Woodford takes center stage as Aylesbury progress to the Second round of the Mixed Trophy
A goal each from Elisa Woodford and Austin Greenlee was enough to send the A's through to round 2 vs Newbury and Thatcham
Aylesbury eventually sent out a very strong looking mixed side for the 1st round tie against Newbury and Thatcham at RAF Halton on Sunday afternoon. A few doubts striker doubts after Marc Hignell’s late night antics and Chris McIntyre’s lack of footwear until Mumma Macca came to the rescue.
Aylesbury started very strongly with the front 3 of Greenlee, Hignell and James linking up very early to put Greenlee with a shooting opportunity which nearly gave Aylesbury an early lead. A reverse stick strike arrowing towards the top corner of the goal only to be prevented by a wonder save from the Newbury keeper.
Moments later Newbury went down the other send and won a short corner after the ball hit a defenders foot and against the run of play Newbury converted with a drag flick from the Captain. A big blow for Aylesbury with a very solid defensive short corner quartet of S Best, Collins, Atchenson and McIntyre back to help Gwilliams out.After the push back Aylesbury continued to battle with midfield quartet McIntyre, Woodford, Collins and Dickson butting Newbury’s Midfield under real pressure in the midfield, Aylesbury nearly took advantage of this winning the ball high up the pitch and driving at Newbury’s Back four, only to be stopped again by a very strong Newbury goalkeeper with a double save of Greenlee and McIntyre. Again after a very good Aylesbury chase and Newbury save Newbury went up the other end this time it was Gwilliams turn to make a good save, diving to keep out Newbury’s center forward, with the umpires signaling 2 minutes to go in the 1st half, Aylesbury knew they had time for 1 big push winning a short corner for the last play of the 1st half, after a few dodgy routines earlier in the half Aylesbury got 1 right with a good injection from Greenlee followed by a good stop from Pigott. S Best forced another good save from the Newbury keeper but this time Woodford was following up to level the game on the half time whistle.
Aylesbury with a big spring in their step as they walked over the dugout for the half time team talk after the massive lift given to them by Woodfords neat finish second before.Aylesbury came out for the 2nd half with a more defensive looking team to keep the game tight for the opening exchanges of the 2nd half with Strikers D Best and Greenlee on the bench. Leaving S Best and Atchenson at full back, Collins at centre half which gave Bowles and Hassall at Left and Right half the opportunity to push on and give Aylesbury a wide out ball which they did all half causing Newbury a lot of problems.
The 1st big chance of the 2nd half falling to McIntyre who forced another very good save from the Newbury goalkeeper. Moments later Hignell in the middle of a counter attack running up the line lost a shoe and instead of carrying on decided to run around his shoe before losing the ball. Aylesbury then sat back soaking up everything that Newbury could throw as them with a very good solid second half display before Collins knicked the ball of a Newbury players stick and throwing an aerial towards the strikers with Woodford flicking the ball on round the corner to put Austin away, who ran towards the goal then cutting inside leaving his marker on his back side and unleashing a reverse stick strike from the top of the D through the keepers legs to give Aylesbury a 2-1 lead with 20 minutes to play.
Aylesbury again sat back to try and keep things tight for the new few minutes only for Newbury’s striker find a way through 1 on 1 with Gwilliams, but Gwilliams came out of top coming out the smother the ball and Atchenson was on guard to clear the ball from danger. Aylesbury defended everything thrown at them very well, on the 1 occasion Newbury looks promising on the break Bowles put stop to that flattening her player with a late challenge.
Aylesbury played on the break creating more chances as the game went on before winning a short corner with S Best going up again for another flick, this time beating the diving keeper only to find Newbury’s captain on the post to clear the ball off the line. No-one looked more shocked at the clearance then Best himself who must have thought he had scored.Aylesbury sat back again to see out the game before striker James while trying to help the team out put in a horror tackle to give Newbury a short corner with 2 minutes to go probably lucky not to get a card. But just a short corner was given which was cleared again by the very strong defensive display. With Aylesbury on the counter attack breaking over the half way line the final whistle sounds to big relief for the team and a great victory over a very strong Newbury side including former Aylesbury 1st team player Mark Ferguson (Fergie).
After a lot of discussion the Player of the Match award went to Elisa Woodford- for the goal that brought Aylesbury back into the game and a all round good performance from the inside forward position. Dick of the Day award went to Marc Hignell- for a 3.30 am message saying he wouldn’t be able to make the game, then a message at 12.30 asking if he was still being picked up for the game and running around his shoe while on a counter attack.
A massive thank you to Umpires for the day Adam Swann and Michael Power for umpiring the game for us. Also a big thank you to Suzie and Graham Best for putting on a very tasty post match roast dinner at the club house. A big thank you to everyone who came down to Halton to cheer the team on and to Manger for the Day Andy McIntyre for coming over straight from a Skiing trip to come and shout and encourage us from the side lines.