Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 1
Carterton Ladies – 4
Buckingham Athletic Ladies were soundly beaten on Sunday although it did take two late strikes for the visitor’s to confirm their deserved victory, the hosts losing their first competitive game at Stratford Fields since they came together last season. Under clear blue skies with a cold breeze The Swans once again started the game having to heavily reshuffle the pack with regulars Kerry Stapleton, Gemma Ball & Dani Roberts watching from the touchlines all nursing recent injuries, going two down at home was new territory for Carmen Robinson’s team but pulling a goal back ahead of the break through Nicole Britten gave hope going into the second period, in all fairness Carterton had enough chances to have sown the game up long before the final five minutes but it took two gifts as the game petered out to a close until the Oxfordshire side could relax knowing their job was done & the points safely tucked in their kit bag.
The home side were the first to threaten through Jordan Heron who was released down the right flank and reaching the eighteen yard area she fired over the top, Rosie Hubbard playing at left back then sent her captain Evie Hawkins scampering off down that wing in acres of space and into the area where visiting keeper Amy Bourton came out but the Ath striker went round her challenge though the merest of touches was enough to slow the ball down allowing a defender to get back and hold Hawkins off until Bourton could collect. Despite their early defending the away side slowly grew into the game, and Katie Wadey tried her luck from the eighteen yard line but could only loop up into the gloves of host custodian Ellen Fenables, at the other end pressure from Heron on a defender in possession forced her to lose out and the Ath winger peeled off her shoulder to shoot but only straight at Bourton.
After soaking up their hosts early pressure Carterton opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark when a diagonal pass across the box found Gina Napier just to the left, she took a touch to control before rifling into the bottom corner, then just seven minutes later they doubled their advantage when a goal kick was headed back through the home backline for Wadey to chase after, rounding the advancing keeper she stroked home left footed from ten yards out. Wadey was played in again just sixty seconds after scoring but she hit it first time and could only screw wide, and at this stage it looked as though the away side were going to dominate however Athletic bounced back just before the half hour mark when a lucky deflection in the Carterton defence set Britten up to head for goal and knock past Bourton to half the deficit.
Hubbard took a free kick out on the flank which travelled through a sea of bodies in front of goal and at the last second Bourton had to stick out her left arm to stop it going straight in, the next away attack saw a ball over the top that looked set to offer Kerry O’Connor the chance to shoot from twelve yards until a superb sliding block came in from Hubbard that denied any chance of danger. A free kick to the visitor’s right on the eighteen yard line saw Napier drill straight at Fenables, before another corner saw some pinball inside the box and an eventual shot saw Sam Jolley having to clear off her own line, the half ending with Wadey drifting inside from the wing and flashing a low drive across goal and wide of the far upright. H/T: 1-2
After the break a third minute punt downfield for Carterton to chase saw Fenables come out to the edge of her area and catch before dropping then knocking to safety, the visitor’s screaming for an outside the area decision forcing the referee to consult with his assistant until finally awarding a corner, moments later they did get the ball in the back of the net again however a raised flag denied any celebration. The hosts won a free kick on the edge of the penalty arc and after some encouragement Jade Copas drilled over the crossbar, the next away attack saw Emma Wilcocks played in behind the blue backline to face a one-on-one with the home keeper, but Fenables made herself as big as possible and brilliantly stick out an arm to divert over the top for a corner.
Wadey was next to be released on goal but from eighteen yards she fired straight at the keeper, and the game seemed to be drifting quietly to a conclusion with neither side really looking like scoring again. Then with just three minutes remaining a harmless looking back pass from Lily Hamp to her keeper somehow crept under her boot and rolled into the empty net, a minute later they won another corner which saw a shot from Kirsten Rolls get a late touch from O’Connor as it flew up towards Fenables gloves, but she couldn’t hold on and escaped her grasp to bounce over the line. F/T: 1-4
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