Davide Pobbe’s first-half goal was enough to hand Aylesbury FC their third straight victory away from home as they beat play-off chasing Cambridge City 1-0 on Saturday.
The home side were favourites coming into it, finding themselves comfortably in the play-off places at this midway point of the season and scoring at will, however a tenacious defensive performance, Pobbe’s well-taken goal and more than a fair share of fortune saw the Moles victorious, moving them up to 15th in the Southern League East Division.
The match got off to a rather cagey start as both teams adjusted to the tricky surface following the freezing, snowy weather, but the deadlock was almost broken by City when the division’s top scorer Ryan Sharman rose highest from a Ben Robinson cross and headed against the crossbar.
Aylesbury exerted their own pressure and Hafid Bounyafe was enjoying success down the right, delivering some dangerous crosses into the box one of which saw Kerran Lataille drill a shot wide.
The game had a real ebb and flow about it, and this time the hosts had a wave of attack. First Jack Vasey saw his bullet header heroically saved by Ashley Jenkins, and then for the second time in the space of a quarter of an hour the Lilywhites had another effort rattle the frame of the goal, Vasey again with the header.
The hosts would live to rue these misses as, on 29 minutes, the breakthrough came. The ball broke kindly for the alert Pobbe, who showed great skill to wrong foot his marker before curling past the outstretched arm of Niall Conroy.
FC looked to build on this with Conroy making some fine saves, firstly from Garry Jones’ long range strike and an even better stop from Lataille, whose effort looked to be curling into the top corner until the goalkeeper intervened.
Aylesbury led at the break but it was all hands-on deck in the second-half as the hosts came out all gun blazing with Ryan Sharman spurning a great opportunity straight after the restart and Jordan Jenkins clearing off the line.
The Moles could have killed it off when Brian Haule shot tamely at Conroy and four minutes from time Jenkins was called into action again. Jordan Williams must have thought his looping header was destined to see the net ripple, however Jenkins was determined to keep his clean sheet intact, performing something of Christmas miracle to tip it onto the woodwork.
The board went up for six minutes of added time followed by a sharp intake of breath from the Aylesbury away following, but the yellow and blue wall stood strong and the three points were secured.
Next up for FC is a home fixture with Hayes & Yeading United this weekend.