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Saturday 26th October 2019

The FA Trophy: 1st Qualifying Round

Hanbury Park, Haywards Heath Attendance: 109

Haywards Heath Town

3 1

Aylesbury United

  Half-time: (2-0)  
Luke GLOVERPlayer Image1
Hamish MORRISONPlayer Image2
17 68m Tariq STRAKERPlayer Image3
16 86m Nathan COOPERPlayer Image4
Henry WATSONPlayer Image5
Josh SPINKSPlayer Image6
Kieran ROWEPlayer Image7
Byron NAPPERPlayer Image8
Trevor MCCREADIEPlayer Image9
Ryan WARWICKPlayer Image10
Nico COTTONPlayer Image11
Reece HALLARDPlayer Image12
Tom GRAVESPlayer Image14
Tom SUMMERFIELDPlayer Image15
4 86m Christian WEATHERSTONEPlayer Image16
3 68m Melford SIMPSONPlayer Image17
1Player ImageJack HOPWOOD6
2Player ImageDave O'CONNOR4
3Player ImageJake BEWLEY5
4Player ImageJack WOOD (c)5
5Player ImageJordan JENKINS5
6Player ImageMark RIDDICK12 16m 
7Player ImageBen SEATON15 63m 5
8Player ImageAnthony BALL17 46m 5
9Player ImageTy DEACON5
10Player ImageSonny FRENCH6
11Player ImageDavid MANU6
12Player ImageGreg WILLIAMS6 16m 5
14Player ImageLewis OSBORNE
15Player ImageSydney IBIE7 63m 
16Player ImageKen FEYI
17Player ImageJamie JELLIS8 46m 5
18Player ImageOllie HOGG
MManager ImageBen WILLIAMS
Match Report


After the excitement of their replay win against Sevenoaks, Aylesbury’s bid to win through two rounds of the FA Trophy for the first time since promotion back to Step 4 ended as something of a damp squib, as the Ducks meekly crashed out 3-1 at Haywards Heath Town with a display in West Sussex to match the grim conditions.

Falling behind early on, United were always chasing the game, and at 2-0 down with a quarter of the game played never genuinely looked like mounting a comeback. The hosts then added a third as Aylesbury pushed for a goal, before David Manu rifled in a penalty to at least give the well-numbered travelling fans a little something to smile about.

With Ollie Hogg ruled out injured, Anthony Ball was recalled in the only change to the side that had drawn 0-0 at AFC Dunstable seven days earlier, with newly returned loanee Jamie Jellis taking a place on the bench.

The opener arrived after just eight minutes - a period that had seen United barely afforded a touch of the ball - and in very disappointing circumstances. A corner kick delivered from the left found Josh Spinks at the near post completely unattended to volley home with ease. 1-0 Haywards Heath

Three minutes later and Heath hit the bar when Nathan Cooper tried his luck from 40-yards but saw his effort smack the woodwork.

Rain, so they say, is nice weather for Ducks, but as Aylesbury huffed and puffed they continually struggled with the conditions whilst the Blues seemed much more adept - forcing numerous set pieces as the game continued, from which they always looked a threat.

United suffered a further blow when they lost Mark Riddick to injury and veteran Greg Williams came on in his place.

With the wind behind them Haywards Heath were always happy to try a long shot, and although Ryan Warwick fired straight at Jack Hopwood on 19 minutes, a hurried clearance straight to Cooper less than 2 minutes later saw him return the ball with interest from 35-yards out and the keeper was nearly caught out - scrambling across to tip the ball wide.

The lead was doubled with what was Heath’s 7th corner of the game on 24 minutes, and it was as poor a goal to concede as the first for United. A corner on the opposite side to the first was this time taken short, and when it was eventually crossed in Cooper was able to beat Dave O’Connor in a standing jump and nod the ball beyond Hopwood. 2-0 Haywards Heath

Finally, the two-goals between the sides brought Aylesbury to life. For the first time, a decent spell of passing unpicked the home defence as Ben Seaton slipped David Manu away who was unlucky to see his shot across goal rebound off the inside of the post.

A free kick two minutes later then saw Jake Bewley whip the ball in and Ty Deacon might have done better than steer a header off target and although Manu might have rescued the situation when the ball hit him, it flew over the bar from point blank range.

Two fleeting moments of hope for Aylesbury, but play ended at the other end of the pitch, where it had been for most of the first half. Nico Cotton went on a weaving run and hit the post before United trudged off to regroup.

Half-time: Haywards Heath 2-0 Aylesbury

Jamie Jellis was introduced in place of Ball at the interval, and there was some early cause for optimism when Deacon was momentarily played in behind the defence. He was unable to get a shot away but managed to cross the ball towards Jellis but the youngster was beaten to the ball.

Much like that chance, hopes of a United comeback ultimately amounted to nothing as they still looked devoid of creativity. Unable to make their short passing game work on the sodden pitch, there was little by way of plan B.

With little further in the way of chances appearing, Aylesbury manager Ben Williams took another roll of the dice by replacing Ben Seaton with Sydney Ibie.

Still no ground was gained, and indeed it was the home side who looked ever more likely to add to the scoring. The Ducks survived a strong penalty shout when Nico Cotton went tumbling in the box, after which former Aylesbury ‘cult hero’ Melford Simpson entered the fray for the home team.

On 77 minutes the busy Ryan Warwick broke down the left before cutting inside and seeing his shot blocked by O’Connor. The resulting corner was almost a carbon copy of the first goal, with nobody from Aylesbury tracking the near post run but this time the ball was planted wide.

Frustratingly, the Ducks only had tame long shots from O’Connor and Sonny French to show for their endeavours as they never posed a genuine threat to the home side’s comfortable lead, and, with seven minutes remaining, a third goal put the tie to bed.

It was a goal that summed up Aylesbury - and O’Connor’s - afternoon as the former Tring centre half slipped over in possession allowing Warwick to run through and eventually find the net despite the recovering presence of defenders around him. 3-0 Haywards Heath

In the third minute of stoppage time, David Manu - one of few bright sparks for Aylesbury - was brought down in the box, and the winger stepped up to crash home the penalty with literally the final kick of the game. 1-3

A dreadfully disappointing afternoon for Aylesbury, but a thoroughly deserved win for Haywards Heath Town and we wish them well in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

Back to league action for the Ducks now and United will be looking to preserve their incredible defensive record which has seen them concede just one goal in their opening 9 league matches. Unfortunately the same team has conceded 12 goals in 6 cup games and that meant an end to their FA Trophy exploits for another season.