New FC boss nets landmark win with pre-seaon triumph over Maidenhead

New Aylesbury FC manager Craig Faulconbridge
New Aylesbury FC manager Craig Faulconbridge

New Aylesbury FC boss Craig Faulconbridge enjoyed his first win since taking charge of the club as his side beat Maidenhead 2-0, writes Jools Thomas.

Aylesbury had a much more recognisable starting line up to the side that had tasted defeat in the first friendly of the season against Chinnor on Thursday.

Several of last term’s side including Ryan Blake, Supporters’ Player of the Year Lee Grace and first choice keeper Rhys Marshall were on show at the Affinity Investments Stadium against their Conference South opponents.

Eight minutes in and the visitors showed their attacking intentions with the ball pinging around the FC box before being cleared to safety before a firm shot on target could be made.

Three minutes later and FC captain Ben Stevens fired a free kick which was charged down by the wall. The attacking play went then down to the opposite end of the field when a short FC backpass left the keeper and Maidenhead attacker in a race for the ball, the ball eventually going away to safety.

The first goal for FC came via a Brian Haule header on 17 minutes. A well placed cross found the target man lurking by the penalty spot and his header was powerful enough to beat the United keeper despite the No 1 getting fingertips to the ball.

FC Had the chance to extend the lead on half time when Wayne O’Sullivan, making his debut, rose to meet a cross however he was falling backwards as he did so and his header sailed harmlessly over the bar.

On 50 minutes a Maidenhead attack saw more positive work on the flanks with a useful cross being headed just over the bar.

Another mazy run from an away attacker almost paid dividends but for a last ditch FC tackle which meant the ball was blocked. On 61 minutes it was FC’s turn to attack with Ryan Blake hitting the ball just wide from a tight angle with the keeper beaten.

FC doubled their lead soon after. A positive run in the 74th minute from new boy Geoff Mitchell on the left resulted in a low drive which beat the keeper at his near post. On 80 minutes Maidenhead almost pulled a goal back. The striker took the ball around Rhys Marshall but with the keeper beaten, he slammed the ball onto the post.

As the game drew to a close, Maidenhead mounted another strong attack. A Maidenhead striker hit the ball past Rhys but Lee Grace was waiting on the line to block a powerful shot. From the resulting corner Maidenhead again hit the woodwork and this proved to be the last action of a very good game.