Buckingham Athletic U18 – 1
Clanfield U18 – 2
Buckingham Athletic Under 18’s were brought back to earth with a bump after Sunday’s demolition of Risborough as they were beaten in their latest league game at Stratford Fields on Thursday evening by a strong Clanfield side who battled back from a third minute opener from their hosts. Equalising just before half time with a freak goal and then taking the lead from the penalty spot moments after the break was enough for the visitors who defended well and could have increased their lead had it not been for some terrific saves from Hayden Coombs, despite the home side huffing & puffing to try and draw level they simply couldn’t find a way past the resilient red back line.
Athletic took the lead in the third minute when Elton Anning got down the left wing before pulling back inside to Kyran O’Dell, he had plenty of time to pick his spot before despatching low beyond the reach of keeper Luke Haley. At the opposite end Jack Bellenger forced Coombs down at his near post to save a low drilled effort to save with both hands, whilst the next Buckingham attack broke down high up the pitch, the visiting backline seemed hesitant to clear allowing Anning to regain possession on the edge of the area but he dragged his shot wide of the target.
A Clanfield free kick on the halfway line was then floated wide out to Lawson Gadle who explored some space infield before curling around the far post, Anning intercepting their next attack and releasing Samy Aouati down the right, he centred where Nathan Bell-Toxtle got to the ball first but he could only sweep up into the waiting gloves of Haley. Just before the half hour mark a superb save from the Clanfield keeper kept the scoreline intact, an eighteen yard curling effort from Anning saw Haley fling out a hand to push away, the ball coming back off the upright with a defender on hand to clear.
Clanfield were having plenty of the play but frustration started to show when Jaden Mole received the ball some twenty-five yards out and with little other options ahead of him he blazed high into the dark skies behind the goal, but moments later he crossed from the right only to see Coombs again dive down low to save, with both hands on the ball Bellenger kicked the ball into the goal but the referee was quick to spot the infringement. Mole was now sensing some progress, another ball played up to him thirty yards out saw him drive forward before firing wide of Coombs’ right hand post, ahead of a good run down their left from full back Luke Archer but again he fired wide.
The turning point came with four minutes of the half remaining, Mole out on the right almost on the byline seemed happy to cross into the box and the initial reaction of the Athletic keeper suggested the ball had gone out of play, but as it looped over his head it bounced at the back post and somehow into the empty net. H/T: 1-1
Four minutes after the restart Clanfield scored what turned out to be their winner, Ben Weller progressed into the Buckingham box where a clumsy challenge saw the captain go down, the referee waited to see if any advantage would be gained before pointing to the spot, Mole doubling his tally for the evening from twelve yards. Athletic substitute Cassius Brookes almost made an immediate impact after coming on, after robbing possession in midfield he drove at goal and after slipping the ball through a defenders legs the roll took it just a little too far ahead, allowing Haley to race out from goal and beat him to it to make the clearance.
A free kick to the away side out on the wing was met by the head of centre half Ross McKenzie in front of goal but his glancing header flashed across the goal face and wide, and they should have scored again when their hosts conceded possession in midfield and an inch perfect pass fed Bellenger clean through on goal, Coombs made a great block turning past his post for a corner. Minutes later the keeper denied the same striker again with another fantastic one handed save, the shot from the edge of the penalty arc saw Coombs fling himself to push away from the target.
A cross from the visitors right made its way to Mole who, with back to goal, managed to turn and volley over his shoulder all in one move but he got under the ball to lift high over the top, the technique deserved more; ahead of his team mate Gino Castanga curling from the corner of the eighteen yard area straight into the keepers gloves, and in the dying moments another Clanfield substitute Luke Barton was sent down the middle in on goal but he hurriedly just toe poked straight to Coombs. F/T: 2-1
Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk