Ducklington hit for Four on derby day...
...as Aston remain unbeaten!
Two years ago if you’d have asked would Management Team Molony & Edwards be at Aston many would have chuckled and shrugged this off as paper talk. However, 24 months on and not only have that dynamic duo moved on from Ducklington, but in an audacious swoop in pre-season managed to Lure Hambidge and Edney over to Aston as well, whose allegiances had also previously been to the village famous for the snake’s head fritillary. To add further spice to the occasion, at least eight of the Ducklington squad had appeared for Aston Reserves the previous season.
So when the sides Matched up on Saturday there was more than just football to be discussed. The match was dubbed arguably the biggest of the season and you could argue the biggest test for a side that had started so prolifically in the 2016 campaign.
Hambidge had provisionally named his squad, but the mind games were forced to begin early. Lee Beer who has been an invaluable asset to the reserve setup this season (bar in front of goal against Bampton) was yet to turn up by 1:30 – A camp evening on a cruise left Beer still in bed and unavailable for selection. Whilst his gaffer approved of the camp cruise, the late arrival meant that Vince was able to play the full 90 minutes while Beer was relegated to the bench.
So the side that started was as follows:
Hewer, Woodley, Wood, Bully
The game started in a positive fashion. Surprising so actually as the gaffer is very keen on promoting the message of the dam and being solid for the 1st 20 minutes and being hard to beat. Aston win a free kick on the edge of the box. Set Piece game plan now consists of Wooder and Pablo negotiating who is going to end up with the ball in the back of the net. However, part of the contractual agreement for Pabs playing this week was that his 2 children were looked after so I do concede I was over at the park bringing them over to pitch side and missed their dad put us one up- Deflected free kick I’ve been informed, what I can say at this point is that the kids were relatively safe under my supervision. 1-0 Aston.
Only a matter of minutes later Aston, donning the red of the 1st team due to the colour clash with the opposition today, won a corner. Prior to the game Fleming did question what the game plan was with reference to keepers going up. I very much thought this was a joke, so was in utter shock when Ross made his way up into the opposition’s half. That said I was in greater shock when it looked as though he was going to win the ball before riding a challenge that was more fit for the American Football Field – Penalty Aston – if the goal is scored an assist to our keeper. Jack Green steps up and confirms 100% why he takes the spot kicks, alleviating any doubt that was cast with his tamer effort the week before. 2-0 and Aston are cruising.
The previous week at Minster, the boys were subject to a Partizan crowd and Ducklington too bought their fair share of ultras who weren’t happy with the game was going. Sadly the boys took their foot of the gas for the rest of the half and decided to attempt where possible to invite Ducklington back into the game with some comedy defending and some very casual goalkeeping – These provided the only stressful moments of the game for the gaffer who was still chasing his 1st clean sheet since arriving at Aston. Fleming however did produce a particularly fine save down to his left hand side, one the Aston faithful definitely enjoyed.
Half time came around and Hewer’s Aston ankle had seen enough.
The Aston favourite was to a receive a standing ovation but this did complicate things for Hambidge. Lucky Beer was there to make up for his short comings in arriving late, by suggesting the perhaps obvious substitution to many, that Hedges could replace Ryan being a centre half. Woodley out to right back, Hedge centre back problem solved thank you Lee my good man. A back four all of who are left footed, unique.
2nd half began pretty much as we left the 1st. A little slow to get into 2nd gear and it appeared a scrappy affair for the 1st 20 minutes with the game remaining Aston leading by 2. 10 minutes in Pabs made way for Beer, another standing ovation for the 2 in 2 man who is immediately becoming a fans favourite, unsurprising with his background in the game. 10 minutes later though injury plagued Aston were forced to replace Hedges who had only just come on, as he was suffering with his own injury now. Hambidge on – this doesn’t normally bode well, when protecting a clean sheet.
The game pressed in in a scrappy affair, this time Woodley makes an astute suggestion to the gaffer. Beer just coming on with the fresh legs would be better to protect the back 4. Drifter pushed on to support Katch, great idea that would pay dividends shortly after. Beer’s introduction provided the increased energy in the middle to get the ball forward with a greater tempo. This allowed the ball to get out to Vince who in turned passed to Woodley who delivered a great ball with his RIGHT FOOT at head height to the front of the 6 year box. Drifters movement was perfect with an angled run and rose like a salmon to head the ball home and confirm the 3 points for Aston.
Credit to Ducklington they didn’t give up playing and came venturing forward in search of a consolation goal at least. The dam was standing firm though and only offering Duck the chance to whip crosses in that were being collected easily by Fleming or headed away by the ever reliable Wood and Woodley now back as centre halves. Their eagerness to continue to get forward became their downfall as Aston were able to release Vince again on a quick counter attack where he was able to skip past the keeper and put the game beyond any kind of doubt. 4-0 was how it finished.
Jamie Kennedy Man of the Match for his contribution and all round great performance – kept hold of the ball was always productive with distribution and capped the performance off with a great goal. The future’s looking positive for the Lions all they need to do is take this momentum forward to the end of the season … The invincibles season is still on the cards as the side walk away from the 1st derby fixture victorious with a strong message imposed not only on Duck but the rest of Div 3 as well.
To add insult to injury for the Ex-Aston players who now play for Ducklington, the victorious Aston players received free beer from the landlord. The lack of support from the pub in the previous season being a major factor in the players leaving as well as a lack of food, the sausage and chips coming out of the kitchen topped off the day for the Ducklington players. An interesting irony to end an enjoyable day for the Lions of Aston.
Written by Dave Hambidge