Aylesbury FC have brought in a new manager and seven new players but suffered an all too familiar fate when they lost 3-0 at home to Uxbridge at the weekend – their eighth consecutive defeat.
While it will clearly take time for Steve Bateman and his raft of new signings to settle in, any hope of a honeymoon period or instant turnaround have thus far hit the buffers with back-to-back losses.
Saturday’s match against Uxbridge was Bateman’s first “proper” match as manager after taking the team for training last week.
But he got off to a losing start, even if the scoreline flattered the visitors.
FC took to the field with a new look and gave debuts to several men as new boss Steve Bateman attempted to put his seal on to the side. Whilst FC never really threatened the visitors, a 3-0 scoreline was a little harsh as second half goals in rapid succession gave Uxbridge all three points, writes Jools Thomas.
It was new keeper James Weatherall who looked the pick of the new signings. He was only in the team after another new signing James Warrington was injured in the warm up. Weatherall was called in to action within the first five minutes as he tipped a cross shot over for a corner. Another debutant, Sam Batemen gave away a free kick soon after and Uxbridge’s Craig Tomkins cracked the kick just over the bar. Shortly afterwards Max Hubbard found himself in space but the excellent Tom Cutts blocked his shot.
FC had their first chance when Sonny French hit a shot from the left which was was then picked up by Jamie Rudd who fired it back across goal however neither shot could find its target. Uxbridge continued to press and on 21 minutes a quality cross was met by Mark Dennison whose bullet header cannoned off the FC bar. In reply Gareth Price fed captain for the day Adam Logie at the far post but Adam failed to connect. Uxbridge continued to provide more punch in their attacks and Chris Drake, attacking through the centre, hit a goal bound shot but again Tom Cutts came to FC’s rescues as he blocked the shot right on the goalline.
Craig Tomkins was the next Uxbridge man to try his luck and after feeding partner Hubbard, new keeper Weatherall was forced into a brave save at the striker’s feet. On the half hour, Steve Perkins for FC attempted an audacious overhead kick but the ball whistled harmlessly past the post. Adam Logie had FC’s best chance of the first half on 35 minutes. He used his strength to break into the opposition box and despite pressure he managed to get in a decent strike in which the keeper managed to palm away.
The second half started brightly for Uxbridge with Hubbard and Tomkins and later Drake and Danny Julienne combining well to create decent chances. Gareth Price, in a more usual wing role, tried throughout the game to feed the strikers and on 54 minutes put in a quality cross but no one was there to read it and the chance went. A couple of minutes later Danny Burnell hit a goal bound shot before a golden chance for FC to take the lead occurred. Jamie Rudd fed Burnell whose powerful strike just cleared the post.
The introduction of Ola Kukoyi for Uxbridge saw the visitors step up a gear and this was effectively the end for FC as an attacking force. Kukoyi soon forced Weatherall into a spectacular save from a full bodied strike soon after coming on and then Weatherall performed an amazing double save first parrying a goal bound strike and then saving the follow up with his legs.
Kukoyi again made Weatherall earn his first money for FC a few minutes later but a goal was inevitable and it arrived on 77 minutes. A right sided free kick was conceded and from the resultant kick the ball was hard and low past Weatherall for 1-0 with Tomkins claiming the goal. The one goal lead became a two goal lead six minutes later. A lofted cross found Uxbridge captain Wayne Carter. Carter may not have the classic look of a footballer but he rose like a salmon at the far post to head home the ball. To add further injury to FC’s battered pride, a third was conceded from the penalty spot on 85 minutes with Tomkins claimed his second of the afternoon.
Boss Bateman will have seen this afternoon as a valuable lesson and whilst it was another three points lost, it has given him further chance to see what the existing FC men can do as well as introducing his own men to the Moles set up.
FC are 19th in the Calor Southern League Division One Central but have the chance to bounce back straight away when they travel to Potters Bar Town (16th) tonight (Monday).