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Aylesbury United

  Half-time: (0-0)  
Christian LAWRENCEPlayer Image1
Will DAVIDSONPlayer Image2
Daniel WESTPlayer Image3
Thomas MOOREPlayer Image4
Dec PEARTPlayer Image5
Tom FRANKLINPlayer Image6
12 68m Connor MATTIMOREPlayer Image7
14 68m (c) Ben WILLOUGHBYPlayer Image8
Stephen ROBERTSONPlayer Image9
James GLOVERPlayer Image10
16 60m Billy GILLETTPlayer Image11
7 68m Tobias LONDONPlayer Image12
8 68m Declan BENJAMINPlayer Image14
Josh TOOKEPlayer Image15
11 60m Aaron MORTONPlayer Image16
1Player ImageJack HOPWOOD7
2Player ImageHarry JONES7
3Player ImageJake BEWLEY5
4Player ImageJack WOOD (c)7
5Player ImageJordan JENKINS7
6Player ImageLewis OSBORNE16 60m 6
7Player ImageAnthony BALL14 60m 7
8Player ImageGreg WILLIAMS15 60m 6
9Player ImageTy DEACON7
10Player ImageSonny FRENCH7
11Player ImageMax HERCULES6
14Player ImageKen FEYI7 60m 6
15Player ImageOllie HOGG8 60m 6
16Player ImageKeaton AUGUST6 60m 6
MManager ImageBen WILLIAMS
Match Report



Match report by Ian Pluck

Looking for a 3rd win in a row, the Ducks were forced into one change to the starting line-up, with Greg Williams making his 502nd appearance in midfield, replacing the unwell Mark Riddick. Making a welcome return to the squad was Ollie Hogg, after recovering from the injury which has kept him out since the end of November.

After winning the toss and electing to kick with a strong breeze at their backs, the Ducks found it difficult to adapt their normal free flowing game on a bumpy and uneven surface. However, trying to stick to their principles, they still created chances on the home goal. The first fell to Max Hercules, almost getting on to the end of a move he had started. The winger passed to Sonny French who moved the ball inside to Ty Deacon, who in turn squared the ball to Lewis Osbourne just outside the penalty area. He stepped inside a challenge and hit a mis hit shot, which Hercules almost collected as he moved forward in support, but only succeeded in diverting the ball into the arms of home keeper Christian Lawrence.

Just before the 20-minute mark Osbourne was robbed in the centre circle by home skipper Ben Willoughby who advanced and fired a shot from 20 yards which was weak and wide of the target. Two minutes later a clearance down the right from Harry Jones found Anthony Ball, who passed to Deacon on the right touchline. He moved infield and pulled the ball back to Williams on the edge of the penalty area, but the veteran’s left foot shot was narrowly wide of the far post. Next up, French played a fine pass in to Jake Bewley who jinked round three defenders and made room for a shot, which unfortunately cleared the crossbar.

Just past the half hour a deep inswinging corner from Bewley was met at the far post by Jack Wood, directing his header across goal to be met by Williams three yards out, but his header cleared the bar when it seemed easier to score.

The Ducks were seemingly getting closer with every attack, the next chance falling to French, who received the ball from Osbourne 25 yards out and struck a fine shot, which cannoned off the crossbar and away to safety.

Three minutes later a corner from the right by Billy Gillett was cleared to Willoughby, who passed the ball to Connor Mattimore 25 yards out, but his shot cleared the crossbar. The final opportunity of the first period fell to the Ducks; a Bewley cross to Osbourne was laid back to French, whose shot from 20 yards was deflected away for a corner.

Half-time: Kidlington 0-0 Aylesbury

After dominating the play in the first half, the worry was that the Ducks would pay for the missed chances. That worry was not long in being realised as the hosts took the lead 3 minutes after the restart. Hercules played a pass to Bewley on the left touchline, but he was robbed of the ball by Mattimore who made a beeline for the penalty area and slid the ball past Jack Hopwood to open the scoring. 1-0 Kidlington

Three minutes later and French had a great chance to equalise; A slip by Tom Franklin in the centre circle saw Deacon slide a pass through for the midfielder to run onto. He was clear on goal with just Lawrence to beat, but his shot was too close to the keeper who stayed big and blocked the shot. From the resulting corner, Hercules spotted a trademark Williams run to the near post, but his header flashed narrowly wide of the near post.

The hosts, buoyed by their goal, were by now becoming more of an attacking force in the game. A Jones clearance was collected by Willoughby who advanced and played the ball to Mattimore on the right, but this time his shot was wide of the post. The game was much more end to end than the first half; Deacon again found French breaking through the middle, but as with his previous chance, his shot was again straight at Lawrence who made a good save.

A triple change on the hour saw Williams, Ball and Osbourne replaced by Hogg, Feyi and August, with a change of shape needed to accommodate the new arrivals. It was the hosts who threatened again next. A cross from the right was headed down by Steve Robertson to Willoughby, but his ambitious overhead kick was wide of the target.

In the 64th minute, the Ducks got the goal their dominance had deserved. A long ball forward by Wood was flicked on by Deacon to Feyi, who in turn headed the ball into the path of French, breaking clear of the defence yet again. This time though, his efforts were rewarded, placing his shot past Lawrence to level the scores. 1-1

The hosts responded well, with three quick chances, the first seeing Declan Peart heading straight at Hopwood from 15 yards, then Robertson beating Jordan Jenkins in the air but placing his header wide of the target.

Next, substitute Declan Benjamin showed good strength to hold off August and Jones, before laying the ball into the path of Tom Moore, but his shot from 25 yards was wide.

Ten minutes from time and Hopwood was called into action to keep the scores level; James Glover found Toby London on the edge of the penalty area, but the substitutes shot was well saved by the keeper, who appeared to injure himself in making the save. With all substitutions made, and Greg Williams off the pitch, it was a relief to see him recover after a few minutes.

Three minutes from time, a free kick from Wood was moved on by Jones to French, who played a one-two with Deacon before seeing his shot go the wrong side of the near post. The final talking point of the match came in the dying minutes. Hogg was rightly penalised for pulling back Benjamin as he broke clear towards the halfway line, but the reaction of the striker was to kick out at Hogg. After the referee had considered what he had seen, he chose to give both players a yellow card, when Benjamin was lucky not to have seen red for violent conduct.

A disappointing result on a difficult pitch, but, as so often this season, perhaps a match that might have been a defeat last season, such is the resilience of the team this year. With other results going our way today, the Ducks strengthened their position in 5th place in the league, with near neighbours AFC Dunstable the visitors to The Meadow next Saturday.