Archive for Buckingham Athletic Ladies FC

TVCWFL; Buckingham Athletic Ladies 1-1 Banbury United Ladies

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 1

Banbury United Ladies – 1


This gruelling battle ended with both sides sharing a point apiece and both sides leaving the field knowing they had missed chances to take all three, but the latest instalment of Buckingham Athletic Ladies v Banbury United Ladies saw one hundred and eight minutes of play fail to separate these old adversaries as injuries, substitutions and ball out of play all disrupted & delayed the game on a bitterly cold afternoon at Stratford Fields. Goal scoring chances were at a premium at either end, as both midfields and defences battled it out determined not to lose a tackle, not to give the ball away and definitely not to concede an inch of possession to their opponents, the hosts took the lead very early on from the penalty spot, the visitors equalised early after the break although it did take the head of a Buckingham player to draw them level.

Athletic took the lead in the fourth minute, Jade Copas out on the wing crossed into the area where two United defenders failed to clear allowing the ball to find Sam Jolley and as she shaped to shoot a challenge came in from her left which bowled her over and the referee pointed to the spot, despite the protests Gemma Ball calmly slotted home. It then took another fourteen minutes before the next worthy effort on goal, the visitors winning the ball in midfield and knocking it out left to Abi Smith who drove into the box but fired over the top, stand in keeper Courtney Davey-Ward who replaced the injured regular Ellen Fenables for the day was then in the thick of the action when a ball over the blue backline saw Josie Clarke clear on goal but Davey-Ward bravely dived at her feet to block with a defender on hand to clear.

Gemma Ball slots home from spot

A Banbury counter attack then saw Yazmin Holmes find space down the flank and her cross along the eighteen yard line resulted in Deborah Andrews having a fierce shot charged down before it threatened the Buckingham goal, at the opposite end Jordan Heron escaped the attention of her marker to the right of the box but her shot lacked conviction allowing Anna Crane to comfortably fall away to her left to gather. Heron was soon in behind again using her pace to accelerate from her defender, but Crane came flying off her line to meet her right on the edge of the box & sliding in made a fantastic save to deny, skipper Kerry Stapleton then curled one straight at the United custodian, and the last action saw Heron away again down the flank but her cross aimed for Evie Hawkins was read brilliantly by a defender who got to the near post to clear for a corner. H/T: 1-0

Just six minutes into the second half Banbury got their equaliser when a cross from the right was met at the front post by three bodies and unfortunately for Dani Roberts her head got there first to divert into the top corner. United piled on the pressure looking for a winner, but could not find a way through a resolute Buckingham defence and were almost made to pay when Alex Miller sent Hawkins away down the left where from the corner of the box she flashed her shot across goal and two to three yards wide of the far upright, moments later she repeated the feat again this time from a far more acute angle but again with the same result.

Stand in keeper Courtney Davey-Ward in action

Banbury then missed a guilt edged chance to take the lead when a ball downfield went through to Davey-Ward but her clearance went straight to Rochelle Buick and just as it seemed she would simply roll the ball into the empty net it squeezed under her boot as she trod on it and the chance was gone, she did square to Andrews but she lashed wildly wide from the angle. A ball over the red defence saw Hawkins in on goal but Crane was out to meet her, the pair collided which left the keeper needing some lengthy treatment before she could resume, and with ten minutes of the game remaining came the chance the hosts thought would put them back into the lead.

Another ball over the top for Hawkins to chase after saw both United keeper and a defender go to clear but instead collide leaving them both flat out, Hawkins collected the loose ball and adjacent to one post and the whole goal wide open she rolled the ball across the face and wide of the furthest upright, much to the disbelief of everyone inside the ground. From there both sides seemed to concede that the game would end in a draw, the closest either side came was a twenty-five yard free kick that Stapleton fired wide of goal. F/T: 1-1

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TVCWFL; Caversham AFC Ladies 4-0 Buckingham Athletic Ladies

Caversham AFC Ladies – 4

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 0


Buckingham Athletic Ladies were beaten for the second time this season on Sunday as their hosts Caversham AFC scored a brace in each half to seal the points; a defeat that was simply down to the pace of the counter attacking skills of the home side who were under fifteen minutes or so of pressure at the start of the second period, with the visitors looking for a foothold back into the game a move broke down and within seconds the ball was in the back of Ellen Fenables’ net and the game was over, whenever the Swans attack did breach the defence they found a determined Nina Merritt in between the sticks who refused to be beaten.

Six minutes in Buckingham were made aware of the threat down the Caversham left through Freya Jenkins when she was released and her pace took her away from anyone in blue and her cross fizzed across the goal face out of Fenables reach and out for a goal kick, a free kick to the home side was then simply lifted over the top for Tiffany Newland to chase after but with two defenders on her tail she had to go for goal first time but could only lift over the top. The away sides first chance fell to Kerry Stapleton with a twenty-five yard free kick that sailed wide, and straight back up the other end Jenkins again exploited space down the wing to cut inside and fire across Fenables who had to dive to her left to smoother.

Caversham took the lead on twenty-one minutes when Newland cut in from the right and lost her marker to attack the Athletic penalty area, rounding the keeper she looked set to score but Fenables dived at her feet bringing her down and before the referee had to make a decision the loose ball rolled out to the incoming Sophie Ali who slotted into the empty net. Four minutes later it was two when the visitors surrendered possession in midfield it was knocked out to Jenkins on the wing, she twisted and turned her marker ahead of firing into the roof of the net inside the near post.

Kerry Stapleton goes close in first half

A superb Stapleton run ten minutes from the break deserved more, collecting just in the opposition half she drove at goal skipping a couple of challenges and from the edge of the six-yard box she tried to fire inside the near post but could only find the side netting, before a free kick on the halfway line was floated up to Evie Hawkins on the edge of the penalty arc, with her back to goal she managed to hold off her marker, turn and shoot but Merritt was behind it all the way. H/T: 2-0

Athletic made a positive start to the second half taking the game to the league leaders, an early lob over the back line saw Hawkins in on goal again but Merritt was off her line in a flash to make the block on the eighteen yard line, Courtney Crawley was introduced to the action and was soon accelerating down the flank ahead of releasing a dipping drive that eluded the out stretched gloves of the keeper but also the crossbar. A counter attack from the home side saw Newland feed Ali in the box but she fired straight at Fenables, her goal kick finding Crawley on the wing who in turn left two defenders in her wake before crossing into the box, the ball half cleared out to Stapleton who fired over the top.

A free kick into the Caversham box was cleared long out to Anna Thompson who simply headed back over the defensive line for Hawkins to chase after but again the keeper met her halfway making the block before clearing the danger. Then after twenty minutes of Athletic pressure the host’s struck again on the counter, another long clearance downfield for Newland saw her run at goal with Georgina Howells for company, just as the defender thought she’d forced her wide she fired low in to the bottom corner.

Courtney Crawley denied in second half

Back came the Swans again, an inch perfect cross from skipper Stapleton was met at the far post by Crawley whose volley was brilliantly blocked at point blank range by the keeper yet again, and just nine minutes after the third Caversham grabbed their fourth when a ball over the top set Newland perfectly to absolutely smash home. Buckingham won a free kick late on that Stapleton arrowed towards the top corner but the gloves of Merritt were more than ready, a corner then half cleared out to the captain was blazed high over the bar.

The final chance saw Jade Copas show some determination out on the right of midfield, winning the battle to gain the ball and feeding up the line to Heron who advanced a yard before unleashing a dipping drive that for a moment looked as though it could be over Merritt but a step back saw her able to claim comfortably. F/T: 4-0

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BBFA CC; Penn & Tylers Green Ladies 0-5 Buckingham Athletic Ladies

Penn & Tylers Green Ladies – 0

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 5


Buckingham Athletic eased through this Berks & Bucks County Cup fixture at Penn & Tylers Green on a bright but cold Sunday afternoon, four different goal scorers saw the visitors through to the next round in a game that in effect was done & dusted by half time as they lead by three goals, any early second half hopes of a comeback were soon dashed by two goals in a minute to kill off the hopes of their hosts. A nasty leg injury that caused a ten minute delay saw the second half stretch out over an hour, some alert goalkeeping by Penn keeper Jessica Smith as well as the goal frame kept the score line down as the Athletic squad warmed up nicely ahead of their trip to league leaders Caversham next weekend.

It took the away side a while to get going and their first few attempts to feed the front line saw Smith able to warm her hands on a regular basis, one such attack saw Kerry Stapleton feed Gemma Ball in midfield who in turn fed a pass through the eye of a needle for Evie Hawkins to chase after but the home keeper raced twenty yards out from her goal to get there first and bravely slide in to clear. A delivery from Ball then saw Hawkins try and strike first time as she ran diagonally against its flight but she could only watch as it rolled harmlessly for a goal kick, a corner from Alex Miller saw Stapleton steel in on the edge of the six yard box to get her head to the cross but the ball bounced off the outside of the post and out to safety.

Jade Copas tried her luck from eighteen yards forcing Smith away to her left to save with a defender on hand to clear, a poor goal kick moments later saw Dani Roberts intercept and feed Hawkins where her attempt saw the keeper having to sink to her knees to save with both hands. Athletic eventually took the lead on eighteen minutes, Stapleton collecting the ball some twenty-five yards out before looking up and delivering the perfect dipping drive that eluded Smith at full stretch and nestled in the top corner. Roberts then tried getting in on the act when she powered her way forward with a twenty yard run into the box, her shot saved by the feet of Smith in what was a prelude of things to come later in the game.

Evie Hawkins bags her second of the game

Buckingham doubled their lead on twenty-seven minutes when Hawkins was again fed in on goal and this time beat Smith to it tucking past the shot stopper to effectively seal the game. Athletic continued to press and hurry the home defence every time they had possession, Ball chased down a loose pass to set Hawkins away again but off balance she fired wide, ahead of a long clearance saw the blue defence struggle as the slippery pitch allowed a rare chance for Penn with Rebecca Meller firing wide of Ellen Fenables right hand post.

A free kick to the visitors then saw Ball go for goal from twenty-five yards, the shot sailed inches over the outstretched hand of Smith and the top of the crossbar, but with five minutes of the half remaining Hawkins bagged her second latching onto a pass from her captain to fire home first time from just inside the eighteen yard line. H/T: 0-3

Athletic persevered with their predation after the halftime break, Hawkins screwed a shot wide from the right of goal, whilst Stapleton robbed a defender out in the corner of the pitch, turning in on goal and ghosting past her she released a dipping drive that shadowed the woodwork as it landed over the netting. An injury to a Penn player then saw a ten minute delay in proceedings, and from there the game was very stop start with various substitutions, offsides and waits for retrieval of balls. After the game finally restarted an away throw into Roberts just inside the opponents’ box saw her turn and spiral a shot beyond the far post, again another warmer for what was to come later!

Nicole Britten gets on scoresheet

A cross from Stapleton was fired wide by Ball, a through ball for Hawkins to chase after was signalled as offside just as she was about to pull the trigger and another attempt from Roberts saw Smith having to parry with both hands and collect after the bounce. A ball played from the left wing saw four blue shirts in the middle queueing to shoot, it fell to Copas who lifted high over the top, but on seventy minutes the fourth goal arrived when Hawkins turned provider robbing a defender on the wing, going past her she then delivered into the six yard box where Nicole Britten simply could not miss, firing high up into the net.

Within a minute Roberts got the goal she had worked tirelessly for, bursting through the Penn defence from outside the area she smashed goal wards where Smith couldn’t hold on despite getting to it, the whole team celebrating her overdue reward. Hawkins was millimetres away from her hattrick when Alex Miller sent her on her way to face Smith one on one, rounding the keeper she fired towards the empty net from the right of the box only to watch the ball come off the inside of the post and back along the goal line to the opposite upright where a defender almost made a hash of the clearance but somehow Smith recovered to jump on the ball.

Miller got down the wing and delivered the best cross of the afternoon inch perfect onto the head of Ball who six yards out headed over, Stapleton was unlucky not to add to her tally when a run through the Green’s defence saw her skip a number of tackles and as she rounded the keeper a last ditch block came in to divert for a corner, the last chance fell to Hawkins who was again thwarted by the knees of Smith as she fired from the right of the area. F/T: 0-5

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After the match we caught up with Athletic duo Kerry Stapleton & Sam Jolley: 

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TVCWFL; Buckingham Athletic Ladies 6-3 Barton United Ladies

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 6

Barton United Ladies – 3


A switch of venue less than two hours prior to kick off saw this fixture reversed back to Stratford Fields where the visitors only had eleven players for the ninety minutes, but they battled well and it took four attempts for Buckingham to take the lead before they managed to hold on to it and secure the points. Two goals in the final eleven minutes finally killed off the Barton resistance, yet another hattrick for leading scorer Evie Hawkins was secured in the final minute and after the game manager Carmen Robinson admitted it will be extremely difficult to replace her goals next season when the striker goes off to university.

From the kick off home skipper Kerry Stapleton released Alex Miller down the left channel where she drilled a shot low that beat United keeper Hollie Randall but came back off the foot of the post and across the open goalmouth, running in Hawkins pushed her effort wide of the target, moments later Barton threatened when Beverley Hirons was sent racing through the home backline but some alert goalkeeping from Ellen Fenables allowed her to accelerate and clear the danger, and a ball that looked lost when played down the Athletic right saw Hawkins chase it down and squared across to Stapleton who left footed curled around the top corner.

A corner to the hosts was flicked on inside the area towards the back of the box where a United player trying to head clear only managed to put the ball back into the eighteen yard area where Stapleton managed to control before seeing her shot canon off her marker for another corner, a goal kick was then headed back over the Barton backline for Hawkins to again get away but she could only help the ball on its path wide, and Nicole Britten sprung the offside trap as she scampered down the wing but she pulled her cross behind everyone in the box, it did reach Gemma Ball who controlled ahead of firing over the crossbar.

The hosts took the lead on eighteen minutes when a corner swung in found Stapleton whose initial shot was blocked but it offered her a second chance that took a deflection to loop over Randall and the spin meant it bounced in, but the lead lasted just five minutes as a cross from the visitors right found Courtney Sumner alone in front of goal where she swivelled to fire past Fenables. It wasn’t long before Hawkins was on the prowl again, a tackle from behind almost floored the Swans striker but she persevered to get her shot in which the keeper got enough on to stun with a team mate on hand to thump to safety.

Evie Hawkins opens scoring

Buckingham won a free kick on the edge of the penalty arc which Stapleton & Ball stood over mulling their options, the captain dummied her run for Ball to then angle an effort over the top, and within a minute their guests had a free kick in a similar position at the other end which Francesca Woolfe took and grazed the top of the netting as it sailed over. Just past the half hour mark the hosts regained the lead when a simple pass down their right from deep in their own half saw Hawkins away on goal again, despite the attention of two defenders she fired home from sixteen yards out.

Stapleton then had a run down the left and her shot came back off a defender where it was met on the eighteen yard line by Sam Jolley who drilled low past Randall’s right hand post, and a minute before the break a long upfield punt saw Sumner in behind the blue defence but always off balance she lifted over the top. As it seemed the half was done, the last action saw Barton grab their second equaliser when Hirons was threaded in between the defence and her shot took enough of a deflection of her marker to take it past Fenables and into the net. F/T: 2-2

Shortly after the restart Miller ran at the visiting defence but fired wide, her next attack saw her square behind the line of red shirts to Hawkins who sliding in could only steer wide, the next attack saw Hawkins down the flank beating the visitors attempted offside trap and accelerating off from her marker she was denied by a brave dive at her feet by Randall. From the goal kick the hosts retook the lead for the third time on fifty-two minutes, a simple header back downfield saw Stapleton all on her own, some hesitation arose as the wait for a flag that didn’t come allowed her to race away before blasting home giving the keeper no chance whatsoever.

Moments after the goal the captain was in again this time firing across goal and narrowly wide of the back post, but just seven minutes after going behind the visitors equalised again when a free kick lifted into the Athletic area wasn’t cleared and two United players almost got in each other’s way trying to shoot but Hirons eventually scooped home from close range. Back came the home side again, Miller down the left curled an effort inches wide of the upright, but on sixty-five minutes Hawkins grabbed her second of the afternoon when released straight down the middle to outpace her marker and from just inside the area fire home the seventh goal of the game.

Kerry Stapleton rifles home

This time there was no way back for the away side as their hosts pushed on from here, a ball over the top saw Stapleton down the flank and into the box but her shot was well saved by Randall with a defender on hand to thump to safety, Ball then collected in midfield and riding two tackles she slipped a pass through for Hawkins to chase, shoulder to shoulder with a defender and with the keeper coming out she went for goal only to watch her effort roll about two yards wide of the post, at the other end a long range looping effort from Sumner never had Fenables in any real trouble as she gathered with both hands.

Another Buckingham cross saw a block that rolled out to Jade Copas who slammed her shot against a red shirt, she collected again moments later and initially lost the ball under her feet but quickly regained her composure to lose her marker and go for goal, the ball landing on top of the netting. United then almost gifted their hosts another goal when a back pass towards Randall was never going to make it and Hawkins nipped in but as she went to pull the trigger the keeper was out to avert the danger by launching downfield.

On seventy-nine minutes Buckingham scored their fifth and effectively killed the game off once and for all, Hawkins was released away down the right and as she attacked the ball on the edge of the area both her, the Barton keeper and a defender all collided leaving the Athletic striker to go and collect out wide, as she attempted to cross into the box the Barton custodian was running back to cover and unfortunately her attempt to clear saw her slice into her own net. Stapleton then explored acres of space down the left before trying to find bodies in the middle, a block saw her get a second chance which she blazed over the bar.

A goal kick saw Copas intercept out wide, she laid off into the path of her skipper who travelled into the area but Randall was out quick to dive bravely at her feet, ahead of a superb pass down the right from Dani Roberts saw Hawkins away again and into the box, her effort however straight at the goalkeeper. As the clock ticked over into added time, Copas found Hawkins out wide and her cross cum shot sailed over the outstretched glove of the keeper and into the back of the net for her third of the game. F/T: 6-3

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with the Ath manager Carmen Robinson, captain Kerry Stapleton & midfielder Gemma Ball: 

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TVCWFLC; Buckingham Athletic Ladies 8-0 Ascot United Ladies Reserves

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 8

Ascot United Ladies – 0

Buckingham Athletic Ladies eased past Ascot United Ladies reserves on Sunday in the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Cup first round, but full credit to the visitors who competed for ninety minutes with just nine players due to unavailability which was duly noted by the Athletic manager & captain after the game. With the game put to bed long before the half time whistle, the home side gave game time to all the squad that attended, with eight goals scored by five different goal scorers it was a pleasing afternoon for the manager to see goals spread amongst her team.

Athletic took the lead with just fifty-five seconds on the clock when skipper Kerry Stapleton drove at goal from midfield and from the edge of the box smashed over Cara O’Brien in the Ascot goal and into the back of the net, just sixty seconds later it was two when Jordan Heron exploited the space on the right to advance towards goal and smash past O’Brien giving the forlorn keeper no chance whatsoever.

Continuing their relentless wave of attacks the hosts again threatened when Stapleton got down their right and forced the United keeper to stick out a boot at her near post to divert for a corner, the resulting corner was cleared to the edge of the area where Dani Roberts lifted over the crossbar. Stapleton again had space to discover down the left wing and her attempted centre to Evie Hawkins eluded both the Buckingham striker and an Ascot defender, waiting behind Heron fired wide.

Jade Copas heads home

The third goal arrived on nineteen minutes when Stapleton crossed from the wing and as no defenders tried to deal with it and O’Brien stood rooted to the spot in nipped Jade Copas to head home. Within two minutes they had a fourth when Stapleton received the ball twenty yards out and she sent a dipping shot over the keeper which brushed the underside of the bar as it went in.

Heron then tried to add to her tally with a shot from the right that saw Carol Checkley having to stick out a boot to divert for a corner, before Alex Miller saw her effort from eighteen yards pushed onto the top of the netting by O’Brien. Hawkins was working hard to get on the end of crosses & passes and finally opened her account just before the half hour mark, a ball knocked into the box saw her nip inbetween two defenders to slot home.

Hawkins attacked again only to be challenged on the edge of the area, the loose ball rolled out to Heron who went for goal but could only find the waiting gloves of O’Brien, the next chance saw Hawkins again burst forward from midfield to latch onto a long ball over the top but she lifted over the crossbar. H/T: 5-0

Despite numerous changes at the break it only took Athletic four minutes to get their sixth when Nicole Britten created some space in the Ascot half, Miller held her run back perfectly to beat the offside trap and latching onto the pass she chipped over the keeper. Soon after a corner to the home side was half cleared by the United backline but only as far as Sam Jolley who flashed her shot wide of the back post.

Jordan Heron complete hatrick

Courtney Davey-Ward slipped a perfect pass through the middle for Copas to then chase after, her shot saved brilliantly by the legs of O’Brien, and she was soon busy again when a defender completely missed her kick allowing Miller a free run on goal, she could however only shoot straight at the shot stopper who grateful caught with both hands.

On sixty-eight minutes Buckingham scored their seventh when Heron again used her pace down the right channel, receiving the ball she simply headed for the near post before slotting home, soon after Ascot almost had a consolation when a throw out on their right saw Hannah Swallow in behind the Athletic backline but she could only lift over the top.

With ten minutes left Heron completed her hatrick when yet again her pace was far too much for an initial challenge, as another defender came across to cover she was also beaten for pace and from the tightest of angles the Athletic forward fired into the bottom corner. There was still time for Miller to feed Christina Jones late on and her effort was inches away from the target. F/T: 8-0

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After the game Sports Shots spoke with Athletic manager Carmen Robinson & captain Kerry Stapleton: 

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BBC 3 Counties Radio launch weekly non-league football show for Beds, Herts & Bucks

BBC three counties radio launched their brand new non-league football show on Monday evening, and in their first broadcast spoke with former Winslow United player Ayden Callaghan, and included a regular ‘ninety second quiz’ in which the weekly guest is asked questions on their relevant club.

As the radio station covers Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire the show is open to all but three of the clubs we cover this season at Sports Shots.

To hear the whole of the first show from Monday, use the link here:

The show is live every Monday evening from 7.00pm – 8.00pm and is the perfect opportunity to catch up with our local non-league scene at all levels.

Both presenters of the show are on twitter, and to follow what’s coming up in the next show make sure you give them a follow, Ollie Bayliss is @Ollie_Bayliss and Luke Ashmead is @Ashmead72

TVCWFL D1; Buckingham Athletic Ladies 2-2 Eversley & California

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 2

Eversley & California Ladies – 2

Buckingham Athletic Ladies maintained their unbeaten start to the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division One season on Sunday but were made to work for their point by a very good Eversley & California side who twice drew level after falling behind, and against the side that finished fourth in last season’s top tier were given a taste of how competitive this league is really going to be. Prolific goal scorers were on show with Evie Hawkins on target for the home side on the stroke of half-time, but two goals from Katie Hougham who bagged thirty-seven in this division last term earned the visitor’s a share of the spoils.

The opening stages were scrappy with neither side really taking control, and it took until the eighth minute to see a shot at goal when Alex Miller for the home side receiving the ball some twenty yards out had little option other than to shoot but Eversley keeper Jodie Gray-Piazza was behind it all the way. Home captain Kerry Stapleton then swung in a corner that Jade Copas headed straight at the goalkeeper whilst at the other end Hougham was getting her eye in when driving into the box from midfield she fired inches wide of Ellen Fenables’ right hand post, the ball brushing the net on its way.

On eighteen minutes Hougham latched onto a ball over the Athletic defence and getting ahead of her marker she poked wide, before a goal kick fell short and was lumped back into the Athletic box where running on Lucy Standen got a shot away that Fenables got her hand to which pushed the ball up onto the crossbar, the ball bouncing down was met on the half volley by Ellie Bland who lifted high over the top. A slip in midfield saw Hougham away on goal again, but being forced wide as blue shirts gained she hurriedly screwed her shot wide.

Lily Hamp set up first Athletic goal

The introduction of Jordan Heron to the Buckingham right wing made an immediate impact when she sprinted past her marker and sent an inch perfect cross into the six-yard box but with no one within reach the ball rolled away to safety, before Stapleton slipped a pass through the Eversley back line for Hawkins to connect and shoot, Gray-Piazza got down well to her left to save and the ball rolled agonisingly across the empty goal mouth and out for a corner.

Just as the half seemed destined to end goalless a throw on the Athletic left found Lily Hamp who knocked the ball up towards Hawkins inside the box, initially it appeared there for the taking for the keeper however the Buckingham leading scorer nipped in first with a deft touch to leave Gray-Piazza stranded, and the simple task of tucking into the unguarded net. H/T: 1-0

Six minutes after the break a home attack broke down high up the pitch and the ball was shifted quickly up the opposite end where Hougham was clear on goal, as she entered the area she powered a drive at goal which crashed down off the crossbar, and bounced away to safety. In return Stapleton fed a ball through to Courtney Crawley who headed for goal, her low drive saved well by Gray-Piazza, and as it seemed to be rolling towards another blue shirt the raised flag halted play.

Jordan Heron restores home sides lead

Heron continued to put pressure on down the right and a great battle saw her emerge with the ball, her cross found Crawley who took a touch before forcing the Eversley keeper down to the foot of her near post to save, then on sixty-seven minutes came the first equaliser when a ball through for Hougham to chase saw her race away and from just inside the box she fired into the bottom corner. Athletic fought back almost immediately when Hawkins was fed the ball with back to goal, turning her defender her shot was well saved again by Gray-Piazza.

Dani Roberts then broke down a promising attack and sent the ball away down the right for Heron to ghost past her marker and centre, as Hawkins bore down on goal out came the keeper to dive bravely and smoother at her feet. With nine minutes left Heron was rewarded for her afternoons work when sent away again she won the race to the ball, travelled into the area and slotted home. Any thoughts of it being the winner were soon dispelled when just four minutes later the game was level once again.

A throw on the visitor’s right found Hougham on the corner of the six-yard box with back to goal, it seemed harmless enough but she turned and aimed for the far bottom corner and before anyone could react the ball was nestling into its target. There was time late on for a Stapleton free kick on the corner of the eighteen yard area to float over a mass of heads and out for a goal kick before the final whistle sounded at the end of a thoroughly entertaining tussle. F/T: 2-2

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After the game Sports Shots spoke with Athletic duo Jordan Heron & Lily Hamp: 

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TVCWFL D1; Carterton Ladies 1-2 Buckingham Athletic Ladies

Carterton Ladies – 1

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 2

Buckingham Athletic Ladies made it two wins from two on Sunday with a last gasp winner to beat Carterton Ladies in what was a battling encounter, Evie Hawkins scoring another brace to bring her tally to four goals in two games which included a last minute winner to leave the hosts shattered at the end of fiercely competitive game. Leading at the break, Buckingham were pegged back within three minutes of the restart by an own goal and were lucky not to go behind when the home side hit the crossbar, but Hawkins popped up at the end to smash home to send the visitor’s home with all three points.

Early chances were few and far between, it took six minutes for the first shot at goal when Kerry O’Connor fired straight at Ellen Fenables in the visitor’s goal from twenty-five yards out, and a poor goal kick was almost punished by the home side but Talane Smith on the edge of the box again fired straight at the Buckingham keeper.

The away side took the lead on thirteen minutes when an attempted clearance from the Carterton defence hit the referee and fell nicely for Gemma Ball to slot through the home back line, Hawkins was free of her marker and fired between the advancing keeper Amy Bourton’s legs and in.

Jade Copas then tried to pressure the hosts back line but as she was dispossessed the ball fell invitingly for skipper Kerry Stapleton to hit first time but the ball was always spinning away from the target, before a ball over the blue defensive line saw O’Connor free on goal but Fenables was quick off her line to challenge on the edge of her box and gather.

Ellen Fenables in the thick of the action

A free kick to Carterton out on their right saw Georgina Tayman curl straight into the keeper’s waiting gloves, & just before the break Charmaine White threatened when she found space on the right of goal but again Fenables got down well to save at her near post. H/T: 0-1

An early corner after the interval saw a corner swung into the box where Stapleton going to clear only managed to slot past her own keeper to restore parity, but within a minute a ball over the home backline gave the skipper space to explore and rifle into the back of the net only for a raised flag to deny the celebration.

O’Connor tried her luck from eighteen yards which Fenables had to turn away for a corner, before a glorious chance went begging when a lay off inside the six-yard box saw Smith with the whole goal to aim drag her effort wide of the right hand post, closely followed by a throw on their right that found Smith who went for goal but the wind took over lifting the ball high over the top.

Evie Hawkins fires winner

On seventy-two minutes the home side went even closer to taking the lead when a driving run from midfield by Gina Napier saw her shoot from distance, the ball flying past Fenables but crashing back down off the crossbar and was eventually cleared away. At the opposite end a ball for Hawkins to chase after saw Bourton go to clear only to thump against the striker and as the ball rolled towards the unguarded net a defender got back to clear.

Another throw on the Carterton right saw Smith launch into the box and from a mass of bodies Napier somehow managed to get her head to the ball first but she could only flick wide from close range. From the goal kick O’Connor received the ball to advance, as Fenables came out the home striker shot which deflected off the keepers boot and towards the empty goal, but centre-half Courtney Davey-Ward was alert enough to cover and clear the danger.

With two minutes left a long clearance from Bourton cleared the Buckingham defence and saw O’Connor in the clear, allowing the ball to come under control she forced Fenables to dive away to her right and save with both hands.

As the game went into added time along came the winner, Hawkins collecting the ball out on the left she had colleagues in the middle waiting but she skipped one challenge before shrugging off a second, as she got into the box she flashed the ball over Bourton and inside the back post to win the game for her side. F/T: 1-2

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Athletic skipper Kerry Stapleton & double goal scorer Evie Hawkins: 

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TVCWFL D1; Headington Ladies 1-6 Buckingham Athletic Ladies

Headington Ladies – 1

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 6

Buckingham Athletic Ladies got their new season off to a flier with a healthy win at Headington on Sunday afternoon, and settled any early nerves to ease into their new surroundings in the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division One after promotion last season. Athletic gave seven new summer signings their debuts during a game played in warm sunshine, and despite some early resistance from their hosts two late first half goals put the visitors into a commanding position at the break before adding a further couple in the second period to confirm their dominance.

Headington went close early on finding the side netting from out wide, and from the goal kick Jordan Heron was sent sprinting away down the right flank where she drove at goal, with Evie Hawkins in the middle Heron opted to shoot low for the near post where home keeper Sarah Hillier gathered comfortably. The winger then saw another shot straight at Hillier spilled, but before anyone could react the shot stopper thumped to safety.

Captain Kerry Stapleton then burst forward from midfield and from distance went for goal only for her shot to bounce back off the post, for a split second the home custodian lost track of the ball but as Hawkins raced in she managed to smoother. A Buckingham attack broke down on the half way line and a simple ball over the backline saw Andreea Dumitru break free, she fed Caroline Plitt to the right of goal but she blazed high over the bar.

The visitors took the lead on thirteen minutes when an attempted pass from Stapleton hit her own player but fell nicely for Heron to collect and bear down on goal before firing into the bottom corner. As Headington tried to get back in the game they won a free kick some thirty yards from goal, Cecile Deer took responsibility but could only steer wide of Ellen Fenables’ right hand post.

Jordan Heron opens the scoring

A brief drinks break was allowed by the official, from the off a poor goal kick found Gemma Ball some twenty-five yards out who went to shoot but a defender blocked, the loose ball falling to Heron whose attempt had to be turned round the post for a corner. Then on twenty-six minutes Athletic doubled their lead when a free kick from Emma Marshall sailed over everyone in the box only to crash back down off the bar, first to react was Ball who slotted home.

Before Athletic could relax on their lead, their hosts pulled a goal back within three minutes when a ball through the middle saw Dumitru accelerate away from her marker, Fenables made a challenge but the ball rolled wide where the striker flashed across goal and into the unguarded net. Heron was causing havoc every time she attacked the right wing, another burst of pace saw her in on goal and her fierce drive smashed away off the goal stantion.

Hawkins continued to cause the home defence headaches in the middle, one pass saw her inside their box and evading two challenges her effort was somehow sliced away for a corner, from the cleared set piece Ball fired through a crowded box but Hillier was behind it all the way. Despite some brave defending Headington were undone by two goals in the final eight minutes of the half, which seemed to kill off their resistance.

The first started by Hawkins collecting a loose ball in midfield found Ball in space, she looked up and just as it seemed she was going to pass elsewhere she slipped a delightful pass through the defence for Hawkins to run on and score. There were further chances for Alex Miller who wanted too much time when set up in front of goal, and Hawkins again who didn’t connect well, but finally a ball over the top saw Hawkins connect and fire into the top corner as the half-time whistle sounded. H/T: 1-4

Gemma Ball had impressive debut

Deer saw an early effort loop up off a Buckingham defender and hang nicely in the air for Fenables to collect, but any thoughts of a comeback was killed off on fifty-two minutes when Heron was sent down the right channel shoulder to shoulder with her marker, she simply over powered the defender and from a tight angle fizzed the ball low inside the near post.

Dumitru screwed wide from the edge of the box, ahead of a two minute delay that halted the game when Dani Roberts had to be helped off the field through injury. Athletic continued to look for more goals, Stapleton had a run from defence before firing straight at Hillier, as did Nicole Britten from the corner of the eighteen yard box. There were a couple of chances for the home side but they struggled to break through the stubborn blue line and were restricted to long range efforts.

The sixth goal came on seventy minutes when Stapleton fed the ball through for Courtney Crawley to latch onto and chip over the advanced goalkeeper and in. Hawkins then forced the keeper into a two-handed save which the striker retrieved and squared to Miller who fired over when in front of goal.

The hosts had a late chance when Plitt set up Dumitru who drove over the bar, which was followed by the pass of the game from the very impressive Gemma Ball that split the Headington central defence and set Hawkins away on goal, her shot taking a slight deflection before rolling through to safety. F/T: 1-6

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After the game Sports Shots spoke with Athletic captain Kerry Stapleton and double goal scorer Jordan Heron: 

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PSF; Buckingham Athletic Ladies 3-3 City Belles

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 3

City Belles – 3

Buckingham Athletic Ladies drew their final pre-season warm up match against City Belles on Sunday on a pleasantly warm & sunny afternoon at Stratford Fields, where the home side took the lead three times only to be pegged back each time. City missed an early penalty and Ath spurned numerous chances in the second half, but a good work out for the Swans ahead of their season opener next weekend at Headington when they begin life in the top flight of the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League.

It didn’t take last season’s leading scorer Evie Hawkins long to get back in the swing of things, the very first minute saw her charge down a ball in midfield and burst forward before firing straight at Christina Jesty in the Belles goal, whilst at the other end Athletic keeper Ellen Fenables had to use both hands to deny an Emily Mann effort from nestling in the top corner.

Home central defender Emma Marshall got caught in possession some thirty yards from goal allowing Lucy Mason to head for goal, her shot saved brilliantly by Fenables to spiral the ball away from goal, as Mason went to retrieve Marshall recovered to beat her to the ball and clear the danger. In the ninth minute City were given the chance to open the scoring that their early possession warranted.

Mason was fed down the middle again and as she entered the box Fenables came out to block but instead brought down the Belles forward and gave the referee no choice but to point to the spot. However, Fenables made amends by saving the spot kick from Mann and as both players went for the loose ball, an infringement gave the home side a free kick.

Mason then fired over the crossbar from the eighteen yard line, before the Athletic took the lead somewhat against the run of play on the quarter hour mark. Courtney Crawley sent skipper Kerry Stapleton down the left and she drove at the Belles backline, as they stood off she advanced into the box and stroked past Jesty with some ease.

Nicole Britten restores Ath lead

The lead lasted just sixty seconds as a corner to the visitors was swung into the box and from close range Katie Crawley flicked the ball past Fenables. Buckingham retook the lead on twenty-four minutes following a much needed drinks break, a poor goal kick was aimed straight at Stapleton who powered forward and forced the City keeper to make a good block, however the ball rolled out to Nicole Britten who curled into the unguarded net from the edge of the box.

The hosts then enjoyed some good possession and a corner from Marshall found Sam Jolley in the middle who turned well to fire at goal but her effort was blocked inside the six-yard box. Twelve minutes before the interval Belles equalised again when another simple ball through the middle of the home defence saw Mason set away again, advancing into the box she fired across Fenables and into the far bottom corner to level the game once more. H/T: 2-2

The start of the second half saw the Hawkins v Jesty battle intensify; two minutes in the striker received the ball in the penalty arc, under heavy pressure from a defender she drove wide of the keeper’s right hand post, then another ball through for her to chase saw her shoot straight at the Belles custodian.

Moments later Hawkins was fed to the right of the goal, her early attempt driven wide of the near post, and her next effort was even closer as she had to battle shoulder to shoulder with her marker before being forced wide right, her shot flashed across the goal face and bounced about a yard wide of the back stick.

The Milton Keynes side fought back with Mann who twisted & turned on the edge of the Athletic box before firing over the top, then just before the hour mark Hawkins finally got her goal. Jordan Heron was fed down the right wing and accelerating away from her marker she squared into the box where from twelve yards Hawkins restored her sides lead once again.

Evie Hawkins scores Ath third

Four minutes later Athletic missed a golden chance to extend their lead when a poor defensive pass found Jade Copas in midfield, she drove on & went for goal only for Jesty to save and the ball rolled away to the right, Stapleton retrieved and fizzed the ball back across goal where Gemma Ball tried to side foot home but didn’t connect properly and only helped the ball out for a goal kick.

Stapleton then slipped a great pass through for Heron to run onto, but on the edge of the box a superb sliding tackle took the ball off her foot as she prepared to shoot, then on sixty-nine minutes a foul inside the Athletic box from Marshall saw the away side awarded their second penalty of the afternoon. This time Crawley made no mistake to level for the third time.

Buckingham determined to get ahead once more then saw Copas send Ball through but her shot was saved by Jesty and cleared out to Stapleton, evading a couple of challenges she could only fire over. A ball over the Belles backline was then taken down brilliantly by Ball but she fired wide, from the goal kick the ball went straight to Crawley who ran at goal but fired straight at the keeper.

With nine minutes left Crawley again got down the right and squared into Ball in front of goal, but again her connection was all wrong and she simply helped the ball on it’s journey out for a goal kick, and they were almost made to pay moments later when Mason got down the Belles left and pulled back to Crawley whose low drive saw a Buckingham boot go out to deflect over for a corner.

In the final seconds a corner to the home side was half cleared out to Ball, her strike looked destined for the bottom corner until a last ditch out stretched leg diverted over the top, and at the other end Crawley still had time to fire over from the eighteen yard line. F/T: 3-3

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After the match Sports Shots spoke to assistant manager Lauren Baker-Hawes, and captain Kerry Stapleton: 

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