Match Review – Wednesday 27th March 2019 – Aylesbury FC Vets v Faringdon Town Vets

The Vets made their longest journey of the season last night as they travelled to Buckinghamshire to take on Aylesbury FC Vets in the Uhlsport Hellenic Veterans Premier Division. The two sides had met in September in the reverse fixture, with a 1-1 draw the outcome, where Town should have claimed all three points.

The game kicked off under clear night skies, with the pitch bobbly but slick from the dew which was settling. Town started the brighter, but it wasn’t until the tenth minute that the first notable chance occurred. Debutant Derren Harrington got down the left touchline putting in a great cross, which the home keeper failed to grasped and the falling ball was hooked to safety before Town could react in the 6 yard box.

Moments later and another attack down the left, this time from full-back Andy Lynham, saw his ball play in striker Chris Roche, but his left foot strike across goal failed to hit the target or find another Town player. On 17 minutes it was still Town in the ascendancy, right winger Troy Redman played a great defence-splitting pass to Roche, who advanced, held off his marker but couldn’t lift the ball over the sliding keeper who smothered his effort. On twenty minutes, the home side had their first clear opportunity, as a set-piece was played into the Town area, but the unmarked striker failed to make a clear connection with his header.

The remaining moments in the half were all half chances, mainly brought on by each sides inability to keep the ball, however neither keeper was troubled and the sides went back to the changing rooms at the break all square.

Town knew they were in the game and had to keep up the momentum as both sides were short on numbers. The home side started the second period brighter and two minutes in to the half, a ball over Town full-back Steve Pugh found the advancing left winger, who crossed to his striker, but his effort sailed wide of the mark. Shortly after and it was Town’s turn to attack, substitute Craig Gaynor played a nice ball into the home penalty area from the right wing, but Harrington was unable to keep his half volley effort down and it sailed over the goal.

The breakthrough finally happened on 48 minutes, Town overplayed in the backline with the ball lost to a home attacker on the halfway line. As he advanced, a couple of ricochets fell to his midfield team-mate who calmly slotted home past stand in Town keeper Glenn Townsend. An unfortunate goal, but it could and should have been avoided. Town now needed to push forward to get back into the match, Harrington had switched wings and his right-wing cross found Paul Hulme racing into the penalty area, but the pace of the ball off the slick surface meant his effort was wayward.

The home side had a free kick awarded on the edge of the Town penalty area, but it sailed over the goal to safety. With minutes running out, Town kept pushing and in the 68th minute a great ball from the left by Gaynor, in-swinging off his right foot went towards the far post, with all beaten in the area, Harrington rushed in but again the pitch conditions beat him as the ball skipped over his head!

With ten minutes remaining the killer goal was claimed by the home side as a free kick awarded for handball on the edge of the Town penalty area was dispatched past the Town wall and Townsend into the far side of the goal. The remaining minutes saw a lot of huff and puff but no further goalscoring opportunities.

So it was another three points dropped tonight and all but ended any hopes of ‘The Don’ claiming the runners up position. Town manager was pleased with the efforts of the lads who made the 85 mile round trip for the fixture

“The lads, plus skipper Gary Sutton who was injured and our three ‘old stooges’ following us every week, who travelled to Aylesbury tonight have my highest respect. The lads put in a lot of effort and had we taken those early chances I didn’t see any way back for the home side. Two weeks off for the lads now, hopefully get some aches and pains out of the way before our last two games on the 17th & 24th April at Abingdon and Old Hooky”.

Final Score: Aylesbury FC Vets 2 – 0 Faringdon Town Vets

Team: Glenn Townsend, Steve Pugh, Andy Lynham, Damian Francis(c), Chris Pettis, Dave Legg, Ben Spencer, Derren Harrington, Chris Roche, Paul Hulme, Troy Redman, Iain Lawson, Craig Gaynor.

MOTM: Paul Hulme (tenacious in the midfield area’s a look to get us into attacking positions)

DOTD: Steve Pugh (Possibly the worst throw in seen in adult football, closer to the shed on the other side of the barrier!)