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Match Report

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Match report by Ian Pluck

Another day, another game and another key absentee for manager Ben Williams to deal with. This time it was Mark Riddick who missed out with a knee injury, but the Ducks were able to welcome back Ollie Hogg after his recent shoulder injury, as well as Ezra Anthonio-Forde for his second debut for the club on return from a short spell at North Leigh.

Following Wednesday’s fine performance against Bedford Town, hopes were high that the result could provide the springboard to a push for the play off places. In their way today were FC Romania, who had beaten the Ducks on their own ground in the League Cup at the beginning of October, playing a good brand of passing attacking football.

The Ducks started well, Max Hercules hustling Jason Mason and forcing him to play a back pass towards his goalkeeper, which Anthonio-Forde intercepted before firing a shot from 25 yards, but his effort flew wide of the far post. The same pair combined again 10 minutes later, this time the strikers long range shot was straight at the keeper.

Somewhat against the early passage of play, the Wolves took the lead just after the half hour; Jake Bewley lunged into a tackle on Tobi Coker, who skipped away from the challenge and made ground to the penalty area, where his fired across Archie Davis and into the far corner. 1-0 FC Romania

Stung by the setback, the Ducks did their best to hit back. A deep cross from the right by Jaedon Phillips was picked up by Hercules, who played the ball back to the edge of the penalty area, where Hogg flicked the ball to Anthonio-Forde, who turned and volleyed, but straight at Lincon Marques in the home goal.

The Ducks were rewarded in somewhat fortuitous circumstances; a clearance from Marques to German Petrov saw the defender closed down by Phillips, forcing a back pass which Anthonio-Forde intercepted and steered beyond the keeper to bring the scores level. 1-1

Half-time: FC Romania 1-1 Aylesbury

The second half started with the hosts much more in the ascendancy, mixing their game up, between their usual passing game and the occasional long ball forward. They were rewarded on the hour, when a ball over the top of the defence by skipper George Taban found the run of Zenon Stylianides, who steered the ball under Davis to retake the lead. 2-1 FC Romania

Two minutes later and the Ducks had a golden opportunity to hit back; a ball into the penalty area was deflected by a defender, which Marques scrambled to prevent, only to present the ball to Anthonio-Forde, who could only hit the far post from an acute angle.

On 65 minutes a ball down the left saw Stylianides outpace Jack Wood and shoot from the angle of the penalty area, only to see Davis get down well to push the ball away from danger.

A worrying sight for the Ducks fans saw Hogg substituted after 67 minutes, following a heavy fall on the shoulder that he had injured recently, to be replaced by Lee Stobbs.

As the game entered the final 20 minutes, a long ball forward from Jordan Jenkins was well controlled by Phillips and laid back into the path of Sonny French 25 yards out. He took aim and shot towards the bottom right corner, but Marques was down smartly to concede a corner.

On 77 minutes, Coker again got the better of Bewley on the right and advanced towards the penalty area and find Jonathan Edwards, who shot across goal, but again Davis was equal to the shot, making another fine low save.

The final goal of the game saw the lively Coker break down the right again and cross low into the 6 yard box, where the back tracking Phillips saw his interception cruelly loop over Davis to secure the points for the Wolves. Based on their control of the game in the second half especially, a fair result. 3-1 Romania

One final chance came the way of the Ducks, with the game well into added on time. Hercules picked the ball up on the left and made his way inside along the 18 yard line; as he shaped to shoot he was fouled by Anthony Edgar. Hercules took the free kick himself, but his attempt was somewhat symptomatic of the Ducks play today, disappointingly sailing over the crossbar.

Thoughts now turn to the festive season (Covid allowing!) and exciting matches at home against Thame United on 27th Dec, followed by a trip to Berkhamsted on New Years Day. Until then, we wish you all a merry and peaceful Christmas.