After just two weeks with the club, striker Danny Burnell left Aylesbury FC to join Hungerford prior to the weekend’s 3-1 defeat at home to Kettering.
Burnell, Steve Bateman’s first signing as Moles boss, has reportedly joined Hungerford after they made him ‘an offer he could not refuse’.
It left the Moles thin on the ground for the visit of Kettering, though, as they were also without new signings Sean Sonner, Sam Sweeney, Adam Logie and Brad Wadkins due to prior arrangements which the management team were aware of.
Playing in front of their biggest crowd of the season of 253 – boosted by a strong Kettering support – were treated to an entertaining game and enjoyed some excellent “banter” as the FC Drummer Boys, debuting their new drum made themselves heard.
Kettering were quick out of the blocks and Thorpe had an early chance which he skied over but FC also showed some nice touches and an early move down the right saw Jamie Rudd’s cross cut out by the Kettering keeper.
James Weatherill was called into action soon after when a snap shot from Fuller had to be saved low down to his right, Ben Stevens, playing today as the holding midfielder, was involved in an incident with Kettering’s Akbuine in which Akbuine came off much worst and suffered a facial injury which eventually saw him substituted. On 24 minutes FC had their best opportunity when Gareth Price pulled a ball back from the byeline and found Jamie Rudd in the area but his first time shot cannoned off of the cross bar. At this point of the game FC were very much in the game with Price and Rudd always looking threatening although Weatherill was again called into action mid way through the half and had to make a double save at the feet of Newman
On 41 minutes the first of three defensive errors lead to the first goal as the ball was given away from an FC attack a quick break from Beckley found new signing Ogbonna who slotted home to make it 1-0. The lead though, only lasted 60 seconds as a low ball across the box from Aston Goss found Jamie Rudd sliding in and he put the ball into the roof of the net 1-1 and that was how the half finished.
The second half was a quieter affair and on 53 minutes Kettering took the lead Jepson’s left foot drive cannoned off the post only to fall to the head of the diving Ogbonna who put it into the back of the net. FC seemed to lose their shape a little after that and although chances came and went for both sides never looked like scoring the equaliser. The third defensive error occurred on 87 minutes when Connor Baker lost the ball on the edge of the box and Ogbonna turned and smashed a left footed shot which left Weatherill beaten at his near post.
A late free-kick from the always busy Gareth Price almost pulled a goal back- but the ball flashed over the bar and with it any hope of getting anything out of the game. It was a 10th defeat in 11 league games for the Moles and leaves Bateman still searching for his first win as boss.
FC remain 19th in the Calor Southern League Division One Central and it doesn’t get any easier as they travel to second-placed Rugby Town tomorrow (Tuesday) night.