There then followed a couple of long range efforts from Ollie Hogg that missed the target, whilst Feyi went down in the box looking for a penalty but found referee Ryan Dix not in charitable mood.

Berkhamsted had yet to register a shot on goal, finding themselves frustrated at being unable to break down United’s well drilled ranks, but on the half hour mark began to see more of the ball with their first decent spell in possession.

Soon their first meaningful attack followed as Jonathan Lacey chipped a pass forwards for Saul Williams who was just beaten to the ball by the alert Jack Hopwood.

Captain Jack Wood was next to rescue his side when Berkhamsted had men over to receive a through ball, but the skipper - reverting to his more regular position at the heart of defence for this game - slid in to expertly clear the danger in the nick of time.

Three minutes from the interval and a needless free kick conceded by Hogg gave Lacey a shooting chance just outside the area. The Berko youngster is usually a threat from such a position, but on this occasion was unable to add to his tally of 5 goals for the season as he blazed way over.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-0 Berkhamsted

The second period began with Feyi again in the thick of the action, as he flicked Hogg’s free kick goalwards - but it was an easy claim for the goalkeeper this time.

Ben Williams chose to replace Harry Jones with Ben Seaton, whilst Berkhamsted brought on the prolific Lewis Toomey as the sides looked for a breakthrough.

On 55 minutes ex-Duck Ryan Kinnane nearly silenced the home supporters who had been berating him for most of the match as he met a long free kick beyond the far post but was unable to guide the ball on target.

Kinnane was involved again when a long throw from the right was flicked on by the tall defender but Ollie Hogg was well stationed to clear the danger in the scramble that followed.

With defences well on top - Berko’s being marshalled by Kinnane and another former Aylesbury man Steve Hatch - United were mostly limited to long shots as Ibie crashed an effort over after a neat move involving Seaton and Jake Bewley, whilst French fired a long range effort wide.

After 75 minutes of stalemate any quality in the game looked to be evaporating, with misplaced passes galore, but Aylesbury kept taking the game to their opponents and had chances to take maximum points in the closing minutes.

A ball into the box from the right found French who eventually teed up substitute Melvy N’Somi for a shot which was charged down, amongst strong suspicions of handball, before Hogg crashed another long shot wide seconds later.

Finally, Comas Leon was warming his fingertips again three minutes from the end as Jake Bewley wound up a drive which was curling across goal and turned wide by the Spanish goalkeeper.

Berko themselves then might have nicked the win when a contentiously awarded corner kick was curled in and though the ball was fumbled by Hopwood, he had been fouled in attempting to claim.

Thus no goals for either side, and on balance of play Aylesbury could justifiably be a little disappointed at having to ‘settle’ for a draw, but a good result nonetheless and another confident display that sets them up nicely for the weekend’s FA Cup encounter against Walthamstow.