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.”