Ducks ‘heading in the right direction’

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AYLESBURY UNITED boss Tony Joyce has remained coy about his side’s aims for next season after a strong finish to the current campaign.

It may not have been as dramatic as Manchester City’s last gasp Premier League victory over QPR but Joyce was still impressed to see his side produce three goals in 10 second half minutes to turn the game on its head.

Joyce, pictured, said: “The game had that kind of cup final feel to it and credit to the players, they came back well.

“We should have never been 2-0 down really and the way things were going if you had asked anyone they would have thought Stacey (Field) would miss that penalty but instead he smashed it home.”

Field’s penalty, his 29th goal in the league was followed in quick succession by goals from Joe Donaldson and Paul Edgeworth to claim fourth spot and leave the Tigers stunned.

“We had this little joke about fourth spot being our Champions League place. We hyped it up to the players a bit and it worked well.

“It was a great way to finish off the season and everyone leaves on a high heading into the summer.”

After finishing sixth last season, Joyce was pleased to see his side improve but remained tight lipped on their prospects for next year.

“I’m not going to come out and say we’ll win the title because then I will be under all sorts of pressure. But I do want to see us better this season and perhaps enjoy a nice cup run.

“Obviously we’re not going to be winning the FA Cup but it would have been nice at this stage of the season to have a final to look forward to.

“We have missed that.”

With Field in hot form all season, it was unsurprising to hear Joyce elect for one of the striker’s many efforts as his goal of the season, but it was a close call.

“Two goals stand out and they were both against Hadley. It was a really tight game at 0-0. But then Joey Acheampong picked up the ball, went past four players and left the keeper on his bum before rolling the ball into an empty net to put us 1-0 up.

“That really should be my goal but then Stacey doubles the lead with this brilliant 45 yard lob over the keeper with seconds left.

“I have to pick Stacey’s because I noticed him just look up before he put it over the keeper.

“You could just tell it was no fluke, he really meant it.”

With another season behind the Ducks, Joyce reflected upon a year of ‘steady improvement’ and while United did not dish out any ‘major thrashings’, Joyce hailed his players for their recent 3-0 win over newly crowned South Midlands Football League Premier Division champions, Roystone Town,

“That was a nice one. Mainly because it goes down as us beating the champions.

“The two draws against Dunstable Town also stand out too because we more than matched them and were unlucky not to win both.”

With the squad now set to relax over the summer holidays, Joyce’s attentions now turn to pre-season and he has already marked out the key area that need strengthening.

“We could really do with an experienced player who has won a championship or played at conference level.

“Just so when we are stuck in one of those games when it’s 1-1 away from home on a Tuesday night, they can help us through.

“We haven’t quite got that at the minute.”

It was something Joyce cheekily implied the team had been missing since his semi-retirement from playing.

“We’ve got the experience in the dugout but not quite on the pitch.

“We could do with someone who can talk a good game and fits in at the spine of the team, like centre midfield or centre back.

“It’s something that all teams at this level definitely need and we are looking to get someone in for that.”

With only a month till pre-season, there is little time for Joyce to rest but the aim for next year is clear.

“I just want continued improvement. We are definitely heading in the right direction.”