Moles set for opener after signing off pre-season in style

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Aylesbury FC kick-off their 2016-17 Southern League campaign this weekend with a visit to Kempston Rovers and they make the trip to Bedfordshire in high spirits following an encouraging end to their pre-season campaign.

Saturday’s clash will be the first competitive game for new Moles manager Danny Gordon who takes charge alongside assistants Gareth Risbridger and Paul Bonham.

There’s also a new look to the Aylesbury squad which was bolstered by three new players last Friday.

One of those players is the versatile Mark Lambert, who made over 250 appearances for Chesham United, while goalkeeper Jack Brooker has been poached from neighbours Risborough Rangers and he’s joined by another keeper, Michael Brimah.

FC completed their pre-season programme on Saturday by recording a 4-1 win against Berkhamsted Town, which came four days after a 3-0 victory over Risborough.

Most of FC’s good work came in the opening 45 minutes, leaving the second-half free to experiment with both personnel and tactics.

Lee Stobbs had the first effort, a curling shot on nine minutes, and this was followed by the opening goal when a mistake by the Berko keeper allowed Kieron Turner to slot the ball home.

Three minutes later Stobbs controlled the ball on the edge of the area before placing a side footed effort into the bottom corner for 2-0, and only 60 more seconds elapsed before the Moles made it three and effectively finished the game as a contest. Aaron Couch controlled the ball and his 25 yard effort looked to be well covered but the home keeper allowed the ball to squirm under his body for 3-0.

Stobbs tested the home keeper again on 20 minutes while James Faulkner and Jonny Montgomery both went close to further goals before JJ Lofthouse-Smith rattled the woodwork with a header.

Berkhamsted cut the deficit with their first real chance of the game on 38 minutes, but almost straight after half-time, John Smith restored Aylesbury’s three-goal cushion when following up another effort from the lively Stobbs.

Berko continued to look for an opening and a smart shot whistled just over the bar before another attempt had FC goalkeeper Brooker scrambling to gather the ball.

At the other end, a low shot by Turner gave the home keeper a little to think about on 70 minutes and this was the last real action of the game as FC’s pre-season wound up in satisfactory fashion.

The trip to Kempston on Saturday is followed by Aylesbury’s first home game next Tuesday when they host Chalfont St Peter.