AYLESBURY FC vs AYLESBURY UNITED BOXING DAY DERBY PREVIEW: ‘Our good relationship will be going on hold for two hours’

Aylesbury FC boss Steve Bateman goes head-to-head with Ducks manager and old friend Tony Joyce
Aylesbury FC boss Steve Bateman goes head-to-head with Ducks manager and old friend Tony Joyce

The niceties of Christmas will be put on hold when bitter rivals Aylesbury FC and United clash in a historic Boxing Day match – their first ever

competitive game in the town.

FC have the bragging rights at the moment after a 3-1 win in August at United’s home ground in Leighton.

The clubs have met before in Aylesbury, when they played a pre-season friendly after Mark Eaton broke away from the Ducks to lay down roots with the Moles.

FC go into the match off the back of a 4-0 thumping at Daventry and with only one win in their last 14 games.

The Ducks have had a week off due to postponements but won last time out against Ashford.

But this is the big one and should the game survive the latest downpours (check online for updates on the day of the game) United boss Tony Joyce admits form will go out of the window.

“Our players are hoping the game is on because a few of them want to make up for what happened before,” Joyce said.

“We deserved to lose that game but I have to say it is the worst we have played all season, no disrespect to FC.

“But it gave us a kick we needed and we have had a good season since then and we are doing well so hopefully we can turn that around and get a win in what is quite a historic game, being the first in Aylesbury.

“Hopefully we’ll get a nice big crowd as well... it’s bigger than the Manchester derby!”

The match is a first Aylesbury derby for Moles boss Steve Bateman as he locks horns with an old friend in Joyce.

And Joyce says their relationship will be on hold for a couple of hours come kick-off.

“I haven’t actually spoken to Steve since he took over there and I probably should’ve done, but I have a lot of time for him and know him well,” Joyce said.

“He has great contacts and is putting together a good side there, I have no doubts he will get them out of any trouble.

“But our good relationship will go on hold for two hours on Boxing Day and I hope it’s me smiling at the end.”

On his friendship with Joyce, Bateman elaborated: “I know Tony well. I have recommended him one or two players over the years and we have spoken during our times in management.

“I have known him since my playing days when we both in the back four at Chesham together.

“I have the utmost respect for him and what he has done at Aylesbury United.”

On the match itself, which he admitted looks doubtful, he said: “We are underdogs going into the game.

“We have to try and take the positives out of our recent form and being a local derby the players shouldn’t need any extra motivation.

“Hopefully, there will be a decent crowd and it will be a chance for us to show our fans what we can do.”