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Match Report

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The Ducks travelled to their last match of the season to Champions-elect Bedford Town, looking to spoil the party that had been arranged to follow the match. Just the one change from the team that ran Berkhamsted close on Easter Monday, with Pierce McNamara replacing the unavailable Ben Seaton in midfield.

The Ducks started well, certainly not overawed by the occasion or the large crowd that had gathered to celebrate winning the league. They even had the audacity to take the lead in the 9th minute; a great long clearance from Archie Davis was collected well by Harry Jones on the right flank, who cut inside Lewis Miccio before teeing up McNamara. His shot from 15 yards was parried by Alex Street, falling to Jamie Rudd who placed the ball into the far corner of the net, to score his 5th goal in his last 7 appearances. 1-0 Aylesbury

The hosts hit back in the 23rd minute. Hugh Alban-Jones found Connor Tomlinson on the right, whose low cross into the 6-yard box was palmed out by Davis, but only as far as the lurking Rene Howe, who tapped in from 5 yards. 1-1

Just past the half hour Anthony Ball did well to win the ball inside his own half and played the ball down the right wing to Tyrone Lewthwaite. He outpaced Drew Richardson and cut inside, before squaring the ball towards Sonny French who was charging forward in support. Unfortunately the move fizzled out as the pass was just behind French’s run, allowing a Bedford defender to clear the danger.

Bedford took the lead in the 38th minute, when a deep free kick from just in front of the dugouts was won by McAuley at the far post, heading the ball down to Howe who was on hand in the 6-yard box to score both his 27th league goal as well as his side’s 100th goal of the season. 2-1 Bedford

With half time approaching the Ducks had a great chance to equalise. Jones again did well to beat Miccio on the right, and found McNamara whose shot from 18 yards crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.

Half-time: Bedford 2-1 Aylesbury

Into the second half, Rudd picked up the ball in the centre circle and found Jones wide on the right. He played a dangerous cross into the 6-yard box, but just out of reach of French arriving at the far post. In the 64th minute French did well to keep the ball alive on the bye-line, before pulling the ball back to Lewthwaite 10 yards out; his shot fell to Jones who miskicked the ball and sent it wide of the target from 6 yards.

Five minutes later, a quick throw out from Davis to Jones saw the ball quickly moved on to Rudd. He crossed to Lewthwaite at the far post, but dallied too long before he got his shot away, seeing it blocked by Richardson.

In the 78th minute a deep cross from Joe Butterworth found Connor Tomlinson at the far post. He turned inside and fired a fierce shot from 12 yards which was heading into the top corner before Davis stuck out a hand to palm the ball over the ball for a corner.

The last action of the match saw Tomlinson do well on the edge of the penalty area before teeing up substitute Shaun Keane who fired in a shot from 20 yards which just cleared the crossbar.

The final whistle was sounded soon after, with the Bedford faithful celebrating a famous league title win with their heroes. The Ducks can look at a good end to the season, narrowly beaten by the top two in the league in their final two matches of the season, but with performances which have been back to the early season form, which will offer confidence ahead of the next season.

Of interest, of the 85 goals scored this season, there have been 21 different players on the score sheet, a sign of a team that has the potential to score from all areas of the pitch. We wish you all a good summer and look forward to welcoming you back to watch the Ducks again when the season begins in August.