Moles dig themselves out of a hole with fine win

Gareth Price had an eventful game with a goal, assist and penalty miss as did Jerome Federico (inset)
Gareth Price had an eventful game with a goal, assist and penalty miss as did Jerome Federico (inset)

Aylesbury FC manager Craig Faulconbridge was as good as his word after the Moles delivered on his promise of a win over Leighton Town on Tuesday night as they triumphed 3-0.

FC and Leighton arrived at Haywood Way for what was a crucial match for FC, coming off the back of three straight defeats, two of which were 4-0 and 5-1 hammerings.

FC’s performances had forced Faulconbridge to apologise to the club and its fans and in the build-up to the Leighton game. The boss insisted he was the right man to turn things around and weed out what he described as a culture of ‘greed and selfishness’ among some players.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s match against Aylesbury United’s landlords, Faulconbridge said: “I am the right person for this position and will prove it starting with a positive performance against Leighton.

“Personally, I can’t wait for Tuesday, as it gives me a chance to show the supporters and everyone associated with the club we don’t take things laying down and am able to make the right changes for the good of the team moving forward.

“We must win the game and we will produce a better performance.”

The former Premier League striker added that a number of players would be shown the door and changes would be made on and off the pitch.

Whether it was the manager’s stern pre-match words or the penny finally dropping, something worked as FC came flying out of the traps and could have won even more comfortably at Haywood Way.

The Moles took the lead after a long put up-field by Rhys Marshall somewhat fortuitously found its way to Gareth Price. His quick timed header deceived Town’s Matt Griggs who found himself in no man’s land watching the ball loop over him into an empty net, reports Jools Thomas.

On 10 minutes Town almost grabbed an an equaliser. Shane Bush got in a decent header but it cleared the post. Jerome Federico went up the other end. A terrific save by the keeper was all that prevented FC extending their lead. Again the action returned down the other end as Town came more into the action. Bush again snapped at a chance but it instead cleared the bar. On 29 minutes a smart Jack Thomson effort looked to be creeping under the bar until the keeper neatly flicked it over the bar.

Yet another Shane Bush chance went begging for the visitors on 39 minutes and then Sean Bishop made a good run at Rhys Marshall as Leighton finished the half strongly.

The second half was only a few minutes old when Price’s right wing shot just cleared the post. Soon after the same man linked up with Federico and after good wing play, the ball found its way to Ollie Hogg who crashed the ball home for 2-0 with the Leighton defence in disarray.

Craig Maisiri for the visitors attempted to reply soon afterwards with a snapshot which just cleared the post. Aiden Denton had yet another chance for Town which again went begging. FC were then awarded a penalty midway through the second half after a foul in the box. Gareth Price may have had a rush of blood to the head as he smacked the ball over the bar. It was not one of Gareth’s finer FC moments but then amazingly another penalty was awarded on 75 minutes when Federico was this time fouled in the box. Jerome took the spot kick but again it was missed, this time the kick was low but the keeper managed to turn it onto a post.

It wasn’t the disaster it could have been, though, as eight minutes from time a delightful free-kick was met by FC’s Mr Consistent Ben Stevens, who leapt like a salmon to power home a header for goal number three.

Chances for Sonny French and Federico, who didn’t stop running all evening, could have increased the score further and as the team and management marched back to the dressing room with deserved applause from supporters ringing in their ears, they could be well satisfied with a deserved three points.

FC, who are 19th in the Calor Southern League Division One Central, are away at 13th placed Northwood on Saturday (3pm).