Ducks upset the odds with Rugby win

Jack Wood (left) scored the winning goal six minutes into the second half
Jack Wood (left) scored the winning goal six minutes into the second half

Aylesbury United produced an excellent performance on Saturday to end Rugby Town’s seven match winning streak and claim their first victory at Butlin Road for 15 years.

Having suffered a disappointing 4-2 defeat to Uxbridge in midweek, United went into the game sitting a lowly 15th in the Division One Central with Rugby flying high in fourth.

However, the home side produced a poor performance while the Ducks were spirited and battled hard and earned all three points through captain Jack Wood’s second half goal.

The result lifts United up a place to 14th.

With Steve Hatch and Greg Williams both missing out due to injury, Tony Joyce was forced to name a much-changed line-up with Jason Blackett, Zack Reynolds, Jesse Waites and Stacey Field back in the starting XI.

In a first half of limited action, it was Field who had the first shot after some neat football but the United striker could only produce a weak finish, while at the other end, Justin Marsden fired well over having been played in by fellow striker Richard Gregory.

Midway through the half, Field should have opened the scoring when Reynolds did superbly to head the ball on, only for Field to steer his eight-yard shot wide.

Rugby were seeing plenty of the ball but found it tough to break down a disciplined and well-organised Aylesbury defence, who continued to look more dangerous in the final third as Reynolds had a shot blocked before Blackett saw his effort sail wide.

Two minutes from half-time, Reynolds, a threat all afternoon, was in action again when he cut in from the left flank and unleashed a fierce effort which was blocked by the diving Mason Rowley, before Jake Bewley had to head Alex Gudger’s effort of the line to ensure United went into half-time on level terms.

The winning goal came within just six minutes of the restart as Paul Edgeworth’s corner found Blackett and though his header was blocked, Wood was on hand to gleefully smash home.

Town introduced dangerous winger Fazel Koriya on 64 minutes, and further attacking reinforcements in Mitchell Piggon later on, but they continued to struggle for inspiration, although Lewis Rankin blazed high and wide.

Tahj Bell was rarely called into action, although he was on hand to deny Marsden, as the United defence repelled any danger and instead it was the visitors who had spurned the best chance to add another goal when Edgeworth’s spot-kick was saved.

It mattered not, however, as Aylesbury saw out injury-time to clinch an impressive win.

The Ducks are on the road again this week when they travel to Godalming Town.