Familiar Ducks faces light up FA Cup

Familiar face, former Duck Gary Phillips
Familiar face, former Duck Gary Phillips

EAGLE-EYED Aylesbury United fans watching Stevenage battle to a hard-earned 0-0 draw against Premier League side Tottenham in the FA Cup on Sunday would have noticed three familiar faces.

Pulling the strings for the plucky underdogs was none other than former Ducks midfielder Gary Smith, pictured.

Smith, who played 48 games for Aylesbury United in the mid-90s, took over as Stevenage manager last month after a successful spell in charge of American side Colarado Rapids.

Sitting next to Smith in the dug out were none other than former Ducks player-manager Gary Phillips, now goalkeeping coach at Stevenage, and former United centre-back Mark Newton, currently Smith’s assistant.

Vice-chairman of Aylesbury United, Ken Turnbull, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was watching the game and I saw all three of them on the bench.

“It is such a coincidence. They must know each other from their days in pro football.

“What is even stranger is that Mark Jones, brother to current player Danny Jones, is part of the coaching staff at the academy there as well.”

The match, which was shown live on ITV, finished in a very respectable 0-0 draw.