If Craig Faulconbridge’s new year’s resolution was to play more football matches then his FC side got off to a great start by playing their first game since December 8 when they beat Leighton 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller on Tuesday.
Faulconbridge has been highly critical of the league set up and has repeatedly urged governing bodies to play more games at the beginning of the season when the weather is dry.
They returned to the field of play and winning ways, though, when they got 2013 off to the best possible start. It also made it back to back wins for the Moles, albeit almost a month apart.
Although some cynics will say this match was more about poor defending than skilful finishing, there was little doubt it was a hugely entertaining game you could not take your eyes off for even a few minutes, writes Jools Thomas.
FC were 3-2 down at the break and with both teams down to 10 men, Aylesbury, led by the inspirational Sonny French, defeated their local rivals in a display which showcased FC’s heart, spirit and determination to succeed.
The game was only a few minutes old when the home team took the lead, Town’s Ben Gallant taking the ball and sliding it past FC number one Simeon Charles into an empty net. Whilst FC looked in constant danger when in defence, they were still creating chances and it was from one of these incursions that a penalty was awarded after an infringement involving Sonny French was seen. Leon Osei hit the spot kick hard but at a good height for Leighton keeper Sam Mazurek who saved well.
This however was the prelude to an almost unbelievable few minutes of play. Firstly Sonny French was put through and, after waiting an age for the ball to drop, slotted the ball home for the equaliser. It’s said teams are at their most vulnerable just after scoring and here this statement was proved true. Leighton’s Neil Roberts stabbed the ball home after a sweeping left midfield cross straight from the restart. Still the drama did not subside. After Leon Osei had seen his free kick well saved, the resultant corner saw the same man poke the ball goalwards with the keeper allowing the ball to squirm out of his grasp for 2-2. Still the 1st half scoring had not finished. Home defender Mark Burfoot found space on the outside of the FC box and neatly chipped Simeon Charles for 3-2. Just as things couldn’t become more intriguing, a seemingly innocuous incident on the half line saw Leon Osei and Leighton’s captain Jack Copson square up to each other in a needless fracas. The referee really had little option but to send both men off leaving supporters to only guess what the second 45 minutes might bring.
Boss Faulconbridge changed things defensively for the second half, moving Lamar Simpson into central defence, and replacing Jamie Connor with George Tomlin. The reduction to 10 men certainly favoured FC compared to their hosts and FC’s goal, which seemed vulnerable to most Leighton attacks in the first half, coped much more admirably under this new formation. After a concerted spell of pressure, French found himself through on goal, and after digging the ball out from under his feet, shot low to put FC on level terms. Matarr Touray put a decent effort over the bar and Leighton cleared another ball off the line before FC deservedly took the lead with 11 minutes to go. The Sonny French Show continued as he crashed an effort against the bar allowing teammate Brian Haule to stab home the rebound for his 12th goal of the season much to the delight of his team mates and Assistant Manager Keith Walker who celebrated “Mancini” style on the Leighton turf. FC still weren’t content and after several gilt edged chances, Brian Haule was able to make the game safe slotting the ball home past a confused Leighton defence with just a couple of minutes left to play therefore wrapping up a great victory for the team and their supporters.