Ducks could go up: fight for second intensifies

The fight for second place is hotting up between Aylesbury United and Oxhey Jets
The fight for second place is hotting up between Aylesbury United and Oxhey Jets

Ducks boss Tony Joyce is urging his players to keep on ticking off the wins to secure second place, because he firmly believes that will be good enough for promotion.

United are in a two-way battle with Oxhey Jets for that coveted second place in the Spartan South Midlands Premier.

Joyce’e men entertain London Colney in their last home game of the season on Saturday afternoon knowing only wins will suffice now as the Jets sit three points behind them but have two games in hand following Jets’ 0-0 draw against Colney Heath on Thursday night.

“There are quite strong sounds that two teams are going up,” the Ducks manager said.

“It’s a good season whatever happens. We have got 91 points and most seasons that would have finished first or as runners-up already.

“Hopefully Oxhey (Jets, Ducks’ main rivals for second place) will drop some points. There’s a few teams who could take points off them.”

The Ducks go into the London Colney match off the back of a fine 6-2 win over London Tigers at the weekend.

Having twice taken the lead, through Joey Acheampong and hat-trick hero Paul Edgeworth, Aylesbury twice gifted their hosts equalisers to make it 2-2 at the break.

That man Edgeworth put United back in front from the spot in the second half, though, then added another penalty five minutes later for his hat-trick to give United a commanding 4-2 lead.

Louis Austin and top scorer Stacey Field added the fifth and sixth respectively to put the gloss on the scoreline and leave their manager a happy man.

“They (Tigers) have been quite in form lately so to go there and win 6-2 was a good result,” he said.

“We gave them an own goal and a penalty. Paul (Edgeworth) has not been as prolific as he would liked to have been this season so it was great for him to get a hat-trick.”

The Tigers lost their discipline and were reduced to nine men at one stage with home player Manuel sent off for an incident which also saw United’s Liam Smyth get his marching orders. The incident was the only blot on the Ducks’ copybook for the afternoon, aside from rivals Oxhey Jets winning 10-1 in their game.

Joyce said of the incidents: “It was a little bit unfortunate. He didn’t deserve to be sent off.

“He won a free-kick coming out of defence but carried on dribbling. The guy’s pushed him and he’s jokingly simulated a kick at him. He’s then booted the ball at Liam in retaliation. It’s something you would see in a playground.

“I sort of agreed with the ref but it could have been a yellow.

“That and Oxhey winning 10-1 were the only bad points for us. We’ve had our tough two weeks now and now Oxhey have theirs. If they win all their (now two) games in hand, fair play to them.”

The win extended United’s club record unbeaten run in all competitions to 26 games.