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Match Report


Aylesbury made an early exit from the Southern League Challenge Cup as they lost by a solitary goal as the ‘home’ side against landlords and historic rivals Chesham United.

A dour game was badly affected by the poor weather conditions - a strong swirling wind and, in the first half, torrential downpour.

The Ducks’ growing injury list saw Jack Hopwood, Ben Seaton, Harry Jones and Ken Feyi all ruled out, so David Manu - scorer of a hat-trick in a friendly against Dunstable Town a week earlier - was handed his full competitive debut.

The ‘visitors’ to The Meadow made five changes to the side that had beaten Yate Town at the weekend, and also had a full debutant on show in winger Zak Joseph who had previously tormented Aylesbury for Beaconsfield and Hanwell in years past.

Chesham made all the running in the early stages and forced a number of early set pieces. Steve Brown met a second minute corner kick but found the ball smothered by the returning Archie Davis - making his first appearance of the season.

Three minutes later from a corner kick the experienced figure of Mark Kirby found space to curl an effort goalwards which was acrobatically tipped over by the young goalkeeper.

Seconds later and from another flag kick Kirby was somehow afforded a free header which he planted over the crossbar.

It wasn’t long before Aylesbury were exposed again at the back when the dangerous Sandro Costa received a cross from the right before twice jinking past his man before only being able to crash a poor shot high and wide.

On 14 minutes the Ducks fashioned their first opening when a ball forwards was touched on by Melvy N’Somi. Chesham howled for offside, but Manu ran clear only to see his shot blocked by the on-rushing on-loan Wealdstone goalkeeper Jonathan North.

Costa was involved in most of the Generals’ attacking play, and he brought the ball out on a counter attack before drifting inside and striking another wayward effort. 60 seconds later he went closer still with a header on a cross which was blocked. The resulting corner was met by a sliding in player beyond the far post who could only put it the wrong side of the upright.

The pressure was unrelenting, with Costa profiting from a coming together of two Aylesbury players on the halfway line to scamper away again. His well delivered cross was met with a flicked shot sent spinning towards goal where Davis instinctively threw up a hand to make a fine save and then catch the ball too.

The keeper was less convincing on 25 minutes when yet another corner kick seemed to have been delivered too deep, but Davis let the ball squirm away from him and was relieved to see his defence eventually hack the ball clear.

What proved to be the winner arrived on just past the half hour mark. The Ducks didn’t react particularly well to a left sided throw in, and when the ball was played across the area Dernell Wynter had time to take a touch and fire a high shot that looped up off Jake Bewley’s attempted block to give Davis no chance. 1-0 Chesham

Aylesbury responded well to the set back and and threatened an immediate equaliser. Anthony Ball lashed a half clearance towards goal which was blocked, and as it was semi cleared again Sonny French tried his luck with a volley that he did well to keep down but directed it wide.

With half-time approaching, a good spell of passing from Chesham ended with a strong shot from Costa that zipped just over the bar, though Davis would claim to have had it covered.

The half ended with anger from the Generals as referee Daniel Todd was too quick to blow his whistle for a free kick when an advantage would have left them clean through with no defenders in sight.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-1 Chesham

Both sides made a change at the break, with Jack Wood rested and replaced by Jordan Jenkins for the Aylesbury, whilst ex-Duck Eoin Casey came on for Chesham in an unfamiliar central defensive role.

Jordan Jenkins was involved straight away when he met a deep free kick delivery with a header that was guided just past the post.

The Generals then had a couple of early chances to put the game to bed when first Ronny Mfinda fed Joseph whose low shot was deflected wide.

Whilst the first corner came to nothing, a second led to an almighty mess in the box whereby a first, then second player miss-hit the slippery ball as it came across goal, before Archie Davis saved well and a fourth attempt was finally blocked on the line!

Aylesbury made further changes with a double substitution as Dave O’Connor and Lewis Osborne entered the fray with just over twenty minutes remaining.

As the minutes ticked past the Ducks were limited to half chances as Manu crashed a long shot over, and then did the same again seven minutes later having cut inside from the left on both occasions.

Chesham continued to defend stoically as the game drew to a close with Manu proving lively but twice seeing efforts blocked in the box, the second of which after he had robbed Casey to retrieve the ball.

At the other end Joseph was played through in stoppage time, but was unable to end his full debut on the scoresheet as he screwed an effort wide into the side netting, and the game ended with just the solitary goal.