Buckingham Athletic U18 have been drawn to travel to Windsor in the next round of the FA Youth Cup after defeating Flackwell Heath last night.
Buckingham Athletic 3 Flackwell Heath 1
Competitive football is all about fixtures such as these. Two talented young sides, going head to head in a tactical survival of the fittest. The game itself was always going to be difficult and so it proved on the night. Flackwell Heath FC u18’s came into the game with a great reputation and many would have made them favourites. They approached the game with confidence and professionalism throughout and would prove a tough test for anyone.
The game started slowly for the ‘Ath’ as they looked nervous under pressure, Flackwell dominating possession in the early stages and pinning the Buckingham side in their own half, with only one player as an outlet to relieve pressure for the home side.
Flackwell failed to make the most of this though, not registering many shots and failing to break a resilient ‘Ath’ back line.
It was the turn of Buckingham then, to start threatening and they made it count, completely against the run of play, with a wonderful left footed, whipped free-kick from Rory Busby, who expertly placed the ball in the corner of the net, out of the reach of the goalkeeper, 1-0.
The game continued in the same vein, although Buckingham’s confidence was growing, as the defence eased forward in attempt to close the gap.
Soon after Buckingham were winning more set pieces; in this instance a corner from the right hand side, whipped into the front post by Rory Busby, which was met by Geraint Minney and turned into the net via the goalkeepers hands (plenty of debate on who got the final touch for the goal however), 2-0. The half ended with a late Flackwell push for a goal, but despite their endeavour, the score remained 2-0 at half time.
The second half was tense throughout, Buckingham happy to continue with a well organised back four and man marking of the Flackwell influential players. Flackwell reverting to a more direct style of football in order to try and utilise their pace and need for a goal. Buckingham struggled for long periods to get out of their half but very rarely looked threatened. Flackwell did manage to create a few chances, which to the most part were dealt with comfortably by Larry Mills in the ‘Ath’ goal.
After some tactical changes midway through the half, Ethan McKop was able to draw a foul in the right hand corner with some neat footwork. Tom McElroy stepped up and hit a self-proclaimed Roberto Carlos-like strike with some venom, to take it beyond the goalkeeper and make it 3-0. This meant that Flackwell had to up the anti and they obliged, continuing to apply pressure to the rearguard of Buckingham. The ‘Ath’ defended brilliantly and as a unit throughout, taking as much time out of the game whenever possible.
Flackwell did however, manage to get themselves a goal back with around 4 minutes of added time to play, a nicely taken strike as the player rolled the defender and found his spot beyond a helpless Larry Mills in the ‘Ath’ goal. The game did however, finish at 3-1 and no one can take away the victory from
Buckingham who earned their stripes on the night with a different style of football to what everyone is used to, but effective in their application of tactics and mindset nonetheless.
A special mention to Caleb Adegbola, MOTM and Geraint Minney who performed their man marking roles to perfection once again, fantastic to watch and to have as a tactical asset in the team!
Thank you to everyone who came in support of both teams, we hope you enjoyed the game and look forward to seeing more of you in the future!
Buckingham Athletic FC u18’s Squad:
Finley Pardoe (Sub – Harvey Thorne)
Rory Busby (Sub – Ethan McKop)
Haroon Meriai (Sub – Thomas Baldwin)