Aylesbury FC chalked up their first victory of 2017 when edging past Egham Town 1-0 in Saturday’s scrappy affair.
It’s also the first win under new boss Davis Haule as Lewis Hayden’s second-half goal was enough to earn all three points and move the Moles four points clear of Histon at the bottom of the Southern League, Division One Central.
It was two key events which decided the outcome of Saturday’s game. The first was a penalty decision that, on consultation with a linesman, was overturned, and the second was a wayward backpass that led to the only goal of the game.
An onslaught was expected from Egham with them having scored an amazing 12 goals in their last two games but it was FC and Aston Goss who could have profited from Ben Stevens’ through pass early on.
Town’s Bajram Pashaj responded on the left with a cross shot that FC’s James Weatherill managed to hold and Pashaj tried again a few moments later but the alert Stevens cut out any threat.
It wasn’t until the 19th minute that FC bothered the away defence with Marvyn Watson shooting wide, however the ball was soon back up the other end and this time Wes Daly tested Weatherill before Pashaj spurned the away side’s best chance of the half when only an outstretched glove prevented a certain goal.
Although there was undoubted pressure on the home goal, clear-cut chances were at a premium and the first-half ended goalless, before a dramatic start to the second.
A swift break from Egham saw Weatherill seemingly grab the ball before pulling it into his chest. What appeared to everyone in the ground as a decent save was viewed as a foul by the referee who pointed to the spot. Furious objections saw him consult the linesman and after a few tense moments, the penalty decision was reversed, much to the relief of the FC players and fans.
A Richard Pacquette shot in the 51st minute stung the fingers of Weatherill with the rebound being flagged offside. Just a minute later, Brendan Matthew then tried to loop the ball as Weatherill dallied but his effort cleared the bar.
Joe Hartley had an exceptional game, especially after the break, and he had FC’s first chance of the second-half with a low shot that should have been more of a test for Norris .
This spell of pressure resulted in FC grabbing the winner. Lewis Hayden chased down a seemingly innocent back pass and in panic, away keeper Norris hit the ball straight at the substitute, causing the ball to ricochet into an unguarded net.
It wasn’t pretty but, on a day when three points were needed, it didn’t really matter.
From there on in, Jordan Berry had the best chance to equalise and although he never really controlled the ball, his bobbling effort still grazed the outside post before running away to safety.
At the other end, Charlie Hawtin should have increased FC’s lead. He steered himself into a superb position in the box but rather than shooting, he elected to cross and the chance went begging.
Egham became more desperate in their attacks as the minutes ticked away and this allowed FC to catch them on the break several times. A Brian Haule turn and shot was blasted over the bar and then a Hartley cross was headed over by Hayden as FC held on to claim those precious points.
Aylesbury face a tough game away at Beaconsfield SYCOB this week but, buoyed by Saturday’s success, they’ll head to South Bucks confident they’ve turned a corner.