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Match Report

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Aylesbury’s unbeaten start to the league season was extended to seven matches with a hard-earned point at Bedford Town following an entertaining goalless draw.

With regular defensive stalwarts Jack Wood and Jordan Jenkins unavailable, Dave O’Connor playing with an injury, and at their ‘bogey ground’ of The Eyrie, Ducks supporters arrived fearing the worst (and remembering the meek 3-0 surrender at a similar stage one year earlier).

But this season’s United team are made of sterner stuff; Derek Feyi came in to give an assuringly solid debut at centre half alongside O’Connor who nursed his way through the full 90.

Shielded as always by the excellent Mark Riddick and once again thankful to Jack Hopwood for some crucial interventions, the Ducks secured a remarkable sixth clean sheet in seven league matches, and a fourth 0-0 draw.

In a game that could have gone either way, both sides had justifiable claim to have earned maximum points. Bedford threw everything at United in the second half, yet Aylesbury could have nicked it at the death when Ken Feyi latched onto Jake Bewley’s hopeful long shot but volleyed a difficult chance wide.

Bedford seemed most threatening on the counter attack, and in the fifth minute they broke swiftly after Ollie Hogg’s shot had been charged down. The ball was moved quickly to the other end of the pitch where ex-Duck Tre Mitford’s shot was saved by the leg of Hopwood.

Hogg was heavily in most of United’s attacking play but it was his set piece skills that set up the next opportunity as Riddick hooked over the midfielder’s free kick.

On ten minutes Ken Feyi was played in down the left and as he tried to find Hogg the ball spun out to Sydney Ibie on the edge of the box who had a sight of goal but could only fire into the side netting.

As is often the case, Dan Walker was proving Bedford’s biggest threat and another quick counter saw him whipping the ball in to Mitford on the near post whose shot saw Hopwood make a superb save with his feet when going the other way.

The first half really was end-to-end stuff and next was Aylesbury’s turn on the offensive as Riddick slid in to win the ball back and feed Hogg who in turn played in Feyi whose shot was blocked in the area.

A coming together between Ibie and Callum Donnelly on the half hour mark meant an early end to the United man’s night as - after both players had been booked - he was forced off injured and replaced by Sonny French.

Aylesbury came close on a couple more occasions before the break with Jake Bewley getting forward down the left to flash in a cross that Ken Feyi at full stretch was just unable to reach, whilst another Hogg free kick was this time played back short to Bewley who curled just past the post.

But it was the hosts who went closer still in first half stoppage time when Mitford managed to beat Hopwood with a header only for stand-in skipper Greg Williams to heroically clear off the line.

Half-time: Bedford 0-0 Aylesbury

The second period started with Aylesbury having the ball in the net courtesy of Ken Feyi running through to score, though the offside flag had long been raised to leave the big striker disappointed.

Bedford made two early changes with Mitford the second man replaced, and within three minutes the home team were appealing strongly for a penalty when it was suggested Nathan Olukanmi’s cross was handled, the referee unmoved.

On 64 minutes the drive of Hogg saw him once again win the ball in midfield to see his fierce shot parried away by Aaron Dillon. Ken Feyi was first to the rebound but a combination of Dillon and defender Damien Green kept the ball out and still there was no breakthrough.

Almost immediately at the other end Dan Walker crossed for Callum Milne to curl a shot just wide, and two minutes later as the pressure ramped up yet another ball in from Walker saw Jack Vasey’s effort saved with the feet again by Hopwood.

Manager Ben Williams took the opportunity to introduce new signing David Manu for his debut - against one of his former teams - and he showed some promising moments in the closing stages, but it was Hogg who had a good chance to score when he tricked his way into space but snatched the shot high and wide.

Having had no joy in setting up the chances for his teammates, Walker tried to do it himself as the game ticked over the 90 minute mark, but missed the target having cut in from the wing.

Ken Feyi’s late miss then ensured there was to be no end to the deadlock, and a point that neither team can be too unhappy with. The result leaves Aylesbury still 4th in the table, though they now have no further league action until 5th October when Kidlington visit The Meadow.