Ducks boss: ‘We did it, but we did it the hard way’

Aylesbury United
Aylesbury United
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Aylesbury United boss Tony Joyce says the dressing room was a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ after the club secured runners-up spot and likely promotion in a dramatic final day on Saturday.

After a record-breaking unbeaten run of 27 games, Aylesbury United sealed runners-up spot and with it likely promotion on Saturday ... by losing.

The Ducks needed just a point in the last game of the season at Hertford Town to secure second place in the Spartan South Midlands Premier, regardless of what main rivals Oxhey Jets did at home to Hadley.

And things looked to be going to plan when top scorer Stacey Field gave them an early lead while Jets were losing 1-0 at half-time.

Things turned sour for Tony Joyce’s men, though, when Hertford burst into life and turned things around to deservedly win 3-1.

Distraught at the final whistle thinking they had wasted months of hard work, the United players trudged off the pitch desperately awaiting news from Oxhey’s game – the Twitter feed from which had not been updated since half-time.

Joyce said the dressing room was at rock bottom afterwards. That was until news filtered through that Wednesday night’s Premier Division Cup final opponents Hadley had held on and despair turned to jubilation.

“We didn’t do it the easy way did we?” said Joyce, who has done a brilliant job of turning the club around since arriving in 2009.

“We actually saved our worst performance for last.

“We knew we had to get a point so when Hertford came and spoiled the party the dressing room was not a nice place to be afterwards.

“But then news came through Oxhey had lost and ... let’s just say it was a good and long night on Saturday.”