Joyce eyes top half finish after AFC Hayes victory

Sonny French has joined Aylesbury United from rivals Aylesbury FC

Sonny French has joined Aylesbury United from rivals Aylesbury FC

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Ducks boss Tony Joyce has set his sights on bettering last season’s 12th-placed finish following Aylesbury United’s 2-0 win at struggling AFC Hayes on Saturday.

The Ducks are currently 11th on 51 points in Division One Central and need six points from their final five games to match last season’s performance.

“Of course the aim is to beat last season,” said Joyce. “We finished 12th so it’d be nice to finish higher than that because it shows progression.

“The target this season was to consolidate again and build on last year as well as reach a cup final and we’ve achieved that. Hopefully we can now finish higher – we’re on the right track but we still have a few games to go.”

Joyce bolstered his squad last week with the signing of midfielder Sonny French from local rivals Aylesbury FC.

French, who scored 34 goals during his four-year spell at the Moles, made his United debut in Saturday’s win at Hayes, with Joyce adding: “We’ve signed Sonny from Aylesbury FC and he went straight into the team on Saturday and he had a good game. He’s with us for the rest of the season.”

Lea Coulter and captain Jack Wood, on his 250th appearance for the club, were on the score sheet as Aylesbury comfortably overcame relegation-threatened AFC Hayes.

On his side’s performance, Joyce added: “Hayes had picked up - they had won two and drawn one and had a change of fortune recently so we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game.

“We did really, really well first half and had a comfortable 1-0 lead that possibly could have been more.

“To be fair to Hayes, they had a little spell 15 minutes into the second, but in the end it was a very comfortable 2-0 away win and everybody had a good game.

“We’ve not been consistent all season, so this recent run is what we’ve needed because we don’t want the season to fizzle out and we’ve also got a bit of competition for places ahead of the cup final at the end of the season.”

United play twice over the Easter weekend. On Saturday, they welcome play-off chasing Hanwell Town to Bell Close before the Ducks make the trip to Haywood Way to take on local rivals Aylesbury FC on Easter Monday.