United beat Northwood in thriller

Tony Joyce
Tony Joyce

Aylesbury United manager Tony Joyce was delighted with new signing Lewis Putman after the striker scored his first goal for the club in the Ducks’ 5-3 win over Northwood FC on Saturday.

It was a welcome return to form for United as goals from Putman, Jesse Waits, Steve Hackett , Jason Blackett and substitute Lee Grace sealed only their third win in 10 league matches.

Joyce said afterwards: “Obviously it’s pleasing to get all three points. It was a great game from a spectator’s point of view with the eight goals.

“We were good going forward but not so great at the back. I think we needed a response from last Saturday’s game.

“Lewis is a very good player. I’ve kept in touch with him over the past few seasons and he was unlucky not to score a few more goals on Saturday. He is a proven goalscorer in this league which is what we need.”

Following last week’s disappointing defeat at Beaconsfield SYCOB, Joyce made four changes to the starting line-up with Bill Morgan, Shane Wood, Jesse Waites and Jason Blackett coming into the side.

After a scrappy start, the hosts took the lead after 10 minutes thanks to a well-taken finish by midfielder Waites as the Northwood defence unsuccessfully appealed for a foul in the build-up.

The Ducks didn’t sit back on their early advantage and produced wave after wave of attack before deservedly doubling their lead on 18 minutes when Shane Wood’s throw-in was flicked onto the lively Putman, who fiercely volleyed home his first goal for the club.

Northwood rallied and got themselves back into the game through a 20-yard free-kick from Michael Murray, but Aylesbury immediately hit back as the flurry of goals continued when the ball fell to Hatch, whose 25-yard shot flew into the far corner to restore the home side’s two-goal lead.

Back came Northwood in what was becoming a to-and-fro first half, though, as they again reduced the deficit to just one when a long ball forward from Nick Turner found Joakim Ehui and he cut infield and fed Niko Muir, who shot past Jack Sillitoe from 20 yards.

Unfazed, Aylesbury reinstated their two-goal cushion with a third goal in a breathless four-minute spell. Waites made a great run down the left and squared to Putman, whose goal-bound effort was deflected for a corner, from which a totally unmarked Blackett headed home from six yards.

That signalled the end of an exhilarating and action-packed first half as United took a 4-2 lead into the break, but it was the visitors who dominated a bad-tempered second period.

Sillitoe was forced into action to deny Ehui and Wood cleared a shot off the line before tensions began to boil over on 72 minutes when a Greg Williams foul sparked a mass brawl between players of both teams that saw three players booked.

Northwood then cut the deficit to one for the third time in the game through Murray’s free-kick, but Grace, who had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes, eased the home side’s nerves with a fifth goal as he fired an unstoppable volley past the helpless Berkley Laurencin in the visiting goal.

Putman then came close to his second and United’s sixth before the full-time whistle brought a thrilling encounter to a close with United picking up a much-needed three points, taking them 14th in Division One Central of the Southern League.

Aylesbury face a tough fixture this weekend when they entertain play-off hopefuls Chalfont St. Peter.

Joyce added: “I’m feeling positive with the game - we have no injury worries. Chalfont are a good team in good form and are sitting well in the league.”