Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 2
Caversham AFC Ladies – 2
Buckingham Athletic Ladies rounded off their season with a hard fought two all draw with Caversham on Wednesday evening at Stratford Fields, to finish their first campaign in the top flight of the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League with a very respectable top four finish, a number of teams around them have been unable to complete their fixtures leaving the final league table a little unclear, but at the time of writing they share joint third with Carterton. With a number of first team regulars missing both teams fought out a highly entertaining draw, the second half fiercely competitive with full credit to both sides considering there was very little riding on the game, a number of supporters at the end of the game commenting they had seen one of the best games of the season in this league!
The home side had the first effort of note on five minutes when a clearance to the penalty arc saw Rosie Hubbard head towards the target however visiting custodian Nina Merritt was under it all the way, Kerry Stapleton then had three shadowing her across the area but managed to drill low straight at the keeper, at the opposite end a great four player move saw the away side move the ball higher & higher up the pitch resulting in Freya Jenkins firing narrowly wide. Courtney Crawley was next to warm the hands of Merritt from distance claiming underneath her own crossbar, her goal keeping opponent was then busy denying Jenkins after she’d run thirty yards from midfield and tried to tuck inside the near post, Britten received a pass from Stapleton to hit on the turn but again the shot stopper was not to be beaten.
The deadlock was eventually broken on thirty-two minutes as a Hubbard corner eluded a couple of touches at close range but running in at the back stick Stapleton managed to divert inside the post, that lead looked good heading towards the break but the visitors drew level with two minutes remaining through Jenkins who fired low across the face from the left of the box, the ball thumping the base of the far upright and rebounding in. An injury then delayed the game but deep into added time the hosts retook the lead after a shot from Crawley came back off the woodwork and Britten was the first to react to turn home. H/T: 2-1
A free kick to Buckingham early after the restart saw Stapleton go for goal from some way out, Merritt parried the initial effort and had to jump up quickly to block the follow up by home captain Jade Copas, a Caversham corner then bounced off the top of the crossbar as it went over & out of play. The game was level once more just past the hour mark when a long punt downfield saw the blue defence switch off allowing Tiffany Newland to pick out Jenkins to the left, her first time drive angled into the near top corner with some power.
The away side won a free kick that Jenkins fired straight at Ath keeper Ellen Fenables from just outside the box, Crawley did well out on the touchline skipping past her marker before advancing towards goal but as she drove across the area the ball was just too close to Merritt who gathered and at the opposite end Sophie Ali lifted over the top from the eighteen yard line; Stapleton tried driving at the Caversham backline but with three bodies trailing her again she did well to make any advance however she simply ran out of room and the chance was cleared as the visitor’s made every effort not to concede again.
The midfielder drove a free kick against the wall but as the ball rolled back to her she floated into the far post where Copas headed down to Crawley who lifted over the bar from twelve yards, a Caversham corner was headed wide before a decent one-two saw Jenkins fire into the gloves of Fenables, the last chance of the game fell to the double goal scorer who from inside the area pulled her effort past the back stick. F/T: 2-2
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