Tuesday 1st January 2019
Aylesbury United v Aylesbury FC
Southern League Division One Central
New Year’s Day see’s the first of the seasons ‘El Quackico’ encounters at The Meadow as the Ducks welcome the Moles to Chesham, and a chance for either the hosts to pull further away from their guests in the Southern League Division One Central League table, or for the Haywood Way side to close the gap on their hosts to just two points. United drew on Saturday at Kempston Rovers to end a three game losing streak, whilst FC also drew at home to Coleshill Town which leaves them three games without a win, and with both sides having completed half of their league fixtures for the campaign they will both be looking to start 2019 with the win to at least have the bragging rights over their deadly rivals, until Easter at least when the return fixture awaits!
Last season both sides enjoyed a win apiece at the cost of their enemy’s hospitality, if Ben William’s team claim all three points it could push them into the top half of the table, whilst Paul Bonham’s squad would relish the victory as it could open a nice gap between themselves and the dreaded bottom two places. All to play for in more ways than one, can the Ducks blind the Moles, or will the Moles pluck the Ducks?
This week Sports Shots caught up with United keeper Archie Davis and Aylesbury FC defender Craig Carby, and we asked the shot stopper how he ended up joining the club:
I came in about a year ago when Ben (Williams) was looking for cover in goal when his then keeper got injured and I came in as back up to Jack (Hopwood), I then signed on again this year after a positive pre-season. The squad here are a great bunch of lads and they made settling in very easy
Craig has taken his move even more seriously:
I joined Aylesbury due to my long term friendship with the previous management team of Davis and Brian Haule who called me last summer, and after seeing the squad they’d assembled I decided to sign up. I’ve settled in really well, and the players & coaches have been great helping me to settle in. I feel really at home here, so much so that I’ve recently moved to the area!
How does Craig think his own season has been so far as well as his teams?
My season has been a little stop start so far, it didn’t help getting injured in the very first game of the season after working so hard to get fit during pre-season, and then with the management and player situation it’s been difficult to get properly settled in due to the amount of changes that have taken place so far during the campaign. However, the squad is finally starting to settle down and we’ve been able to name some strong squads the last few weeks which hopefully result in improved performances from the team. I believe I’ve done ok this season so far but there is still definitely room for improvement
Archie has enjoyed stepping up some levels since joining:
It’s been a big challenge this season as it’s my first full season at this level, it’s been a big step up from playing step six and seven football from last year, but it’s been enjoyable and I feel I’ve contributed well in the games I’ve played in, but would like to make more of a contribution on a more regular basis
How has Archie found the supporters at United this season?
They have been great this year, travelling in numbers to home & away matches, and making themselves heard. I tend not to listen to what’s being said on the side lines during a game because I like to concentrate on the game and nothing else, but I always read their thoughts of the game on Twitter after the game
Craig admits he does hear the crowd during play:
The supporters here have always been good to me even if results haven’t always been great, they’ve always supported the team and will continue to do so. You occasionally hear mumbles from the crowd but I try to block it out and anyway it’s never been too bad, just frustration really which is just what us players feel sometimes too
FC have two draws and a defeat in their last three outings, how has Craig found this run?
Much like our season so far to be honest, in our last five games we’ve struggled to build upon our encouraging performances. There have been a few reasons for this, but with the squad settling down now I am confident that our performances will start to get more consistent now, on a personal level again I feel I’ve done ok recently, but I’m more focused on the team performing well and if I can help contribute to that then I’ll be very happy
United haven’t won in four but did get that late draw on Saturday, how has Archie viewed that run?
The four game run has been challenging as three out of the four games were against sides that are competing at the top and around the play-offs, so it was always going to be difficult, but the games against Peterborough & Thame could have gone either way with the key moments going against us. The draw at the weekend showed a lot of character as we were two-one down going into the final ten minutes, and we were unlucky not to score with the last kick to win three-two. Personally the run for me has been positive coming back into the team and I feel like I’ve contributed to the games, just not getting the results we desire
So onto the first Derby of the season, how is Archie looking forward to it?
I’ve never played in or been involved in this derby but it is one I am very excited about as there is a lot of personal pride and local pride for the fans at stake, so it’s a must win game not just for the three points but for local pride also. It will be my first New Year’s Day game and I’m looking forward to it, it should be a good crowd and a game that both teams want to win
It is also Craig’s first ever derby:
Strangely enough this will be my first ever ‘El Quackico’ having been suspended for one and missing another through injury so I’m really looking forward to playing in this one. I’m expecting it to be fiercely contested and a close game, I’m not really nervous but am excited that I’ll get to experience this game and hopefully get the result that our club deserves. I’m used to playing on New Year’s Day now having done so throughout my non-league career so it’s not an issue for me, but can imagine it being so for some of our younger lads
Does Craig view victory as important as avoiding defeat?
The points are vitally important to us considering our current league position, and closing the gap on our local rivals is also important so defeat isn’t really something we’re thinking about, we’ll be doing our best to make sure that doesn’t happen. Every point now is important, none more so than against our rivals
We asked Archie how important the win or disappointing a defeat would be?
The three points is crucial for us coming off a good draw in the circumstances, which will mean nothing if we don’t win on Tuesday, so it’s a must win game for us to get back heading in the right direction and towards where we want to be
Are there any players in the FC Archie is wary of ahead of the fixture?
I don’t know many of their players but like all games this season it’s going to be a challenging game, knowing what is at stake and being the local derby that it is
How many of the United squad is Craig aware of?
I know a few of their squad as some of them were here last season, Kierran Lataille and the recently signed Anthony Ball & Ash Jenkins, brother of our skipper Jordan. I’ve also played with their striker Aaron Berry at Beaconsfield, but I’m not at all concerned about any of them as I believe that if we perform to our abilities then we’ll get the result
Rounding up, we asked Craig what the most important from the game will be for his side:
The derby is all about bragging rights, not only for our supporters but us as players too, so we’ll all be giving one hundred and ten percent to make sure it’s us that has them, and hopefully use it as a springboard for our season too. An Aylesbury FC win will be the perfect way to start the New Year
And does Archie have any friends at Aylesbury he’d like to beat?
I used to go to Sports College with Harry Scott so it’d be good to get the win against him, but the three points is the priority and that’s all we’ll be concentrating on
Sports Shots would like to thank both Craig & Archie for their time this week