An injury-time equaliser for AFC Sudbury prevented Aylesbury United from progressing in the FA Trophy, meaning the sides will do it all again after a 2-2 draw at in Saturday’s preliminary round at the King’s Marsh Stadium.
At half-time, the Ducks were in serious danger of a third cup exit in a week due to an insipid 45-minute performance, but a vast improvement after the break saw Tyriq Hunte score twice as the game turned on its head before the late drama.
Having rested most of his team in the cup defeat to Marlow in midweek, manager Glyn Creaser returned to the team that had performed well at Folkestone Invicta in the FA Cup the previous weekend, with Sonny French left on the bench where he was joined by new signing Ben Seaton.
Familiar with the characteristics of their artificial 3G pitch, Sudbury dominated in the first-half and could have been ahead by more than the one goal at half-time, with Callum Watson’s early strike separating the teams.
United finally mustered an effort on goal on 38 minutes when Ollie Hogg shot straight at goalkeeper Paul Walker and although Ryan Kinnane also tried his luck from range, it was a forgettable first-half from Aylesbury’s viewpoint.
The interval came at the right time for the Ducks, and they were much-improved in a second period that saw chances come and go at both ends.
Eventually one was taken though, and it went the way of Aylesbury on 63 minutes. Hunte showed his quality in front of goal once more when French played a fine through ball, allowing the striker to shrug off the last defender before clinically dispatching the ball past Walker.
Visiting keeper Jack Sillitoe thwarted Sudbury from immediately restoring their advantage, and it was somewhat against the run of play when the Ducks seemingly won it two minutes from time. The hard-working Harry Jones got the better of his man on the right before picking out Hunte, who turned and shot under Walker into the net.
United were just two minutes of normal time away from a win that their second-half performance might just about have merited, but Sudbury weren’t about to roll over and salvaged the draw they too deserved right at the death.
It was a superbly taken goal by Ollie Dunlop, who crashed home a fierce half volley having been teed up by a ball in from the left,
The teams will now replay on Wednesday and the Ducks are then back in league action on Saturday when they host Arlesey Town.
Meanwhile, Aylesbury have also announced that young midfielder Jamie Jellis has earned a scholarship with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Having spent a two-week spell at the Championship club, the teenager scored a hat-trick during a trial game before being offered terms this weekend.
Jamie, who’s also played for Aylesbury FC U18s, joined the Ducks - his first senior club - during the summer and scored twice in his nine appearances. Everyone at Aylesbury United wish him well for his future career at Wolves.