Aylesbury FC 0 Bromsgrove Sporting 0
This wasn't your normal boring 0-0 draw, it was a game that had everything as FC held the League Leaders.
Match Report by Mike Farquharson
Two penalty saves, Red Cards, yellow cards and fantastic saves at both ends, all played on a damp afternoon at Haywood Way. Manager Scott Reynolds welcomed back Lewis Strafford and Jordan Jenkins after both missing the midweek game against Bracknell.
This was always going to be a tough afternoon for Aylesbury but on a greasy pitch it was FC who had the first chance of the game when Lewis Strafford cleverly flicked a ball into the path of Ryan Ware but Brown in the away goal just beat the midfielder to the ball, a minute later and Bromsgrove could have capitalised on a mistake in the Aylesbury defence. A long ball over the top caused confusion between Craig Carby and keeper Nick Bennion which almost let in the Sporting strikers but the ball was eventually hacked to safety.
Bromsgrove were now getting into their stride with some slick passing football, but FC were denying them space in all areas of the field, chasing and harrying so not letting them get any real clear shots on goal, on fifteen minutes left back Jack Wilson made a surging run from his own half but his shot went wide of Bennion's post. On twenty minutes came the best chance of the game when a Ryan Ware corner was met by a rising Aaron King but somehow the big striker managed to head the ball just wide of the upright when many of the moles fans thought he had scored.
FCs next chance came just five minutes later when a ball across the edge of the box found it's way eventually to Josh Williams who got away from his defender, got the ball onto his left foot and was one on one with Brown in the away goal but the keeper somehow managed to block his shot when again perhaps he really should have scored.
On thirty six minutes Nick Bennion made the first of a number of excellent saves when he dived full length to his left to parry away a Richard Gregory free kick, not the last time in the game that the two players would face each other one on one!
It was then the turn of the Sporting keeper to show his prowess between the sticks when, just before the break, Josh Williams latched onto a through ball but Brown in the away goal was equal to the shot and tipped the ball over the bar.
Half Time 0-0
With the rain now falling more heavily it was Aylesbury who had the first opportunity of the half, substitute Bruno Brito, on for the injured Reece Bayliss, found himself on the edge of the box with a very narrow angle but the striker was still able to get off a smart left foot shot which the keeper had to parry away at the near post.
Aaron King had another chance on sixty one minutes when a ball over the top from Luke Cray found King on the edge of the box he went outside his defender and again bought an excellent save out of the keeper at the near post. It was now end to end action and on seventy seven minutes it was Luke Cray finding himself on the right side of the penalty box, he cut onto his left and fired in a shot which was arrowing for the top corner, until the outstretched hand of Brown managed to tip the ball round the post when most of the supporters in the ground thought the ball was going in.
If the rest of the game had been breathless, fans of both sides were in for an even more exciting last ten minutes. With five minutes of normal time to go Bennion was adjudged to have brought down Pykett when most people in the crowd, including the away supporters, thought he'd nicked the ball away from the substitute. Gregory stepped up but Bennion flung himself in the right direction and parried the ball away much to the home crowds delight.
That wasn't it though and with the ninety minutes already up Lewis Strafford handled when trying to block a shot and the referee awarded another penalty. It couldn't happen again could it? Again it was Gregory that stepped up and again Bennion stopped the strikers shot and for good measure also blocked the rebound.
Craig Carby was then sent off after the final whistle after a confrontation with the referee. Not your typical 0-0,