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Match Report



- 8th home game unbeaten for the Ducks

- 3rd league win in a row

- First win against Bedford since September 2016

Match report by Ian Pluck

Following last week’s outstanding win at Coleshill, it came as no surprise that there was an unchanged starting line up for today’s match against Bedford Town. If there was a surprise in the squad, it was the presence of Ken Feyi, returning to the squad after 3 weeks out.

Before the match, Chairman Graham Read presented Greg Williams with a trophy to recognise his 500th career appearance for the club, with his wife Stacey receiving a bouquet of flowers from skipper Jack Wood.

Against visitors who have been struggling of late, the Ducks started well, with Sonny French wriggling clear of a challenge and playing the ball through to Ty Deacon, only for Jamie Head to come out of his goal quickly and smother the chance.

The game settled into a midfield battle, with neither team really creating a clear-cut chance in the first 20 minutes. The trend was broken when Matty Harriott found Dan Walker on the right, he beat Jake Bewley and crossed to the near post, where debutant Danny Draper guided a header goalwards, but into the midriff of Jack Hopwood.

Three minutes later and the Ducks took the lead. Lewis Osbourne played a diagonal pass to Anthony Ball breaking in from the right flank, who in turn played a quick ball into Deacon just outside the penalty area. The striker took a touch which took the ball away from Carl Mensah and guided a shot into the far corner for a well-executed goal. 1-0 Aylesbury

Two minutes later and Deacon could have doubled his and the teams tally. He robbed Mensah on the half way line and set off for goal with the defender in pursuit. As he entered the penalty area and shaped to shoot, Mensah made a fine last-ditch tackle to put the ball out for a corner.

On 35 minutes Harriott played the ball to Ben Ford on the right who got in a dangerous cross, but Mark Riddick was in the right place to head the back to Hopwood. Play went straight down the other end, with the Ducks winning a corner. Delivered by Max Hercules, it was met by Jack Wood, but unlike his scoring effort at Coleshill last week, this time his header missed the target.

Next up, it was the visitors chance to score, with Ford again influential; his pass found Draper who advanced and shot from 25 yards, only to see Hopwood palm the ball round the post for a corner.

As the half approached its close, Hercules had three great chances to get on the score line. First, a long ball forward was well held up by Deacon, who fed the ball to French. His pass to Riddick saw the ball crossed to Hercules whose header from 15 yards flashed wide of the target. Next a pass over the top of the defence from Ball was met by Hercules, hitting a fine volley just over the cross bar. The final chance of the three was perhaps the best of all, as Harry Jones crossed a ball into the 6-yard box where the winger crashed a free header over Head’s crossbar.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-0 Bedford

The second half started in dramatic style, as Ford, seeing Hopwood slightly off his line chanced his arm from the centre circle. Wind assisted, it had the keeper back pedalling to tip the ball over the cross bar. From Ford’s delivery, centre back Joe Steele beat Wood to the ball, but his header from 8 yards was over the cross bar. Following the challenge, Wood stayed down for a number of minutes, but the Duck’s fans were relieved when he returned to action after treatment.

The visitors had obviously had a few stern words of advice during the break, showed by their spirited response. On 52 minutes, a cross from substitute Cade Stephenson-Abbey, on at half time for full back Alvin Magagada, was headed clear by Jones, only as far as Connor Tomlinson, whose shot from 20 yards was well held by Hopwood. A minute later, Walker collected the ball down the left channel and cut inside towards goal, but again his shot was too close to Hopwood who made a good save. Just before the hour mark and Walker had another great opportunity; Louis Hall played the ball to Ford on the edge of the penalty area, who laid the ball back to the striker 20 yards out, but his shot was always rising and cleared the crossbar.

Having weathered the early second half storm, the Ducks gave themselves some breathing space with a second goal in the 63rd minute. A foul by Mensah on Deacon 40 yards from goal saw Ball loft a deep free kick to the far post. Wood was on hand to knock the ball back into the danger area, where Lewis Osbourne ran onto the pass to slot the ball wide of Head and into the far corner of the goal. 2-0 Aylesbury

Two minutes later and the game was as good as over. Hercules played the ball down the right wing for Ball to run onto, his low cross was tapped in by French from just inside the 6-yard box to extend the lead. 3-0 Aylesbury

That was to be Ball’s last contribution, as he made way for Feyi to enter the fray, with Deacon moving wide in support.

On 73 minutes, Ford brought down Deacon on the half way line and was dismayed to see referee Harrison Blair brandish a yellow card to accompany one he had received 20 minutes earlier, signalling the end of the midfielder’s match.

The biggest cheer of the match came with 10 minutes remaining; Greg Williams introduced for his 501st Duck’s appearance to acclaim from the supporters. However, the final word fell to the visitors, Draper passing to Marriott who turned goalwards 25 yards out and struck a powerful shot that left Hopwood helpless as the ball flew into the far corner of his net. 1-3

Despite this slight setback, the Ducks saw out the final few minutes comfortably, indeed they had chances of their own to increase the score. Substitute Keaton August fed Feyi, but the striker, who looked slightly rusty after his absence from the team, flashed his shot into the side netting from 12 yards. The final chance fell to Hercules, 3 minutes into added time; Jones passed the ball down the right, reaching the winger who cut inside Hall and drilled a left foot shot, which was well saved by Head.

That signalled the end of another good day at the office for the Ducks, which saw the celebration of not only “The Leader’s” fantastic loyalty and achievement, but 3 well won points, opening up an 8 point lead over 6th place Thame United. Next up is a trip to 16th placed Kidlington next Saturday.