Men's 1s secure win on opening day of season vs Newbury
Aylesbury 2-1 Newbury & Thatcham
Aylesbury men’s 1s started the 2017/18 season with a home fixture against Newbury & Thatcham at RAF Halton. Aylesbury had a much-changed side from last season. Jeremy Kiely made his 1st team debut after coming though the junior ranks at Aylesbury. Stu Gray made his first league game for Aylesbury after transferring from Old Willaimsonians this season. First appearances of this season from Clive Chandler and Ben Woodford to add strength and experience to the team. Even more useful due to the experience of Austin Greenlee, Graham Thwaites, Chris Hunter, Tim Atcheson and Paul Gregory missing from the side for the first league encounter.
Aylesbury started positively and earned an early short corner which Chris Mcintyre put narrowly wide past the right post. Newbury grew into the game and started stringing passes together and creating chances of their own. Newbury’s centre forward managed to escape Aylesbury defence but could only fire the shot straight at Stephen Best in the Aylesbury goal. Soon after, Newbury won their first short corner and again Newbury were denied by Best in goal this time with a stick save low to his right. Newbury’s best chance of the half should have cause more trouble for the Aylesbury defences but the forward could not get the ball in the D before he struck the ball on the reverse stick allowing Best to step over the ball and let it in the goal for a 16. A strong game from Rob Machin and Clive Chandler at the back gave Newbury few real chances.
Aylesbury best chance of the first half should have seen the first goal of the games. A good pass from Matt Hinge found Chris Mcintyre behind the Newbury back line. He managed to slip the ball under the goal keeper but a flick off the pad was taking the ball just wide. Ben Lindars did his best to put the ball in but the deflection was too heavy and sent the ball passed the far post on full stretch. Newbury had the last chance of the game. The ball came across the goal from the right-hand side/ The Newbury forward and Jim Usherwood battled to get to the ball first and Usherwood did enough to not let the forward get a good enough shot off and combined with a low glove save from Best, kept the score 0-0 at the break.
The Second half started very similar to how the first finished off. Both teams creating chances but unable to convert. A couple of short corner from both team were not converted. The game changed when whilst Aylesbury were attacking, Matt Hinge was stopped illegally by a Newbury defender and a short corner was awarded. The Newbury Defender was shown a yellow card and left Newbury down to 10 men for 5 minutes. From the resulting corner, a well worked routine lead to a low flick from Rob Machin across the goal and a neat deflection from Stu Gray took the ball past the keeper and into the side netting.
Newbury began to get frustrated and a Newbury forward said one too many words to the umpire and earned himself a green card and a 2-minute sin bin given Aylesbury 9 vs 11 in the sometimes-vulnerable period after just scoring and allowed time to settle. As Newbury regained their two players and started pushing player forward looking for the equaliser, gaps were appearing in their defence. A rushed ball out of the back was neatly gathered by Stu Gray on his reverse and fed the ball to Andy McIntyre wide on the right. McIntyre made his way into the D and picked out his Brother Chris Mcintyre at the back post to give Aylesbury some breathing space in the final 5 minutes.
Aylesbury should have made it 3 when an almost identical attack to the second goal saw the ball come across the face of goal to an unmarked Ben Lindars at the back post but the ball hit Lindars foot and let Newbury off the hook. In the last-minute Newbury finally found the net. A crash ball into the D and a neat finish from the Newbury forward who got in front of Stephen Best and deflected the ball over his shoulder at the near post. Aylesbury held on to take all three points from the first game of the season. Man of the Match was awarded to Stu Gray on debut with a fine performance at centre half topped off with a fine deflected goal.
Up next week, Marlow 2s travel the RAF Halton.