Chairman Dean Gray says Aylesbury will need plenty of the spirit and determination they showed in clawing their way back from 18-8 down with 15 minutes left at Wallingford if they are to have a good season.
The Magenta and Blacks went into the match full of confidence after their cup win at Olney last week and had high hopes of securing an away win.
But despite the Ay’s pack dominating possession from lineout, ruck maul and scrum, found themselves trailing 8-3 at the break. Coach Dave Larham praised his side for their performance in the first 25 minutes as something ‘straight off the training park’.
But, the boss also expressed his frustration with the way the half ended and urged his side to improve. However, they did anything but as they started sloppily allowing Wallingford to run the ball at them. The defence held solid, though, and it was Ays this time, against the run of play, who opened their try-scoring account as captain Horne crashed over from short range to score for 8-8.
It was all Wallingford from here, though, as they stepped up the pace and surged 10 points ahead with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Character was called for and in a brilliant spell of play Ays supporters were given it by the bucket load.
Woodfall kicked a penalty before Hardman, who has been denied a try, picked up the ball from the base of the scrum and smashed his way over to score.
Woodfall made the conversion and the scores were suddenly tied at 18-18. Ay’s pushed for the victory but Liam D’Almeida was controversially adjudged to have knocked on.
Speaking after the game, chairman Gray said: “We started really well. We were the team with all the possession but we didn’t convert it into points.
“We ended up coming back, though, and that is the sort of commitment and belief we are going to need this season.
“We’re not aiming too high but we are rebuilding on and off the pitch and hopefully we can consolidate this season and look to push on next season.”
Ay’s face a ‘tough trip’ to Buckingham on Saturday.