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Match Report

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Match report by Ian Pluck

On the back of a fine win at AFC Dunstable, manager Ben Williams welcomed skipper Jack Wood and Aaron Berry back into the team, replacing the departed Ty Deacon and unavailable Lee Stobbs. Jake Bewley reverted to his usual left back berth, with Rico Greco moving forward to replace Stobbs. New signing Gavin James was included on the substitutes bench.

As so usual this season, the Ducks made a fast start and could have scored in the first minute; a move down the right saw the ball fall to Mark Riddick just outside the penalty area, but his shot was deflected wide. Soon after, a throw from Ben Seaton on the right found Max Hercules free in the centre circle. He moved the ball out to the left into the path of the overlapping Bewley, who advanced and shot from outside the penalty area, but saw his shot saved at the near post by Michael Hudson.

Despite this fast start, the Ducks were hit by a sucker punch as the hosts scored with their first attack. A ball out to loanee Tremayne Charles on the right saw him get ahead of Bewley and cut inside into the penalty area, where he despatched, a good left foot shot inside the near post, giving Archie Davis no chance of a save. 1-0 Kempston

Charles was becoming more and more influential as the half developed, tormenting Bewley, including one outrageous piece of skill, where he flicked the ball up over his head to beat the defender, putting him in on goal again, but this time Davis was able to save his low shot.

Shortly afterwards a Ducks corner was cleared to Marley Hamilton on half way; he looked up and spotted Charles in space of on the right; he advanced beyond Bewley and forced Davis into another good save, this time with his feet.

This forced a slight change of positions, as Greco and Bewley swapped round, the hope being that Greco’s pace would be better suited to nullify the treat of the winger. A further change was made on the half hour, with Aaron Berry sacrificed in a tactical switch that saw Ollie Hogg bolster the midfield, with Ben Seaton deployed further forward in a ‘false 9’ position.

The changes paid dividends in the 33rd minute in unlikely circumstances; a long ball forward from Jenkins found Bewley the furthest advanced, he took advantage of a misjudgment by Mohammed Amghar and reached the ball just before the onrushing Hudson to poke the ball into the net from 18 yards. 1-1

Five minutes later, Hogg picked up the ball in defence and found Hercules wide on the left; he skipped inside Harvey Laws and travelled across field before shooting wide when there were better options to find a supporting player. The next attack saw Sonny French collect the ball from a poor clearance and lay it into the path of Hogg who fired in a powerful shot from 25 yards which cannoned back off the post and rebounded into Hudson as he dived, before fortuitously going behind for a corner.

As half time approached, with the Ducks taking firm control of the match, a deep corner from Hercules found Wood at the far post, but his header cannoned off the post. The last action of the half saw a delightful ball from Hogg played inside the full back for Hercules to run onto. He squared for Seaton, but his first time shot was narrowly wide of the target.

Half-time: Kempston 1-1 Aylesbury

The Ducks almost played themselves into trouble on 52 minutes. A free kick on the half way line was played short to French, but he was tackled and dispossessed by Hamilton, who sprayed the ball wide to Charles on the right. He made ground down the wing, beating Greco and firing in a cross/shot which Davis did well to palm away to safety as Hamilton attempted to reach the ball.

On 65 Seaton had a great opportunity to give his side the lead; a deep free kick from Greco towards the far post cleared everyone, with Seaton arriving late, but could only sidefoot wide from 5 yards out.

On 69 minutes the Ducks saw their pressure pay off; a corner by Hercules saw Wood lose his marker and power home a free header from the edge of the 6 yard box to give his side the lead. 2-1 Aylesbury

Any thoughts that the Ducks would consolidate and play out the game for a comfortable win were dispelled within minutes, as a long cross from left back Miguel Lopes De Matos soared over the head of Jenkins for Charles to run onto and beat Davis to the ball as he advanced from goal to score his 5th goal in 2 games. 2-2

The hosts came close to taking the lead on 75 minutes, as Charles turned creator, passing inside to Jack Quigley who saw his shot from the edge of the box well saved by Davis.

A foul on Seaton on the edge of the penalty area saw a free kick awarded, although there was an opportunity for advantage to be played, as Greco had collected the ball on the edge of the area; the referee blowing his whistle just before he fired narrowly wide of the target. However, it proved to be a very good decision for the Ducks, as for the second week running Hercules stepped up to fire past the keeper and give the Ducks the lead. 3-2 Aylesbury

With 10 minutes remaining, the Ducks found themselves under some considerable pressure to hold on to their lead, but they were resolute and determined in defending their goal. The final chance of the game for the Walnuts came with the game deep in added on time. Charlie Hayford found space on the right and played in Quigley, whose deep cross found substitute Jake Davis at the far post. His shot from 15 yards was cleared away from danger by Jordan Jenkins.

There was one chance for the Ducks to extend the lead right at the death, as with keeper Hudson upfield for a corner, the ball was cleared to Hercules, who found French on the halfway line. Hudson made a desperate attempt to get back to him, but French managed to get a shot away, but his effort from 45 yards was over the crossbar.

All in all, not the level of performance of the previous week at AFC Dunstable, but the result was the same, another 3 points from a tricky away match, leaving the Ducks 8th in the table, now 2 points off a play off place. No match next weekend, as our opponents Bedford are still engaged in the FA Trophy, but we return to the Meadow on Wed 17th Nov for the visit of Kidlington.