Willen – 2
Buckingham United – 3
A classic cup final to end the campaign, despite the long season and late end due to adverse weather during the winter months, both sides put on an excellent show in this North Bucks & District Division One cup final, where United took the lead in the first half but were pegged back and behind just minutes before the break, before two goals in the second period saw them go on to lift the trophy. A warm evening welcomed both sides onto the lush green surface at Roade FC; a brace from Ryan Guinnane & a winner from Mitchell Young saw United lift the huge shield which dates back to the early 1930’s, and their first cup final victory in the short Buckingham United history.
Willen started lively and had the first attempts at goal through Lewis Smith who curled his effort into United custodian Harry White’s gloves, before a throw on their right was allowed to bounce by the blue & white defence which allowed Tom Milburn to get his head to the ball but again straight at the keeper. From the goal kick Ricky McAdam had the first chance for Buckingham, from the centre circle he spotted Willen keeper Alex Wheeler off his line but dragged his shot wide.
United started to get in the game & Willen defender Scott Barton twice thwarted promising moves, first heading a free kick away before the ball got to the sea of bodies in front of goal, & then battling with Ryan Howkins down the right wing; just as it seemed the pacy winger was away Barton slid in brilliantly to knock the ball away for a throw. Moments later a corner from McAdam was cleared back out to the leading scorer and he tried to curl into the far top corner but cleared the bar.
At the opposite end Willen missed the best chance of an opener when a White clearance came back of his own defender and set in Milburn, with the goal gaping he poked wide. They were made to pay for that miss on twenty-one minutes when United opened the scoring, as the ball was sent long down their right it eluded the header of the full back and Ryan Guinnane was away on goal, he gave the keeper the eyes to suggest he was going to square across the box but slotted low past Wheeler giving him no chance.
Ryan Guinnane opens scoring
Willen fought back when Jason Pinnock found some space inside the six-yard box but his shot was blocked and cleared, before a corner swung in from Harry Robertson found his captain Richard Clarke in the middle who had more time than he realised and unmarked he could only glance his header wide. Just before the half-hour mark Buckingham scored again when a flick on in midfield saw Lewis Parkin collect before firing home, but the celebrations were short lived by a raised flag.
A United counter attack saw Parkin away down the left beating the Willen offside trap, but his cross was too early and quick for any colleagues to threaten, then as the half wore down Buckingham were looking handily placed to go in at the break with their lead, however their opponents had other idea’s scoring twice in the last seven minutes. Their first a cross from the left saw White come out to gather but Nat Beecher got his foot to the ball first, and with White stranded the striker collected the loose ball to level.
The goal lifted Willen, within a minute Clarke Abrams tried his luck from distance but curled away from the target, and a cross from their right then saw Pinnock acrobatically scissor kick whilst in mid-air but cleared the bar. With two minutes left they took the lead when Reece Amoroso collected the ball out on the left wing and drove at goal, he evaded three challenges before drilling into the bottom corner. H/T: 2-1
A rash tackle right on the edge of the United box gave Willen a free kick inside the penalty arc just a minute into the second half, Smith thumped at goal where White did well to get both hands down low and gather. Straight up the other end Conna Sirett received a pass on the eighteen yard line where he turned but fired straight at Wheeler, then on fifty-two minutes the scores were levelled once again.
A goal kick was charged down by three Buckingham players on the half way line, the rebound fell perfectly for Guinnane to run half the pitch before cutting across Wheeler into the far bottom corner. A free kick then saw Guinnane curl around the Willen wall and Wheeler did well getting something on it to block, and Guinnane threatened again moments later cutting in from the left his shot ricocheting off a defender and for a moment threatened to roll into the net, but spun away for a corner.
Mitch Young hits winner
The winning goal came on sixty-nine minutes and angered the Willen defence and bench that it was given, despite the referee checking with his assistant before awarding the goal to stand. Guinnane was heading for goal and unselfishly squared to unmarked Mitchell Young who rounded the keeper to slot home, however the pass between the team mates looked suspiciously offside but the official insisted he wasn’t.
Willen tried to get back in the game, Pinnock firing from twenty yards out forcing White to tip over his own crossbar, when it looked destined for the top corner. A corner to Willen then almost saw Buckingham score again, as the corner was being arranged Guinnane stood alone out on the left wing, the corner cleared he had a clear run down the wing before passing onto Paul Nevin who had pushed forward from defence, however some tired legs saw a first time shot which still had Wheeler sticking out a boot to divert away.
Willen pushed hard late on, although United almost sealed it when Young fired across goal and narrowly wide, and in the last minute a break away from Buckingham saw Tom O’Connell get down the left and skip a couple of challenges before crossing in to McAdam who laid off to Young, he then played back to his team mate who off balance poked wide from six-yards out.
An additional six minutes were played in a frantic finale, Willen threw everything they had at the Buckingham goal, but the United defence stood strong. In the dying seconds a Willen cross was too deep but headed back across goal by Barton and in front of goal Euan Townsend glanced his header across goal and wide, when most inside the ground thought it was going in. F/T: 2-3
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