Northwood 0 Aylesbury FC 1
FC boss Davis Haule had demanded victory at Northwood and it was a goal of exceptional quality by Brian Haule that met this requirement.
Report by Jools Thomas
There were times in the game where the Moles needed to exercise caution but to a man, they were never really in great danger from a misfiring Woods side.
The opening chance fell to Brian Haule and he was unlucky to see his flicked header zip just wide. Jordan Jenkins and Ash Jenkins were then on hand to thwart the threat from the dangerous Jermain Osei as the game opened at a bright pace. The only goal of the game arrived on 11 minutes and what a goal it was. Ty Deacon attacked on the right and his lofted cross found Haule. With the ball almost behind him, Brian swivelled and shot in one fluid motion giving Brendan Hazlett no chance.
The game was ticking over nicely by now as Ash Jenkins saved bravely at Osei’s feet after the striker had been fed by Mahlondo Martin. Aston Goss has been a shining light in FC’s recent struggles, he was also a thorn in Northwood’s side all afternoon, and he played a delicious ball to Brian Haule, which the target man was unfortunate not to bring under full control. In the next move, Tayshan Hayden Smith suffered a moment of hesitation and his chance was lost when he should have taken a shot. Martin was next in the FC box but his attacking compatriots had neither the thought nor the energy to meet his teasing cross.
The Moles finished the half in the ascendency when a delicate cross into the Woods box saw Man of the Match Ben Stevens unfortunately make just minimal contact as he came under pressure from the home defence.
The entertainment continued after the break. Kerran Lataille’s slide rule cross should have been met by a teammate and this was followed by a real opportunity for Woods to equalise. On 52 minutes, Hayden Smith broke clear and as he delicately tried to lift the ball over Ash Jenkins, the FC stopper bravely saved down low. Osei then had a half chance as the home side stepped up a gear. He found space within the box but then found the angle too acute and he could only hit the side netting.
Lataille was enjoying himself as he picked up the pieces from breakaway FC attacks. The forward could have increased his side’s lead on 64 minutes but he could only see his effort hit a defender’s legs. Aston Goss also witnessed his blast fail to penetrate a packed defence. Ty Deacon played in the umpteenth quality cross of the afternoon and again it was misread as FC became more reticent to push men forward.
Woods’ Harry Newman caused Ash Jenkins to perform another valiant save at his feet before the home side’s best chance of a leveller. Jordan Jenkins and partner Derek Feyi had been masters of all they surveyed but a momentary lapse of concentration saw the ball fall to Newman yet with the goal at his mercy, the midfielder contrived to blast the ball over the bar when hitting the target appeared far simpler. A freekick deep in injury time from just outside the box had hearts fluttering but the wall held just in time to hear the referee’s final whistle and to herald FC’s celebrations.