Aylesbury FC once again proved their never-say-die attitude as they scored twice in the final ten minutes to rescue a point against Chalfont St Peter.
Sonny French, so often the Moles’ star man this season, claimed the plaudits as he tapped home from yards out with six minutes to spare.
It seemed an age since FC last played a game of football at the Infinity Investments Stadium and in truth it showed in this mid-table battle played out in challenging conditions, writes Jools Thomas.
Both teams had chances within the first couple of minutes. James Faulkner was tackled just as he was about to shoot and at the other end, the impressive Daryl Atkins whipped in a teasing cross which caused panic in the FC box.
As the game settled, it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous team. Again Atkins conjured up a telling ball which was cut out by Max Farrely, one of the few shining lights for FC on the night.
It was little surprise when Chalfont took the lead after 11 minutes. The right hand wing was a happy hunting ground for the Chalfont wingers with Michael Lewis curling an inviting ball into the danger area and Atkins bundling the ball home ahead of FC keeper Simeon Charles.
FC, through Brian Haule, tried to hit back, with the big striker seeing his shot parried by Michael Power Simpson.
More chances fell to Chalfont before they doubled their lead. Luke Abrahams was caught dawdling on the half way line, lost the ball and as if in slow motion, Daniel Hughes then took aim and fired in a low shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Y
ou would normally expect FC to hit back by this stage but they were in danger of falling even further behind. A slide rule pass saw Hughes just beaten to the ball by Charles with FC grateful to hear the half-time whistle.
It was agreed by the FC faithful that at least things could only get better in the second half but as Atkins’ shot just cleared the bar after he had robbed Ben Stevens, some wondered if it could get much worse.
The normally combative Sonny French was having none of his usual influence on the game although there was a flash reminder of what he was capable of, for example in the 55th minute, as his shot just cleared the Chalfont post.
Finally FC were starting to create chances thanks in no small part to the thoughtful work of Max Farrely at right back who was always looking to start attacking moves.
On 64 minutes a cross from the left saw Haule rise above everyone else but his shot also cleared the post.
Chalfont’s star man Atkins showed more of his skill a few minutes later and had his shot hit the net rather than going the wrong side of the post then that surely would have been game over.
What we have learned of manager Craig Falconbridge over the past few months is that he will not accept defeat lying down and it was with just nine minutes left that his side began its fight back into the game.
Abrahams delivered a wicked cross into the danger area and that man Atkins disastrously sliced the ball into his own net.
FC’s spirits rose and those in red and black jerseys piled forward in the hope of an equaliser.
And despite not having his usual impact it was that man French who popped up with the crucial goal.