Aaron King struck six minutes from time as Aylesbury FC collected their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw against local rivals Berkhamsted on Bank Holiday Monday.
There was added spice to the game with the home side managed by ex-Mole Manager Steve Bateman and a number of former FC players in their home side’s squad.
For current boss Scott Reynolds, there was only one change to the team which drew with Didcot in the FA Cup as cup-tied striker Aaron King replaced Bruno Brito.
Adopting a three-man defence once again, the Moles made a sluggish start and were under early pressure as Berkhamsted’s Liam McCroman narrowly cleared the crossbar on just four minutes.
With FC struggling in midfield and unable to retain possession, the home side held the upper-hand and goalkeeper Nick Bennion had to be alert to save from Matt Bateman.
The opening goal from Berkhamsted, which had been coming for some time, arrived on 36 minutes when their pressure led to a handball in the penalty box, allowing Courtney Massey to tuck away from the spot.
Aylesbury should have equalised two minutes before the break, Luke Cray’s long ball out to the right found Carl Tappin and his cross was met by Kyle Johnson three yards out but he somehow conspired to fire wide with the goal gaping.
A tactical switch early in the second-half saw Aylesbury return to four at the back and David Femiola replace Josh Williams and that seemed to make all the difference.
Suddenly, FC had greater balance and appeared more at ease with Temi Oladejo’s cross flicked into the goalkeeper’s hands by Tappin before Ryan Ware screwed wide when well-placed inside the box.
The second-half was all Aylesbury who attacked at every opportunity and strived for the equaliser with Mohab Madkour twice going close.
They had to wait until six minutes from time but finally FC got back on level terms. Williams again got past his defender on the right and crossed the ball for a stooping King who fired home.
Aylesbury were on a roll and now fancied the win, how Madkour was dismissed or a reckless late challlenge and that ended all hope of coming away with all three points.
Nonetheless, the second-half display will give Reynolds plenty of encouragement ahead of Saturday’s home game against Sutton Coldfield.