Archive for Buckingham Athletic Ladies FC

Buckingham Athletic Ladies looking for players & coach

Buckingham Athletic Ladies are looking for new players & a coach ahead of the 2018/19 season.

A hugely successful season this term saw them crowned champions of the Thames Valley Counties League Division Two North, and also runners up in the Berks & Bucks County Cup.

Ahead of the new season, manager Carmen Robinson is looking for anyone interested in joining the playing squad to get in touch. A new chapter will begin in Division One to which a high standard of football is guaranteed.

Also a coach to come on board and help with the running of the team.

Anyone interested should either contact Carmen on 07850 649440, or the club on

TVCWFL; Buckingham Athletic Ladies 4-2 Haddenham Ladies

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 4

Haddenham Ladies – 2

Buckingham Athletic Ladies completed their league campaign on Sunday with a win over Haddenham, and finish unbeaten in their inaugural season, claiming the invincibles tag very rarely achieved in football at any level. To win fourteen of their sixteen league games is a fantastic return for Carmen Robinson’s squad, but to concede just nine league goals in the process is testament to the backline this team boasts, and to score an overage of over four and a half goals a game reveals the attacking threat the midfield pose when going forward, and in Evie Hawkins up front have the pace & finishing prowess to worry any defence, ending her season with thirty-three goals in nineteen appearances.

On a baking hot afternoon, the visitors took the lead inside three minutes when a cross from their left found Emily Holmes unmarked in the middle and she had time to control before burying into the bottom corner. It took the home side a couple of minutes before getting into their stride, Jade Copas exploring down the right channel before lifting over the bar from outside the area. Jordan Heron got down the right and slung a cross into towards Hawkins but Haddenham keeper Kirsty Kay rushed out to gather before the Athletic striker got to it, then on twelve minutes the home side were awarded a penalty.

Home captain Kerry Stapleton had a shot cannon off a defender and roll away towards the byline, Hawkins went to retrieve closely followed by Kay and as they both got to the ball Kay seemed to barge into her opponent and the referee had no hesitation in blowing his whistle. Hawkins took the penalty but watched as Kay dived away to her right to save. Buckingham continued to press, Copas feeding Heron who beat her marker but lifted over the top, & Hawkins had another ball fed through for her to chase down but her first touch took the ball through to the keeper.

So many times this season has Evie Hawkins been slipped a ball in behind an opposing defence for her to chase down, accelerate away from any defender and slot home, and on twenty minutes this tried & tested routine worked again for the hosts to equalise, the inch perfect pass saw her travel into the box and lift into the roof of the net from twelve yards.

Evie Hawkins levels

Just before the half-hour mark a free kick sent down the right to Heron saw her square across the six-yard box and in front of goal Hawkins lifted over, before the next Heron cross found Kayleigh Harwood who went for goal over her shoulder, Kay almost caught out when she allowed the shot to bounce and with the rock hard surface the ball almost looped over her & she had to jump to gather.

Stapleton then seized on a loose ball twenty-five yards out and drove at goal, skipping a couple of challenges she then blazed over the top, before a corner to the home side was cleared out to Heron who curled the ball back into the waiting gloves of Kay. Heron was now enjoying herself down the right wing, and another perfect cross into the six-yard box found Hawkins running in but off balance she could only help the ball wide, and on the stroke of half-time a free kick saw centre-half Emma Marshall step forward and pull across goal and wide of the back post. H/T: 1-1

Six minutes after the break Copas forced Kay away to her right to push her shot away for a corner, and from the corner Athletic took the lead when Stapleton met the cross and got enough on the ball to force home. However, the celebration was cut short as the skipper landed awkwardly and had to be helped from the field of play, and take no further part in the game.

A Haddenham corner was cleared long upfield by Lauren Baker-Hawse for Heron to explore down the right, her cross into Hawkins bounced up waist height and without much of a connection Kay was able to gather. A long ball down the left channel then saw Hawkins away again, Kay came rushing out but missed both ball and opponent & ended stranded out from goal, Hawkins crossed into Sam Jolley who couldn’t quite connect and the danger was gone.

Jordan Heron scores

Dani Roberts then halted an attack by the visitors in the Athletic half, she sent Heron away who cut in getting away from her marker and from the corner of the box went hard and low to the near post where Kay did well getting down with both hands to block. Buckingham thought they had then sewn the game up when Hawkins bagged her second on seventy-three minutes.

Again a ball down field for her to simply chase after, and from inside the box she despatched into the bottom corner. But Haddenham fought back within ninety seconds when Katie Riordan fired into the bottom corner from distance, and again Buckingham were not allowed to relax. From the kick off Heron got away down the right, from the byline she went for goal forcing Kay down to her near post to save again.

Then with six minutes left Heron finally got the goal she deserved, played in to the right of goal, she had a defender catch her up and challenge however she simply forced her way through and slotted home from eight yards out. Marshall then fed Heron in again and from the edge of the box her drive brushed the side netting as it flew wide.

Chelsea Markwell then denied Riordan a second with a defensive block inside the six-yard box, and in the final minute at the opposite end, Jolley tried an overhead kick with her back to goal, the ball cleared everyone and bounced two yards wide of the unguarded goal. F/T: 4-2

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After the match Sports Shots caught up with Dani Roberts & katie Hassell: 

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TVCWFL; Buckingham Athletic Ladies clinch title in style

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 5

Aylesbury United Ladies – 1

Buckingham Athletic Ladies clinched the Thames Valley Counties Women’s League Division Two North title with a routine win over Aylesbury United Ladies on Sunday, and now face one further game in two weeks’ time where avoiding defeat would claim the ‘invincibles’ tag by finishing the season without losing any of their sixteen league games. An emotional Carmen Robinson spoke afterwards of her pride for her squad, and how a county cup final appearance along with a league title in their first season at the club had been beyond the manager’s wildest dreams.

Aylesbury made their hosts work for the win, and it took until late in the first half for a second Athletic goal to put them well on their way, however a United goal back before the break gave them brief hope. Two quick fire goals after the break then put the home side in command, and the final whistle sounded to spark wild celebrations at Stratford Fields.

From the kick off Evie Hawkins was fed in behind the Aylesbury defence, using her pace as so many times this season she shrugged her marker off with ease but going away from goal and off balance she could only fire wide. A similar scenario on ten minutes saw the opening goal, again Hawkins away on goal with no one able to keep up, from twelve yards she easily slotted past Aylesbury keeper Alice Hall.

Evie Hawkins celebrates opener

Within sixty seconds the Athletic leading scorer had another chance, she initially stumbled over a challenge from a defender but managed to recover and get her foot to the ball stabbing it goalwards, but it rolled agonisingly wide of the back post. An attack down the right channel then saw Hawkins fire over when Rachel Thorpe was unmarked in the middle, and after a drinks break in the warm afternoon sunshine Hawkins again explored the right wing, cutting in she fired across goal and wide of the back post.

Kerry Stapleton then attacked down the left, taking on her marker she dragged the ball back before curling towards the top corner but inches over the top. A minute later Stapleton burst through midfield to head for goal, skipping over a number of attempted blocks she was always off balance as she fired past Hall’s right hand post. Thorpe then tried down the left channel, with the goal at her mercy she unselfishly crossed to Hawkins whose shot came off a defender and almost went in but for some quick reactions from Hall.

Christina Lee then got down the right wing, her attempted cross sailed over Hall’s head and grazed the crossbar before being eventually cleared. Then with eleven minutes to the break the home side finally doubled their lead, a huge misunderstanding in the Aylesbury defence allowed Kayleigh Harwood the opportunity to feed Charlie Waugh in front of goal, as Hall advanced Waugh simply fired between the keepers legs into the empty net from six yards out.

Woodwork denies again

Thorpe almost made it three before the break, she was in behind the defence and had time to wait for the ball to sit up nicely, she went for the lob over the advancing keeper but the ball bounced down off the crossbar and in play and Hall racing back managed to gather. Two minutes before the interval the visitor’s got themselves a goal, only the seventh the champions have conceded this season, a speculative shot from distance from Sara Madden-Connor eluding stand in keeper Lauren Baker-Hawes.

On the stroke of half-time a shot from Thorpe deflected off a defender and looped up in the air, Hall allowing the ball to bounce then lost all track of its movement and on it in a flash Sam Jolley toe poked the ball inches wide. H/T: 2-1

Eight minutes after the restart Buckingham restored their two-goal lead when Waugh grabbed her second of the afternoon, some great work from Stapleton saw the ball land perfectly for Waugh to run onto and fire low past Hall. Three minutes later the game was done and dusted with a fourth Athletic goal. Harwood burst forward to rob possession from the Aylesbury defence, she had Hawkins with her all the way but the midfielder fired across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Emma Marshall then stepped up from her defensive duties to start splaying some fantastic passes across the pitch, one such diagonal crossfield pass saw Dani Roberts flick a header on into the path of Hawkins, who scooped over from the edge of the box. Hawkins & Harwood then played a good one-two on the eighteen yard line, the former escaping the attention of her marker with the return ball, and her low drive flew a yard wide of Hall’s left hand post.

Charlie Waugh scores her second

Jade Copas then beat the offside trap to exploit the ring wing, her low drive comfortable for the United keeper to gather at her near post, before Hawkins was sent down the left shoulder to shoulder with Aylesbury defender Sarah Gerrard, a good tussle ensued into the area before Hawkins drove wide. A loose ball was then seized upon by Roberts who thumped at goal but narrowly wide of the target.

Aylesbury struggled to clear their lines on the next Athletic attack and Hawkins gained possession at the back of the United penalty area, she turned the defender before flashing the ball across goal and yet again the goal frame denying another goal, the ball bouncing back off the foot of the post this time, and eventually cleared. Harwood collected the clearance and curled her effort straight into the waiting gloves of Hall.

In the final minute of the game Stapleton grabbed Buckingham’s fifth goal of the game, attacking from midfield she kept her marker behind her all the way before lifting the ball into the roof of the net from twelve yards out. There was still time for Marshall to try another long range effort from the half way line, Hall allowing the ball to bounce in front of her which almost deceived her, she thankfully grabbed the ball at the second attempt. F/T: 5-1

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with manager Carmen Robinson, & players Kerry Stapleton & Chelsea Markwell: 

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BBCCF; Buckingham Athletic Ladies 0-10 Abingdon United Ladies

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 0

Abingdon United Ladies – 10

Buckingham Athletic Ladies were blown away on Sunday in the Berks & Bucks Ladies cup final by a ruthless Abingdon United side, who have this season pretty much blitzed anyone who has come across their path in Division One, having scored sixty-five goals in their thirteen league games whilst conceding just eight. Athletic had no answer to the wave after wave of attacks they suffered in both halves of the game, and had it not been for some heroic goalkeeping by Ellen Fenables, some last ditch defending & some wasted chances the score could have been a lot worse. But Carmen Robinson’s side did not give in and battled away until the end, and are highly unlikely to face a side like this again, and did create chances of their own, but against a side that boasted players with previous experience with Oxford United & Oxford City simply had no answers to unlock their solid defence, and stem the onslaught they faced.

United made their intentions clear from the start, as Buckingham took the kick off within two passes they were hassled into losing possession, the ball slid through the defence saw Abingdon skipper Abbie Smith away on goal but Fenables was quick off her line to bravely dive at the strikers feet to smother. At the other end an early chance fell kindly for Jordan Heron but from the corner of the six yard box keeper Sophie Kirby was comfortable to block at her near post.

Early action for Ellen Fenables

Any thoughts of frustrating the United ladies evaporated just three minutes in, to the right of goal Heather Young fired across goal, the ball evading the dive of Fenables and running in behind Kiera Isaac tapped into the empty net. A minute later another right wing cross found Isaac who cushioned off to Smith who sliced her effort just wide. Then on seven minutes Abingdon doubled their lead through the highly impressive Molly Lygo, she found the freedom of the left channel too good to ignore and strode forward, from the eighteen yard line she drove at goal & despite two hands from Fenables the power took the ball home.

Buckingham captain Kerry Stapleton tried to get her side back in the game moments after the goal, a long range shot from outside the area seemed harmless enough initially, however the ball dipped over the head of Kirby and bounced up off the crossbar and over for a goal kick. This was brief respite for the Athletic side, as their opponents tore at goal at every opportunity, Isaac cutting down the right and with few options she flashed the ball across the goal face and a yard or two wide of the back post. Then on twenty-three minutes United won a corner, the ball swung in and as a mass of bodies went to attack the ball centre-half Steph Carrick went down, the whistle sounded and for a moment no one seemed to know what was happening, but the referee calmly walked towards the goal before pointing at the penalty spot.

Full back Gina Ianniello-Phillips took responsibility and fired home giving Fenables no chance. Buckingham tried to regroup & get some sort of foothold in the game, Heron had a block in the Abingdon box blocked at close range, before Evie Hawkins was fed in on goal but her marker was so close she had to take the shot on early and it lacked any real power or conviction. Then eleven minutes before the break United scored a fourth, again a cross from the right found Lygo unmarked and she had time to control before picking her spot to bury home. Isaac was next to try to increase her sides lead, clear through on goal she took too long to shoot allowing Fenables to advance and dive on the ball at her feet, before substitute Amy Pipe attacked down the left with Georgina Howells right on her shoulder, the two tussled into the box and a brilliant last ditch tackle saw the Buckingham defender divert for a corner.

Gina Ianniello-Phillips scores penalty

From the corner the ball swung in and as a group went up for the ball it looped over Fenables and a scramble at the back post saw Nell Boxall turn home. Five minutes before the break a rare poor clearance from the United defence saw Heron away down the left, her cross however was seized upon by Kirby although it took two attempts to gather with Hawkins lurking nearby, and there was still time for an Abingdon corner to be met by Carrick who flashed  her header across goal and wide. H/T: 0-5

The pressure didn’t ease at all after the break, a great cross from the left from Pipe saw Fenables again have to throw herself at the ball to smother as Isaac looked to add to her tally, moments before Smith worked herself some space on the edge of the box before narrowly firing wide of Fenables left hand post. Four minutes into the half saw the best chance for Hawkins, she was fed a ball in behind the Abingdon defence and her pace took her away on goal, from twelve yards she could only fire wide.

The agony of the missed chance was then compounded from the goal kick as Abingdon scored their sixth of the game, a through ball for Pipe to chase saw her outpace the defence, and whilst Fenables stood tall the pacy winger slotted home. Just six minutes later it was seven, a ball over the top saw Isaac away, her first shot saved by Fenables however the ball fell kindly back to the forward who smashed home.

Smith then saw a long range shot pushed away two-handed by Fenables for a corner, before an inch perfect cross from their right from Heather Young found Isaac in the middle but she glanced her header inches wide of the back post. On sixty-five minutes they got their eighth of the afternoon, Pipe away down the left channel and from the corner of the box she chipped over Fenables and into the top corner.

Buckingham tried to press when they could, but were now just happy to keep the ball out of their own half, Heron got down the right and from the acutest of angles fired into the side netting. But it didn’t last long and United soon had their ninth with fifteen minutes left, Lygo crossed into the box and Fenables made an initial save, the ball fell loose and Isaac back heeled to Tina Higgs who couldn’t miss.

Athletic await the presentation

A through ball from Stapleton threatened to release Heron on goal but the ball rolled so quickly it was comfortable for Kirby to collect, then immediately back up the other end Isaac saw a shot from the edge of the area screw wide. With four minutes left Lygo completed her hatrick with the goal of the game, collecting a pass right on the corner of the area she curled over Fenables and into the top corner.

In the dying moments a good pass from Stapleton saw Hawkins get a close range effort away that was blocked for a corner, the resulting corner swung in and met by a firm header from the captain and Kirby had to use both hands to push up and over her crossbar, the ball landing on top of the net. The final whistle sounded seconds later much to the relief of the beleaguered Athletic Ladies, who turn their attention now to their quest for promotion. F/T: 0-10

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Athletic defensive duo Chelsea Markwell & Emma Marshall: 

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TVCWFL; Buckingham Swans on the verge of title

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 2

City Belles – 0

As long as Buckingham Athletic Ladies avoid defeat on Wednesday 18th April at home to Banbury United, they will be crowned champions of the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division Two North, after two goals from ever reliable Evie Hawkins downed the City Belles & left the fate of the title firmly in Athletics hands. The game next week is Banbury’s final game, with the side’s level on points a draw will be enough as Buckingham have the superior goal difference, and also another two games in hand yet to play.

A grey afternoon with plenty of rain did not help conditions, in a game where plenty of chances were created but only two converted. The home side dominated the game and on four minutes a clearance from the Belles defence fell to Lauren Baker-Hawes some thirty yards from goal, attempting to emulate her goal from the last home game she aimed the perfect drive towards Christina Jesty in the Belles goal but it dipped comfortably into her gloves.

The first City attack saw Chelsea Jefferys get down their right wing but her cross landed on top of Ellen Fenables goal netting, and at the other end some patient build up from the hosts resulted in Kayleigh Harwood fiercely driving at goal from outside the box but straight at Jesty. The home side took the lead on twelve minutes when a ball in behind for Hawkins to chase down saw her away, her pace simply took her away from everyone and from the edge of the six-yard box she coolly slotted home.

Evie Hawkins opens scoring

Jade Copas then got down the right wing, her cross into the box almost found Hawkins again but for a last ditch block from a defender who cleared. Minutes later a throw out from goal by Jesty was aimed at her team mate Courtney Crawley who wasn’t aware of the ball coming to her, Harwood was on it in a flash and away, her cross from the byline was met by a glancing header by Copas that flew across the goal face but wide of the back post.

Belles fought back when Zoe Griffiths fed in Jefferys on the eighteen yard line but her shot was straight at Fenables, and just past the half hour mark Buckingham were adamant they had scored a second but the official would not give it as he couldn’t be certain the ball had crossed the line. A close range shot from Kerry Stapleton saw Jesty get something on the ball, Chloe Beale behind her went to control but instead allowed the ball to bounce off her boot and towards the empty goal, she dived in to clear with the home team calling goal, her clearance then hit the post and bounced out into the penalty area and was cleared.

Copas then had a chance when played in behind, she travelled twenty yards with freedom but fired straight at Jesty who blocked and a defender was on hand to clear, before a Rachel Thorpe cross was flicked on by Stapleton and at the back post Dani Roberts lifted over the crossbar. On the stroke of half-time another effort from Baker-Hawes this time from just inside the Belles half saw the ball loop up and goalwards, it would have gone in but Jesty was happy to gather with both hands. H/T: 1-0

No goal

An early second half cross into the visitors box was knocked down to Copas, from twelve yards she tried to angle the ball into the far top corner and was only a few feet off target, before Hawkins on the opposite side twisted away from a marker and saw her shot flash across the goal mouth but wide of the back post.

An Athletic corner from Emma Marshall was cleared to the edge of the area, where Copas was first to it but she could only lift high over the bar, before another corner was cleared again by the Belles backline, advancing from her defensive duties Lily Hamp met the ball, took a touch before firing into the hands of Jesty.

Athletic finally doubled their advantage on sixty-eight minutes, a right wing cross from Thorpe picked out Hawkins smack in the middle of goal, and she had time to control before smashing home despite the best efforts of Beale who made up some ground in an effort to block. Thorpe then provided a simple pass through the middle of the visitors defence for Hawkins again, but from twelve yards she lifted over the bar.

Copas crossed from the right and a flying header from Thorpe then got a deflection off Abi Smith which bounced up off the crossbar and over for a corner. A throw to Belles then saw Griffiths in behind, but from an acute angle she drove low towards the near post where Fenables had to get down and smother. Thorpe then broke away after evading a tackle from Courtney Davey-Ward, striding into the eighteen yard box she could only fire straight at Jesty.

Rachel Thorpe goes close

Hawkins had a late chance blocked by Jesty, and then Thorpe got away down the left and headed for goal, from twelve yards she fired across goal and a few feet agonisingly wide of the back post. The final chance fell to skipper Stapleton, who from the corner of the box fired at goal only to watch the ball graze the top of the netting as it went over.

The final whistle sounded & with Banbury winning their penultimate game of the season, it leaves the top two clash next Wednesday as a possible title decider, but before all that Carmen Robinson’s side travel down to Slough Town this weekend to face Premier Division high flyers Abingdon United in the Berks & Bucks cup final. F/T: 2-0

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B&BC; Buckingham Athletic Ladies progress to Berks & Bucks County Cup Final

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 3

Haddenham Ladies – 2

Buckingham Athletic Ladies booked their place in the Berks & Bucks County Cup final on Sunday with this win over Haddenham, but their semi-final opponents made them work for the win right up until the final minute in a much closer game than their league encounter just two weeks previously. Despite Haddenham having a bright start, they found themselves two goals down early on, but a goal back before the break revived the visitor’s hopes; a wonder strike from Lauren Baker-Hawes moments after the break restored the Athletic two-goal lead, but a penalty to the away side then saw a tense end to the game as Buckingham held on to reach the final in their inaugural season. With the league title within their grasp, a cup final to look forward to now is the icing on the cake for Carmen Robinson’s side.

The opening minutes saw Haddenham take the game to their hosts, an early attack was thwarted by an offside flag before a through ball saw Athletic keeper Ellen Fenables have to advance from her goal to clear. Just as the away side started to enjoy their possession, they were caught with a sucker punch on nine minutes when a ball up to Evie Hawkins on the half way line saw her away on the visitor’s goal, shoulder to shoulder with her marker they tussled all the way into the box, but Hawkins was too strong and slotted home from six-yards to give her side the lead.

Ellen Fenables

Five minutes later they doubled their lead to leave their guests shell shocked, a loose ball across the pitch just outside the box saw Kayleigh Harwood fire into the top corner giving keeper Kirsty Kay no chance. But Haddenham regrouped and didn’t let their heads drop, a ball played long upfield saw Athletic centre-half Emma Marshall try to head clear but only flick on into the path of Emily Holmes, she advanced towards goal but Marshall recovered brilliantly to push the striker out wide, hesitating to shoot she took too many touches which allowed the defender to eventually block and clear the danger.

Hawkins was then sent away on goal again shoulder to shoulder with an opponent, Kay came out to meet the pair but the Athletic leading scorer got her shot away, as it rolled towards the unguarded net a defender managed to get back and clear off the line, before a shot from Jordan Heron from the corner of the box stung the hands of Kay who had to gather at the second attempt. Haddenham got themselves back in the game on twenty minutes, a free kick into the Buckingham area saw Fenables come out to block but a shot from Taylor Shields nestled in the bottom corner despite the best attempts of a clearance off the line.

Harwood saw a dipping drive from distance fly wide ten minutes before the break, and at the other end a long ball over the Athletic defence saw them caught square, Katy Simms was in behind but taking the shot on early she only managed to drill straight into Fenables gloves. Katie Riordan then tried her luck from the corner of the Athletic penalty area but drove wide, and on the stroke of half time a throw to the home side saw the ball fed in to Hawkins on the penalty arc, with back to goal she shrugged off her marker before turning and firing inches wide of Kay’s left hand upright. H/T: 2-1

An early ball down the right channel for Heron to run onto saw her try a deft lob over Kay in the Haddenham goal but the ball dropped the wrong side of the crossbar, but two minutes later came the goal of the game. Hawkins saw a shot cleared from inside the box out to Baker-Hawes out on the right wing, she sent a spinning shot high back towards goal that eluded everyone, over Kay’s head and in.

Lauren Baker-Hawes scores

Again, Haddenham refused to give up and a ball into the Athletic area saw Holmes bear down on Fenables but the keeper came out and bravely dived at her feet to stop the attack and managed to smoother the ball to snuff out any further danger. Buckingham captain Kerry Stapleton tried her luck from long distance, but Kay was behind the shot all the way, before another attack from the hosts saw a defender try to clear but instead allowed the ball to bounce up off her knee, Dani Roberts took control and laid off to Jade Copas who blazed high over the top.

With fifteen minutes left Haddenham were given a lifeline when a trip on the edge of the box saw them win a penalty, Simms duly despatched and it was game on again. But as much as they huffed & puffed to try and get back on level terms it was the home side that created the better chances in the remaining minutes. Stapleton saw a free kick from twenty-two yards fly over the crossbar, whilst Heron burst free from her marker late on but could only scoop over the bar, and the final effort saw Heron again win the race to the ball but this time she fired straight into Kays gloves. F/T: 3-2

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After the game Sports Shots spoke to Athletic striker Evie Hawkins & goal scorer Lauren Baker-Hawes: 

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TVCWFL; Haddenham Ladies 0-5 Buckingham Athletic

Haddenham Ladies – 0

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 5

In what was potentially (weather permitting) the Buckingham Athletic Ladies final away game of the league season and seen by some as the biggest test of the season to date, they romped to victory and with it took a giant step towards the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division Two North title. Any fears that Haddenham could be the side to derail the Swans title bid were soon quashed in a first half display that saw the visitor’s take a three-goal lead and play some of their best football of the season. A couple more in the second half was only not increased by some fantastic saves by the home goalkeeper, but with four home games left for the Athletic, all they need now is two wins and a draw to clinch the title. If they beat second placed Banbury United at Stratford Fields in two-weeks’ time, then Athletic will need just a point to clinch the league, but victory over their closest rivals would pretty much secure the title as their goal difference is currently twenty-two goals better than United’s.

Buckingham were attacking from the off, and early ball knocked long into the hosts half saw the left back leave the ball rather than clearing, in a second Evie Hawkins was on it and away down the right wing, she squared into the box where Rachel Thorpe went to shoot only for keeper Clare Farrow to bravely dive at her feet to block. Sam Jolley then knocked a ball into the area for Hawkins to chase down, she beat her marker but again Farrow advanced to block the shot. Haddenham then almost shot themselves in the foot when a defensive pass went awry and gifted the ball to Dani Roberts, her shot charged down by a defender and cleared.

Evie Hawkins opens scoring

The visitors finally took the lead on fifteen minutes, a Haddenham attack was stopped just inside the Athletic half and the ball knocked up to Hawkins just the other side of the halfway line, she ran shoulder to shoulder with her marker enjoying a battle all the way into the penalty area, as another Haddenham player came across to help Hawkins jinked between both & slotted home. That lead was doubled eight minutes later when a Haddenham goal kick was headed back towards their goal by Nicola Ryan, Hawkins was in again behind the defence and raced towards goal before slotting home.

The away side continued to press, Hawkins again fed in behind the Haddenham back line to chase down a ball over the top, Farrow advancing to gain a vital deflection taking the ball out for a corner. However, from the corner Athletic grabbed their third when a shot from Thorpe was saved and half cleared to just outside the box, advancing from defence Emma Marshall hit the ball first time and it sailed over everyone including Farrow and nestled in the back of the net.

On thirty-four minutes another Karry Stapleton corner was met in the six-yard box by Kayleigh Harwood whose shot came back off the post, Hawkins was first to react, her shot cleared off the goal line by a defender. Stapleton then soared a free kick over the Haddenham crossbar, and from the goal kick the ball was headed back into the home half where Hawkins & Stapleton were away on goal, the ball eventually squared to Ryan whose shot found the waiting gloves of Farrow.

A late Buckingham throw was headed on by Harwood and Hawkins was away on goal again, her pace & power easily taking her away from any defender and she powered a drive wide of Farrows left hand post, and on the stroke of half-time the hosts missed a glorious chance to get a foot back in the game. A ball over the top saw Courtney Kelly bearing down on Ellen Fenables in the visitor’s goal, as she approached the eighteen-yard line she pulled her shot wide of the right-hand post. H/T: 0-3

Two minutes into the second half saw Jade Copas try her luck from twenty-yards, Haddenham replacement keeper Kirsty Kay having to push away single handed for a corner. Marshall swung the ball into the six-yard box where Copas met the ball and scored despite the best efforts of Kay to keep it out.

Jade Copas shot crosses line

Roberts then beat a defender to a loose ball and chipped inches over the crossbar, before the home side missed another glorious chance to get on the scoresheet on fifty-four minutes. An initial shot was blocked by Fenables, but with the keeper stranded the ball rolled out to Kelly and with the goal wide open she miskicked, and the chance was gone.

They were made to pay just a minute later when Athletic won another corner, Stapleton crossing right down the throat of the keeper where a defender went to clear but could only slice into her own net. With Buckingham five goals clear & the game done, the pace slowed, and mixed with some great keeping from Kay they could not increase their lead any further.

Hawkins continued to haunt the Haddenham back line, one such attack saw her simply knock a defender off the ball before advancing towards goal, her initial shot well saved by Kay, she then saw her follow up cleared off the line. Marshall then sent the striker away again with a clever ball through the middle, Kay this time pulling off a brilliant save turning away for a corner.

Jolley took a corner that Harwood thumped a header over from, before on seventy-three minutes Fenables had to make a save away to her left to ensure her clean sheet was kept intact. With nine minutes remaining a ball up to Jolley saw her turn and shoot on sight forcing Kay to use both hands to push away for a corner. Tempers started to fray towards the conclusion of the game, but the final whistle sounded to leave the title within touching distance. F/T: 0-5

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Athletic skipper Kerry Stapleton & midfielder Kayleigh Harwood: 

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TVCWFL; Athletic Ladies feast on chicken winner

Woodstock Town Ladies Reserves – 0

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 4

Buckingham Athletic kept the pressure on league leaders Banbury United with victory at Woodstock Town reserves on Sunday afternoon, on a cold but sunny afternoon. With manager Carmen Robinson unable to be at the game, coach Ian Mason took the reins without disruption to the good form the ladies have been in all season. Having played the hosts only seven days previous at Stratford Fields, it was always going to be a case of who learnt more from that game, where the Athletic scored eight without reply, and a much better display from Woodstock this time round especially in the second half restricted the high flying away side to four goals.

Woodstock had the first chance of the game when Lauren Major & Claire Riseley were sent away in the Buckingham half, before they had chance to get anywhere near the penalty area the ever dependable centre half Emma Marshall once again showed her defensive qualities by sliding in to tackle and clear the ball for a throw.

On six minutes Rachel Thorpe was stopped in her tracks some twenty yards out with a great tackle, running in Kayleigh Harwood hit the ball first time sending it flying wide of keeper Katie Hill’s right hand post. An Athletic corner then saw Sam Jolley swing the ball in and coming in unmarked Thorpe headed over.

Rachel Thorpe heads over

Buckingham took the lead on nine minutes, a ball inside their own box wasn’t cleared by a hesitant Woodstock back line, and before they knew it Thorpe had seized upon the opportunity rifling home across the keeper into the bottom corner. They then doubled the lead on twenty-four minutes when Georgina ‘Chicken’ Howell ventured forward from defence and from thirty yards out hit a loose ball towards goal, it was the perfect hit and flew over the head of the Woodstock keeper and in sparking wild celebrations from her team mates.

Evie Hawkins was then introduced to the game, and it wasn’t long before she was in behind the back line and from six-yards out she managed to smack against the crossbar and the ball bounced away to safety. A minute from the half-time whistle Athletic skipper Kerry Stapleton powered from midfield into the Town area before smashing a shot wide of Hill’s left hand upright. H/T: 0-2

Whilst the first half had been all Buckingham, after the break the home side improved and had their fair share of possession. In the first minute a sliced defensive clearance from the away side saw the ball land at the feet of Naomi Norrie and from twelve yards she lifted over Ellen Fenables in the Athletic goal and over the crossbar.

Another attack from the hosts broke down on fifty-nine minutes and the ball sent long to Stapleton on the half way line, she attacked the left wing before crossing to Hawkins on the corner of the six-yard box but the Buckingham leading scorer could only poke wide.

Kerry Stapleton scores third

A minute later Jade Copas forced Hill into making a close range block with her feet to deny, before Stapleton did increase her sides lead on sixty-five minutes. Picking the ball up twenty yards out she advanced a step or two before shooting, as the ball reached the outstretched hands of Hill in the Town goal, the glaring sun dazzled her view and the ball eluded her grasp and went in.

With fourteen minutes remaining Thorpe grabbed her second and Buckingham’s fourth, from an Emma Marshall corner the ball travelled across the six-yard box and running in Thorpe tucked into the bottom corner. Jolley then fed in Hawkins who fired inches wide from close range, although a raised flag may have ruled out the effort otherwise.

Thorpe sensing a hat trick then saw Hill turn away another chance with her feet for a corner, whilst at the opposite end Town striker Lauren Major was set away for a one-on-one against Fenables, her shot coming back off the post and rolling to safety. The last chance fell to Izzie Clamp who had an initial shot blocked, the ball fell back to her and she fired at goal again only to find the waiting gloves of Hill. F/T: 0-4

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with defenders Chelsea Markwell & Georgina Howell: 

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TVCWFL; Athletic Ladies show little love to Woodstock

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 8

Woodstock Town Ladies Reserves – 0

Buckingham Athletic Ladies romped to a comfortable win on Sunday against Woodstock Town reserves, who were up against it from the start as they could only muster ten players to bring to Stratford Fields. This was Athletics first home game since October, and eager to get back home were the side who have averaged over five goals per game so far this term in the league, and one of those was a nil-nil draw, so facing a team who have scored fifty-one goals in nine league games was always a formidable task before starting the game with a player less. However, credit to the Woodstock girls who never let their heads drop and frustrated their hosts for much of the first half, and their keeper Katie Hill who kept the scoreline down as much as she could. But Buckingham have Evie Hawkins up front who is quick and has a sharp eye for goal, and she helped herself to another four on Sunday taking her tally for the season to twenty-three in just eleven games.

Hawkins took just thirty seconds to show her prowess beating a defender to the ball inside the box before shooting straight at Hill, but the deadlock was broken on five minutes when a free kick inside the penalty arc saw Kayleigh Harwood shoot for goal, inside the six-yard box the ball hit skipper Kerry Stapleton but she had time to control before turning and firing home.

The hosts doubled their lead on twelve minutes when a hopeful ball knocked up into the Woodstock half saw a defender hesitate and before she knew it Hawkins was in from behind and away on goal, as she reached the six-yard box she rifled home. Jordan Heron then went close when a cross from the right eluded everyone and skimmed the crossbar as it went over, before Jade Copas fired over from twelves yards out.

Buckingham continued to dominate, and Heron again went close when she gathered a loose ball that wasn’t dealt with by the visiting defence, stealing in from behind a defender she drove just past the keepers left hand post. Izzie Clamp was next to go close, an audacious chip from outside the box crashed against the crossbar and bounced over for a goal kick.

Woodstock then had their first chance at goal when Abi Haynes was sent straight down the middle shoulder to shoulder with a defender, she won the battle and got her shot away which Athletic keeper Ellen Fenables had to save. Straight up the other end and a cross from Heron found Rachael Thorpe in the box but she couldn’t get enough on the ball to trouble Hill.

Jade Copas scores third goal

Buckingham scored a third on thirty-two minutes when Copas was sent through the Woodstock defence to chase down a pass, before firing into the bottom corner. Hawkins then had two chances to add to her tally, the first Hill had to turn around her post for a corner from twelve yards, before another through ball saw the striker shoot straight into the keeper’s gloves. On the stroke of half-time Buckingham got their fourth, a ball into the box saw Town keeper and defender completely misread what each other were doing and leave the ball, running in Thorpe tucked into the unguarded net. There was still time for Hawkins to have another shot turned away by Hill, and it seemed at this point that the keeper was having a personal battle with the Buckingham leading scorer! H/T: 4-0

Early in the second half Hawkins was again thwarted by Hill in the Woodstock goal, another drive saw the keeper turning around her post for a corner. Hawkins eventually scored her second on fifty-five minutes, a crunching tackle in midfield from Stapleton saw Athletic gain possession, the ball fed out to Heron on the right who advanced before squaring across the box to Hawkins who slotted home. The Woodstock player involved in the midfield tackle was helped off the pitch and the visitors had to see the remainder out with just nine players.

Four minutes later it was six, and Hawkins bagged her hattrick when Stapleton fed a through ball in between the Town back line, the striker ran on to round the keeper and slot home. Stapleton then made a determined run from midfield only for her shot to take a slight deflection off the keeper and come back off the post. Harwood fed Copas on the edge of the eighteen-yard line, her shot was destined for the top corner but lacked pace and was comfortably gathered by Hill using both hands.

Evie Hawkins scores from the spot

Hawkins had another chance when fed in on the right-hand side of the Woodstock area, she flashed a shot across goal but wide of the back post, before Heron received the ball close to goal, with back to goal she turned in a split second but could only steer wide. Then on seventy minutes the home side won a penalty, Hawkins made a great tackle to the left of goal, she was first to her feet to regain possession only to be floored by a tackle from behind. She got up and was given the green light to take the spot kick herself, and absolutely smashed home.

With eleven minutes left a Woodstock goal kick went straight to Heron who drove forward before shooting across the goal only to watch her shot bounce back off the post and Hill was able to collect. Copas was then fed through by Stapleton and her shot from the edge of the area flew past Hill’s right-hand post.

The scoring was completed on eighty-four minutes when Thorpe received the ball just outside the box, she fired across the face of goal and the ball bounced off the back post and in. In the dying moments Sam Jolley was presented with a chance in behind the Town back line, her shot flew inches past the post despite her team mates willing her to score. F/T: 8-0

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After the match Sports Shots caught up with manager Carmen Robinson and goal scorer Rachel Thorpe: 

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TVCWFL; Summertown Stars ladies 0-4 Buckingham Athletic Ladies

Summertown Stars Ladies – 0

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 4

For the second week running Buckingham Athletic won by four goals away from home and again it took until the second period for them kill the game off, scoring the goals that lifted them back up to second in the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League, & more importantly three points behind top placed Banbury but with three games in hand. It took over half an hour for Athletic to breach the Summertown defence, but once Kayleigh Harwood gave them the lead they went on to dominate the remainder on a bitterly cold afternoon.

Dani Roberts had the first effort at goal, shooting from fifteen yards out straight at Summertown keeper Natacha Zanin, followed closely by her skipper Kerry Stapleton curling a long-range effort wide of Zanin’s left hand post. Continuing to press, another drive at goal from Stapleton saw her blocked inside the area, the ball rolling to Jade Copas whose shot was blocked, again the danger was not cleared, and Evie Hawkins stabbed the ball just wide.

Dani Roberts went close early on

Next up to try their luck was Georgina Howell latching onto a loose ball just outside the box, but her drive was straight at Zanin, and on twenty-seven minutes Hawkins was sent away straight down the middle of the pitch where she out-paced her marker before shooting across goal, only for the ball to roll a yard past the back post.

Athletic finally took the lead on thirty-three minutes, Lauren Baker-Hawes sent a long looping ball up into the Summertown penalty area from midfield, as two defenders struggled to clear the ball fell to Harwood who lifted the ball up into the roof of the net. H/T: 0-1

The second half started with a sleet shower just to finally freeze anyone who had an inch of warmth left in their fingers, whilst on the pitch first Hawkins then Stapleton fired long range efforts wide of Zanin’s right hand post.

A cross from the left then found Roberts at the back of the post, the ball wouldn’t fall kindly for her to strike but she did manage to cushion the ball down for Copas who fired wide. Just past the hour mark Hawkins again found herself chasing a ball down the middle of the pitch, getting away from her pursuer she screwed her shot wide and it looked as if the elusive second Buckingham goal was not coming.

A minute later that goal came, when a Summertown defender went to clear from inside her own area the ball rebounded back off Roberts into the path of Hawkins, her initial shot was smothered by Zanin but she couldn’t hold and the Athletic striker picked herself up to gather the ball and stroke home despite the presence of a defender on the goal line.

On seventy minutes Buckingham won a corner on their right, Emma Marshall put the cross into the six-yard box where Stapleton met with her head but could only steer over the crossbar. This routine would be seen again later!

Kerry Stapleton practises meeting corners

Stapleton then almost turned provider when a determined run down the right saw her square the ball to Harwood some twenty yards out, she went for goal forcing Zanin to push away two-handed. With fifteen minutes left the visitor’s won another corner, Marshal this time pin pointed her cross onto the head of Stapleton who running in thumped her header into the roof of Zanin’s goal.

Roberts then had another chance after being fed in on the right hand side of the box, from twelve yards she scooped wide of goal, but she turned provider with eight minutes left when she crossed from the right and on the six-yard line Copas stooped to head into the bottom corner. F/T: 0-4

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Buckingham Athletic skipper Kerry Stapleton: 

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