Archive for Aylesbury United Football Club

SLD1E; Aylesbury United pre-season + opener (v Kempston) review with manager Ben Williams

Saturday 18th August 2018

Aylesbury United v Kempston Rovers

Southern League Division One East

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United begin their Southern League Division One campaign on Saturday when they host Kempston Rovers, a side that took six points from The Ducks last season, so an early chance for United to try and reap some revenge. Just two defeats in the Aylesbury United pre-season schedule will lift the squad as they look to continue the fine form they ended last season in, after Ben Williams took on the managers role during the 2017/18 campaign.

This week we asked Ben how he feels his sides results have been in those friendlies:

We are not too worried about results in pre-season although they have been great against higher level opposition like Banbury United, Chesham United & Colchester United, but we have struggled against teams from our level and below, something we need to rectify going into the new season

How is the United squad shaping up this term?

I’m very pleased that all of last seasons end of year squad have re-signed, and with some new players coming in I am happy with what we have signed on; although our eyes are always open and our ears always to the ground!

Ben Williams

So who are the new boys?

New signings for us are Max Hercules from Tring Athletic, Sean Coles from Winslow United, Ollie Jones from Beaconsfield, then Kieron Lattille & Chris Crook who were both unattached. These are all significant as the add competition for places all over the team

We asked Ben if Aylesbury United can continue that run they ended last season on?

It will be very hard to continue that especially as we are going into a new league as such, we had a great run from January this year but that has gone now and we start a fresh on Saturday. Although it’s a long season we must start the first two months well, as momentum & confidence are key as shown in that run last season

Sean Coles has arrived from Winslow United

Who does the manager see as the main contenders this season for the top few places in the division?

On paper it looks a very tough league with lots of teams we don’t know about, teams that immediately stand out as being there or thereabouts are Kempston, AFC Dunstable, Cambridge City, Peterborough Sports & Bedford Town but there may well be others we don’t know about yet

Finally, we asked Ben on his thoughts for the opener this week against Kempston:

It’s a very tough fixture to start with, but then all these fixtures are. Kempston are historically strong with a settled squad, they are big and strong as are most teams at this level, so its something we need to start dealing with as our model of player is different to that. It will be interesting to see where we are at against one of the teams I see as being around the play-offs at least

Sports Shots would like to thank Ben for his time this week

Southern League fixtures announced

The Southern Football League announced the 2018/19 fixtures on Thursday, and for our three local clubs the wait is finally over as they discover their fixture list in their reshuffled leagues.

Banbury United:

Banbury start their season in a new division with a trip to Walsall to face Rushall Olympic who themselves were playing Northern League football until the FA restructuring, before their first home match brings Halesowen Town to the Community Stadium, another side playing Northern Premier football last season.

Sat 11th Aug Rushall Olympic v Banbury 3pm

Tue 14th Aug: Banbury v Halesowen Town 7.45pm

Sat 18th Aug: Banbury v Leiston 3pm

To view Banbury United fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link: http://www.evostikleaguesouthern.co.uk/match-info/fixtures/521363/2018-08

Aylesbury FC:

Aylesbury face a tricky start with a trip into the unknown as they travel to Warwickshire to face Coleshill Town who finished runners-up in the Midland League last season to earn promotion to the Southern League, before a home game against last years beaten play-off semi-finalists AFC Dunstable.

Sat 18th Aug: Coleshill Town v Aylesbury 3pm

Tue 21st Aug: Aylesbury v AFC Dunstable 7.45pm

Mon 27th Aug: Berkhamsted v Aylesbury 3pm

To view Aylesbury FC fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link: http://www.evostikleaguesouthern.co.uk/match-info/fixtures/521407/2018-08

Aylesbury United:

United open at home to Bedfordshire side Kempston Rovers who did the double over the Ducks last season, before a trip to Didcot Town who have been transferred over from the Southern League Division One West Division, and finished sixth last season.

Sat 18th Aug: Aylesbury United v Kempston Rovers 3pm

Tue 21st Aug: Didcot Town v Aylesbury United 7.45pm

Mon 27th Aug: Aylesbury United v Thame United 3pm

To view Aylesbury United fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link: http://www.evostikleaguesouthern.co.uk/match-info/fixtures/521408/2018-08

 

Saturday 25th August is FA Cup week-end, to revisit the fixtures follow this link: http://sportsshots.org.uk/?p=35901

Southern League Delay Div 1 KO

The Southern League have announced that the division one campaigns will be delayed for a week due to FA Cup fixture commitments.

Plans revealed this week explained the decision:

League Statement

Following information and discussions with the FA, it has been confirmed that at least 20 clubs at Step 4 will have to enter the FA Cup at the Extra Preliminary stage, which is being played on Saturday 11th August.

Therefore, the Southern League have taken the decision to delay the start of the Division One season until Saturday 18th August (Premier Divisions to commence on 11th August). By doing so this will have two advantages:

Those clubs drawn to play in the FA Cup will not have to postpone a Saturday fixture or potentially a midweek fixture if a replay occurs.

Provides an even playing field so that all clubs will be allocated the same number of Saturday and midweek fixtures at the start of the season and therefore no advantage can be implied

All fixtures are due to be released later this month.

SLD1E; Hartley Wintney 3-4 Aylesbury United

Hartley Wintney – 3

Aylesbury United – 4

Aylesbury United finished their season on a high after this superb win at play-off contenders Hartley Wintney and further boosted their credentials looking ahead to next season, proving they can compete with the higher placed sides in the division. The transformation in the club since Ben Williams took charge has been incredible, and with a couple of additions in the summer could be seriously challenging higher in the league come this time next year.

Hartley dominated the opening twenty minutes or so but were rocked when Sonny French opened the scoring ten minutes from the break. They pulled level on the stroke of half-time but an early second half strike from Aaron Berry restored the visitor’s lead, and from there The Ducks never looked back, even an equaliser fifteen minutes from the end didn’t interrupt their stride as two goals in the final ten minutes gave them the lead again, a late Hartley goal gave them hope but a couple of late saves from United keeper Jack Hopwood ensured that the points were safe.

An early attack from the home side saw Nick Hutchings cross from their left into Nic Ciardini in front of goal, he got his shot away and somehow Hopwood got something on the ball to divert for a corner. Ciardini did then get the ball in the back of the net seconds later however a raised flag denied the opener, before Paul Hodges collected the ball on the eighteen yard line & drove across field before firing low past Hopwood’s left hand post.

Josh Webb then got forward for the hosts, exploring space behind the Aylesbury defence he pulled back for Jack French who lifted over the top from close range. Aylesbury had their first chance when Jeanmal Prosper got away down the left and his cross found Sonny French running in from midfield, however he cleared the bar with some ease. A Berry cross then flashed across the Hartley box and at the back post French at full stretch could only help it away for a goal kick.

Jack Hopwood made crucial saves

A long punt upfield then saw Wintney almost in, as Hopwood came out Hodges lobbed the ball over the keeper and as the ball appeared to be heading home, Ducks skipper Jack Wood raced back to clear to safety. Hopwood then kept the scoreline intact when a cross from the right found Ciardini right in front of goal and he got his shot away first time from seven yards out but Hopwood again denied, getting something on the ball instinctively & again Wood was on hand to clear.

Hartley skipper Dean Stow then fired a free kick inches over the bar from twenty yards out, before Hodges drove his way through the United backline to fire low and force Hopwood into another good save down to his left. Hodges then latched onto a clearance twelve yards out but blazed high over the top, whilst at the opposite end a ball aimed for Prosper was blocked but sat nicely for Ben Seaton to take on first time but high over home keeper Paul Strudley and his crossbar.

Aylesbury then took the lead on thirty-seven minutes when Prosper picked out French on the edge of the eighteen yard box, he had time to compose before despatching right-footed into the bottom corner. The home side fought back and a free kick some twenty-five yards out saw Stow go for the top corner however Hopwood was comfortable to gather with both hands, then straight up the other end French was fed in behind and forced Strudley into a good block with his feet.

On the stroke of half-time the hosts levelled when a ball into the six-yard box saw Hopwood stranded, he made an initial block but the ball sat nicely for Jack French to smash home. There was still time for a Sonny French shot to take a huge deflection on its way towards goal, this wrong footed Strudley and he had to watch the ball roll slowly towards the open net but hit the base of the post and go out for a corner. H/T: 1-1

If the home side thought they would start the second half looking to go on and build on their equaliser, they were rocked just six minutes in when Berry attacked the right hand side of the box before firing across Strudley and into the bottom corner to regain his side the lead. Back came Hartley, Ciardini down their left flashed the ball across the box and just wide of the back post. Berry was again fed in through the home back line, as he waited for a flag the entire defence for Hartley called for offside but no flag came, Berry seemed surprised to be allowed to play on but wasted the golden opportunity by blasting over the top.

United continued to threaten, Berry feeding through to Prosper and only his poor touch allowing the ball to roll out for a goal kick, had he got it under he would have been clean through, Seaton then saw a shot heading goalwards until a defender threw himself at the ball in the six-yard box to block, whilst Wintney midfielder Steve Duff cut in from the right and forced Hopwood down to his right to two handed push away.

Aaron Berry celebrates second goal

Jack French then showed great technique when striking a cross from the right, having to reposition himself he managed to keep the shot low however the bounce saw the ball loop over everyone and the crossbar. The on seventy-six minutes the home side equalised for the second time in the game, Ciardini crossed from the right and Hopwood got down well to save, but his parry sat nicely for Hodges to run in and fire home.

Aylesbury refused to lie down, from the restart Prosper got down the right and drove across the box before curling effort twelve inches over the top, but with ten minutes left Aylesbury retook the lead for the third time. A long ball upfield saw Seaton attack the loose ball, as it bounced Strudley came out but the young striker got there first and headed over the keeper, it took an age for the ball to bounce and eventually roll in.

As Hartley pushed forward trying to level, Ciardini forced a superb save from Hopwood when it looked certain the front man would score, and from there United scored their fourth with just three minutes left when the long clearance set Berry away on goal, as Strudley came out Berry fired at goal and the ball deflected up off the keeper’s leg and up into the roof of the net, to spark wild celebrations among the crowd gathered behind the goal.

Aylesbury then won a corner, the ball splayed out to Callum Mapley who dragged his shot across goal and wide, and two minutes into added time Hartley grabbed a late consolation when a cross into the box saw a scramble when two shots were blocked & saved but Ciardini finally buried home to get his goal for the afternoon. There was still enough time left for another shot from the home side to be saved brilliantly at the foot of his near post by Hopwood, and the clearance was greeted by the final whistle, to end a thrilling game of football. F/T: 3-4

Attendance: 231

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk

After the game Sports Shots spoke to United boss Ben Williams: 

For full match day photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmh2ezPK

SLD1E; Ducks in final flight this term; both broody for next season

Saturday 28th April 2018

Hartley Wintney v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One East

Memorial Fields (RG27 8DL)

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United round off their season with a trip down to Hartley Wintney on Saturday, with their hosts already guaranteed their play-off place where they try to join AFC Rushden & Diamonds & Beaconsfield in gaining promotion to the next level. The Ducks have turned their season around since Ben Williams took over, the story has been much publicised over the past few weeks, and again Williams gets to see his side against high level opposition as he sizes up his squad for next season.

Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with relatively new signing Jack Hopwood who replaced regular keeper Jack Sillitoe when he got injured, & long serving midfielder Greg Williams, and asked Greg what game his team can expect with Hartley having play-off plans to contend with:

I’m expecting a difficult game if I’m honest, football is all about confidence & continuity, Hartley are on a good run so why would they change their approach to matches? Even their squad players will be looking to impress their gaffer to state their claim so any changes they make will still make a very good team. I feel they are one of the best footballing teams we have played this season

Jack looked back on the past few weeks since joining his new team mates:

It feels crazy that it’s already the end of the season on Saturday, it has gone so quickly. I’ve enjoyed every minute since signing on for Aylesbury United, it’s definitely been a step up in terms of standard & physicality, but I feel it’s one I needed to make and what better place than at Aylesbury United Football Club

We asked Jack how it felt to come in and fill the massive boots of Jack Sillitoe between the sticks:

First of all I was disappointed to hear of Jack’s injury, he’s a good friend of mine & also a very good keeper. But I also felt it was a great chance to make the next step up and show what I was capable of doing at this level

Jack Hopwood

Greg discussed the difference the new management has made since coming in:

What a great job the gaffer with Micky Hogg has done. They have installed a positive attitude into the squad with a high tempo pressing game, and allow us to play the quality football we are capable of. Training has changed to high intensity, and we’ve also been able to attract some quality players to the club which we hope will be with us for some time. We have a young side apart from Ollie Stanbridge & myself but would like to think we have a good balance across the team. The club really looks in good shape

How far does Greg think this side can go next season?

I don’t think we are too far at all from making the play-offs next season, if we can keep the majority of this squad with a couple of additions, get a good pre-season with Ben then we would not be a bad outside bet for those play-offs. We proved in the second half of this season that we are becoming a good side. If we can eradicate silly mistakes & actually believe in ourselves then we will not be too far away

Having played two sides nearer the top last week, how does Jack feel they did against Chalfont & Rushden & Diamonds?

I felt we deserved more from both games, the Rushden & Diamonds away game I thought we were the better side for the opening thirty-five minutes, then they scored two absolute worldies to go two up. They then went on to beat us four-one, but it wasn’t a fair reflection on how well we played. The home game to Chalfont was disappointing as we never really got going until the last twenty minutes, but we showed how good we can be when we are on the front foot

So how far does Jack think United can go next season?

You can see how far the team has come already in the short space of time Ben has been in charge, we’ve played some fantastic football and we hope to continue that into next season. I believe our target for next year should be the play-offs which I think is more than achievable, we just need to take our current form with us into the new season

We asked Greg for his highlights of 2017/18:

There have been a few for me this season. Another stint in goal at home when we played Rushden & Diamonds being one, but the two most valuable were scoring a nice little top corner goal against Egham at home, and celebrating the goal by dedicating it to my new baby boy at the time, and also this year’s FA Cup run and the third qualifying round match away at Folkestone where I was fortunate enough to make my four hundredth appearance for The Ducks on a day we were really unlucky not to get a replay. Our fans that day were unreal

Greg Williams celebrates Egham goal

Rounding up we asked both players what the summer holds for them, Jack first:

I absolutely hate summer breaks, I’d rather carry on playing right through but that’s just football I suppose. The summer for me holds just getting down the gym & making sure I am ready to go when pre-season kicks in

And for Greg:

I’m delighted to say I will not be retiring just yet, as long as I stay fit and I feel there is still a little more in the tank. So after the final game I will have three weeks off, then I’ll be back in the gym by the end of May. I shall work on my strength and conditioning so once pre-season commences at the end of June I will be ahead of the younger lads. This is the only way possible at the age I’m at, to succeed at this level of football. It was a programme I was given during my time at Oxford City, and has been a successful close season training programme for me

Sports Shots would like to thank both Greg & Jack for their time this week.

SLD1E; United manager hoping his jewels can shine at Rushden

Saturday 14th April 2018

AFC Rushden & Diamonds v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One East

Hayden Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United make the trip to Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday in what most would see as a routine top of the table versus mid table home win. However, the home side have not tasted victory since the 10th of March, with four consecutive draws going into this clash, and two defeats previously. On the other hand, Aylesbury United continue their great form under Ben Williams, 11 wins from their last 17 games with just 5 defeats, so this may not be the worst time to be going to Hayden Road. An ideal opportunity for the manager to see how far his side have come this year.

Ahead of the game, Sports Shots spoke with Ben and asked how his squad will prepare for the trip:

We are really looking forward to Saturday but will prepare the same as any other game. A sharp, crisp training session then try and play our normal game

We asked what problems he hopes his side can cause their hosts:

I hope we bring our usual energetic game, & I hope we give them a better game than the last time we met. I think our style of play is different now, and with a few new players we are looking forward to the test

United have won their last two games, against Hayes & Yeading & Thame United, and Ben looked back on both games:

Those two games have produced excellent wins & performances in different ways. We weren’t free flowing against Thame but still managed to score seven, and in truth it could have been a lot more. Against Hayes & Yeading we played some great football in the first half, followed by a real dogged & disciplined second half, and we thoroughly deserved the win, against a team with far greater financial resources than us, and are going for promotion. The players deserve great credit for both wins

Ben Williams

Is Ben looking forward to the end of the season, or wish it was a little longer?

We are looking forward to the break, as we are very keen to start the new season!

And finally, what does the summer hold for the manager?

We will be trying to get any player recruitment done early, our training schedule & games are already sorted. I’m then looking forward to taking my girls on holiday, we are visiting Orlando and they cannot wait, and neither can I!

Sports Shots would like to thank Ben for his time this week.

SLD1E; The Ducks are flying again!

Saturday 24th March 2018

Cambridge City v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One East

Westwood Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United travel to Cambridge City on Saturday looking to continue their impressive recent run of form which has seen The Ducks amass twenty-eight points out of a possible forty-two. Nine wins from fourteen has seen the club catapult from the relegation zone to now sit comfortably in fourteenth position and an incredible twenty points clear of second bottom Barton Rovers.

However, a stern test awaits as City are fighting for a play-off place, currently sitting one place outside but just three points away and have won five of their last seven league matches. They hammered United by six goals to one back at the beginning of December, the game that signalled the end of Glyn Creasers reign as manager; Ben Williams took over and the club haven’t looked back since.

This week the club announced they have agreed another season groundshare at Chesham United, so things are looking up for Aylesbury United, and this week Sports Shots caught up with the boss Ben Williams, and asked how the game was on Wednesday at home to Northwood:

The first half against Northwood was very poor, probably the worst from us since I took over. Saying that I was very impressed with a young & well organised Northwood team, but we managed to adjust and up our work rate after the break, and it was great to see Aaron Berry score his first goals for the club since joining, especially as he’s had a very stop start beginning here through injury

After defeat at Dunstable two-weeks ago, United have bounced back with two good wins:

We bounced back from a very poor second half at Dunstable, the first half of that game we matched them, but we fell away after the break. But we must learn from these games, and we got back to basics against Marlow and deserved that win

Ben Williams

So Cambridge away see’s a huge test for the team?

Yes, Saturday away at Cambridge will be very difficult for us as they are chasing promotion as were Dunstable, but we have proved recently that we can compete with all the teams in this league on our day, unfortunately the pitch is very poor at St Ives, so it’ll be interesting to see how our football goes

We asked Ben if the settled squad is helping to achieve the results:

A settled squad & settled formation certainly helps consistency, but more importantly the work rate and desire of those in the squad is a massive factor in our form of late

Finally, we asked Ben his thoughts on playing at Chesham again next season?

It’s great that we’ll be playing at Chesham again next season. It’s a proper old school non-league stadium, and the big playing area suits our style of play. Craig Ringsell does a fantastic job on the pitch which is also a huge bonus for us

Sports Shots would like to thank Ben for his time again this week.

SLD1E; Ducks looking to OD on success

Saturday 10th March 2018

AFC Dunstable v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One East

Creasey Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United travel to high flying AFC Dunstable on Saturday to face their toughest test of 2018 to date, as their hosts currently sit fourth in the Southern League Division One East table. However, their hosts have had a varied run of results since the turn of the year, with their results sequence reading: WDWLWLDW. With the Ducks having won their last three games confidence will be high and will be hoping to continue their recent fine form, which has seen seven wins from their last eleven outings.

Ahead of the game manager Ben Williams spoke to Sports Shots:

It’s been a long time since our last game, and just like everyone else we’ve struggled to get any training in what with the weather and available facilities. But we can’t let this interrupt our momentum, it will be a tough game against Dunstable who are going for promotion, as are a lot of our opponents in our run in to the end of the season, so we need to make sure we keep up our recent work rate and good football. Apart from the three with broken toes, I’m expecting everyone else to be fit, there is an outside chance that Aaron Berry will be back, but we will see how he gets through training on Thursday night

Sports Shots would like to thank Ben for his time this week.

SLD1E; Ducks down Egham in flying display

Aylesbury United – 4

Egham Town – 0

Aylesbury United convincingly beat Egham on Saturday by scoring four, but more importantly by keeping a clean sheet at home for the first time since mid-October. The revival under Ben Williams since he took the reins has yielded six of their ten league wins this season, and safely moved the club right away from the relegation worries from earlier in the season. It took the game twenty minutes to get going in all fairness, Egham were keenly contesting the game and a few early chances were thwarted by raised flags, but once the hosts scored the opening goal of the game, there was only ever going to be one outcome.

Before the game, chairman Graham Read presented Sonny French with an award for reaching one hundred league games for the home side, and for the opening fifteen minutes or so this was all the home faithful had to cheer, as both midfields cancelled each other out. A couple of balls knocked up to the Egham front line were halted by the assistant referee, whilst at the opposite end Town keeper Matthew Nolan was quick to gather anything in his area.

It took until the twentieth minute for the first shot at goal, when a throw out on the Aylesbury left saw French feed Jake Bewley who had made a run in behind a defender and was away on goal, reaching the six-yard box his shot was wildly over the crossbar. Three minutes later the hosts did open the scoring when a shot from Horacio Hirst came back off the post, but quickest to react Jeanmal Prosper running in tapped into the empty net.

Jeanmal Prosper (2) celebrates opening goal

Straight from the kick off the away side had a sniff when a shot from Dylan Randall forced United keeper Jack Hopwood into making a save, before Hirst was again involved a minute later when getting down the right channel, he fed in Harry Jones who went for goal and it took Nolan two attempts to gather the fierce drive. On twenty-seven minutes the hosts doubled their lead when an Ollie Hogg corner was met at the front of the box by Prosper, his header flashed across the six-yard box and stealing in at the back post skipper Jack Wood stroked home.

Just past the half hour mark saw an Egham attack break down high up the pitch, the ball was knocked long for Jones to chase down and bear down on goal, reaching the penalty area his low drive was brilliantly saved and turned away by Nolan. However, the clearance was poor by the visiting defence, and within a second Hirst was in again, this time forcing Nolan to block with his feet from close range.

On the stroke of half-time came the goal of the game. Callum Mapley fed Greg Williams on the corner of the Egham eighteen yard box, he advanced in field a couple of yard before curling a superb effort around Nolan and inside the back post, before celebrating in front of the home supporters with a tribute to his recently born son. H/T: 3-0

Greg Williams goal gave keeper no chance

Aylesbury were forced into a substitution at half-time when Hirst couldn’t continue and Aaron Couch was introduced to the fray, and he was soon in the action just three minutes in forcing a save from Nolan, albeit with a deflection off a defender. Moments later Seaton sent a great cross field pass out to Jones on the corner of the Town box, he twisted and turned before driving narrowly wide of Nolan’s left hand post.

Bewley then did well getting down the left and he fizzed the ball across the six-yard box, with a number of bodies in the box the ball somehow travelled all the way through, and with Couch at the back stick Town defender Joel Jacobs did well to get his boot in first and divert for a corner. Jones then sent a cross in from the right and inside the box Prosper went for the spectacular over the head bicycle kick which flew wide.

With ten minutes left The Ducks sealed a resounding win with their fourth, French fed in striker Ben Seaton whose first shot was saved by Nolan, but Seaton was well placed to collect the rebound and tap into the empty net. There was still time for young substitute Jamie Keen to combine well with Couch, and the latter fired a drive inches over the crossbar. F/T: 4-0

Attendance: 124

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk

After the game, Sports Shots caught up with Aylesbury boss Ben Williams: 

For full match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmb5W38s

 

SLD1E; Ducks looking to crack Eg-ham

Saturday 17th February 2018

Aylesbury United v Egham Town

Southern League Division One East

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United host Egham Town on Saturday looking to continue their impressive resurgence under manager Ben Williams, although are looking for their first home win since the first week-end in January. Two previous defeats were rectified last week with the single goal victory at Fleet Town when a Sonny French goal on the stroke of half time gave them all three points, and The Ducks will be looking to claim another three points against a side that haven’t tasted victory since two days before Christmas.

Egham have taken just one point from their last possible twenty-one, where Aylesbury having gained sixteen points from their last possible twenty-seven; a Ducks victory this week-end will see them leap-frog their opponents and put themselves within touching distance of some mid table security. A vital game for United!

This week Sports Shots looked ahead to the game with defender & Captain Jack Wood, and recent goal scoring midfielder Sonny French, asking Jack what Aylesbury should expect from their guests on Saturday:

Egham are always a difficult side to play against, they usually have fast & tricky players going forward, but they evidently leak goals so if we can attack them from the off and get in their faces, I’m confident we can do well

United skipper Jack Wood

We asked Sonny what the squad have done this week to prepare for the game:

Our preparation has been good, we’ve all been hitting the gym and in training this week we’ve been working on finishing as we missed a hatful of chances last Saturday, especially Aaron Couch!

Sonny looked at the importance of beating Egham on Saturday:

Yes they are above us at the moment, but we are capable of beating teams above us and it will be good to take three points off them and put the pressure on

We asked Jack what has changed at the club to bring the recent good run of results:

When a new manager takes the role he brings different ideas, and different players into the team, & the new players that have come into our squad have definitely added something different to make a huge difference

Sonny agreed:

Ben has set us targets each week, and has bought in some good signings to help us strengthen our defence, making us harder to beat which has really helped

Sonny looked at the players that have come in recently:

Our squad has definitely improved, Jeanmal & Calum at the back have made us a lot stronger in defence and the new strikers have given us more of an attacking threat, so our squad is now looking very strong and I’m optimistic about the rest of this season

Jack also commended the new arrivals:

The new faces have fitted in very well, in our training sessions it has been very competitive which has helped them to fit right in. We have a very good team spirit at The Ducks, so it’s been easy for them to settle in

How far does Jack think his side can climb the table?

It’s a tough question to answer as our league is very unpredictable, on their day any team is capable of beating anyone. I’m confident we can climb a few more places yet and finish somewhere around mid-table

Sonny French

Sonny rounded off looking at his recent run of goals:

I have been on a good run of form of late, Ben allows me to go out on Friday’s to calm my nerves so I can just play with freedom which helps me to get into the box and score goals!

Jack signed off with some self-critique:

It’s been a very up and down season for me, I’ve not played as well as I know I can or want to. I am my own worst critic and set myself high standards, but I’m hoping the end of the season is a promising one

Sports Shots would like to thank Jack & Sonny for their time this week.