Ducks Through In Cup Semi

| B&B Senior Cup
Att: 390
Aylesbury United
Honey o.g. (16), Grieves (33), Matthews (40), Crawshaw (65)
4 - 2
Slough Town
Marshall (8), Richardson (38)
David Rainford
Two Aylesbury goals late in the first half and another midway through the second dumped sorry Slough out of the cup and ultimately put an end to their season. Playing at a ground where they have never won and in a cup they have not lifted since 1981, the omens did not look good even before the match started.

However in the eighth minute a long ball from Dave Rainford over the Aylesbury defence saw the pacy Dwight Marshall race clear to give the visitors an advantage. Yet a cold and unforgiving wind swirled nastily to provide the home side with an equaliser eight minutes later when Danny Honey fumbled a Jermaine Matthews cross into his own net under pressure from Darren Grieves. With 33 minutes on the clock the home side scored again. Menacing play by man of the match Gary Crawshaw was not dealt with by a static Slough defence, leaving striker Grieves to steer the ball home from eight yards.

Striker Mark Hall came off with a hamstring injury in the 35th minute, but his replacement Marcus Richardson found the net three minutes later. Ex-Rebel defender Allan Pluckrose failed to deal with a free-kick which was prodded into the path of Richardson, who duly finished superbly after cutting outside his marker.

Two minutes later and a mixture of poor defending and the wind conspired to gift Aylesbury the lead following an aerial ball that wasn't cleared by the Slough rearguard. Matthews latched onto a 'Grieves header and promptly fired past a stranded Honey. A few harsh words in the dressing room, and the substitution of Leon Townley for Aaron Patton saw both defences in control after the break, with Slough looking the most likely to score.

Richardson, Rainford and Marshall all missed good chances before Aylesbury's Scott Honeywell headed over the bar from six yards. In the 65th minute the game was virtually killed off when Crawshaw converted an Ollie Stanbridge cross which both Slough's stationary centre-backs seemed intent on leaving for the other.

With 20 minutes remaining Steve Browne brought himself on for Paul Barrowcliff and almost got onto. the scoresheet. A corner was passed low behind the Ducks defence but the coach's shot lacked power and was easily saved. The remaining minutes saw the Aylesbury players, possibly suffering from nerves, conceding a number of free-kicks.

But none were converted, leaving Aylesbury the chance to dream of winning a cup they last won in 1996 against either Wycombe or Reading, and Slough the chance to reflect on what has happened to their season.

Aylesbury United Line up

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