Didcot Town 1 Aylesbury FC 1
Aylesbury went into this Preliminary Round of the FA Cup off the back of two League defeats and still searching for some form and confidence.
Manager Scott Reynolds again had to ring the changes with Austin Schofield and Craig Carby still injured, Alfi Touceda away and with Aaron King cup tied it was the returning Jordan Jenkins who partnered Luke Cray and new signing Derek Feyi in a three man defence, Lewis Strafford replaced Adam Morris in Midfield and Bruno Brito had his first start of the season up front.
On a dusty dry pitch at Didcot it was not the normal blood and thunder cup tie that was probably expected as both sides prodded and probed in the early stages of the game, Didcot on the back of a 4-0 victory midweek against Aylesbury United, did have the better of the early minutes of the game. Sam Barder had an early cross which drifted wide, Ollie Thomas had a long range shot which flew over Nick Bennion's crossbar.
It wasn't all Didcot though and FC did have their own opportunities Ryan Ware, again influential in midfield, had a shot from distance saved by Bedwell in the Home goal, Ware and Bruno Brito combined well on the right and Brito's cross saw Kyle Johnson battling with the keeper but the ball was cleared.
It was Aylesbury who took the lead though after thirty three minutes. A long through ball from the Aylesbury defence was latched onto by the powerful Brito and he volleyed smartly beyond Bedwell for the lead. Aylesbury were starting to sit deeper and deeper trying to protect their lead and allowed the home side to come onto them but The Railwaymen weren't able to produce any clear chances as the half ended despite their dominance of possession.
Half Time 0-1
Aylesbury started the better of the two sides in the second half, Temi Oladejo had a great run out of defence and his through ball almost found Bruno Brito who had broken the offside trap but the keeper just beat Brito to the ball. Carl Tappin had a shot from the edge of the box smothered by the keeper as the away side tried to extend their lead.
As the half drew on though it was the home side that started to push on as FC again sat back trying to protect their lead, Ross MacDonald had a shot save by Bennion, then a couple of minutes later Sam Barder hit the foot of the Aylesbury goal and the ball appeared to roll along the line but was eventually cleared. As FC sat deeper there was now wave upon wave of Didcot attacks and Aylesbury struggled to get possession of the ball.
Eventually that pressure told and with twent five minutes left the ball was handled in the Aylesbury penalty box and Matt Woodley stepped up to calmly place the ball past Bennion. With the match now approaching full time and Dicot pressing for the winner came the moment of the match, a ball played in from the right was met by the head of Luke Carnell and his arrowed header was heading for the top corner when Nick Bennion dived full length to his left and with his right hand somehow managed to palm the ball away for what is one of the best saves seen at any football ground.
A good performance from Aylesbury which will give them confidence going into the bank holiday game at Berkhamsted. So we will go into the hat for the first qualifying round draw on Monday and Didcot will visit Haywood Way for the replay on Tuesday 4th September with a 7.45pm Kick Off.