Ducks strike late to deny Moles in Aylesbury derby

Sonny French scored the late equaliser for United
Sonny French scored the late equaliser for United

Aylesbury FC and Aylesbury United shared the points in an entertaining game as the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central derby finally got played last night (Thursday) at the sixth attempt.

Gareth Price gave FC the lead after 16 minutes before Stacey Field levelled for United midway through the first half.

FC then regained the advantage just before the break courtesy of a goal from the manager’s son Ben Bateman however United grabbed a point in stoppage time through a goal from Sonny French to make the final score 2-2.

The home side, who are pushing for the play-offs, started the brightest and could have opened the scoring two minutes in when the ball came to Aston Goss on the edge of the box, however his shot was well blocked by the legs of United keeper Zaki Oualah.

Another good chance came FC’s way on nine minutes when the ball found number nine Brian Haule on the edge of the box. He hit a shot which was then blocked by Ducks keeper Oualah.

The Ducks had their first clear opening of the match on 11 minutes when the ball came through to Bruno Brito on the edge of the area, and under pressure from a tight angle, he did get a shot off although FC keeper James Weatherill was able to block the ball from close range.

The Moles opened the scoring on 16 minutes after good interplay from a free-kick between Price, Rob Tomlin and Bateman.

Price then cut inside on the left-hand touchline and hit a cross-come-shot which evaded everyone inside the box before floating into the left hand corner of the net.

Price, who was having a field day against the United defence, could have doubled his side’s advantage on 20 minutes however his shot was smothered inside the box by United keeper Oualah, who was having an impressive game between the sticks.

Against the run of play, the Ducks equalised on 25 minutes when the ball came to Field inside the box and he hammered a shot into the top right hand corner to make it 1-1.

The visitors began to dominate after the equaliser and had a chance on 34 minutes when FC gave the ball away inside their own half.

Vinnie Shrieves passed the ball through to Ducks goalscorer Field however this time his right-footed shot rolled agonisingly wide of the left hand post.

Another good chance came United’s way on 42 minutes as a corner from the right hand side was headed just a couple of yards over the bar at the near post by captain Jack Wood.

The Moles then retook the lead just a minute before the break from a corner. After an initial shot inside the penalty area was blocked the ball came out to Bateman on the edge of the box and his right-footed shot zipped into the corner of the net with the United keeper left rooted to the spot on this occasion.

The second half saw very few clear chances created with the game punctuated by substitutions and fouls as it increased to the intensity more associated with a local derby.

In the 89th minute the Ducks came close to an equaliser when a cross in from the right was headed onto the post, before being cleared away to safety.

United then grabbed an unlikely equaliser in stoppage time after FC gave the ball away in their own half. The ball came to Ducks player French who ran into the penalty area and hit a right-footed shot powerfully across goal and into the corner of the net.

The result left the visitors jubilant at having secured a precious point as they look to pull away from the relegation zone but left the Moles ruing the fact that an ex-player had return to haunt them and that they had not converted their earlier chances to extend their impressive derby record.