Ampthill Town – 0
Buckingham Town – 2
Ampthill Town succumbed to two first half strikes on Saturday as their guests took the points back to Milton Keynes on a wet and chilly afternoon at Ampthill Park, and despite creating numerous chances the hosts simply could not find a way past the vastly experienced Buckingham backline. Despite the club putting on an excellent show for Remembrance weekend, Ants manager Paul Toms admitted afterwards his sides performance was one to forget especially after a good showing midweek at Brimsdown, two goals from Jack Clarkson sealed the win and lifted his side away from the wrong end of the South Midlands League Division One table and to within a couple of points of their opponents.
The home side should have taken the lead in the third minute when a left wing cross from Tom Carter was flicked on in the middle by a red shirt straight into the path of the incoming Aaron Matthews but on the volley he screwed wide from twelve yards out, the away sides first chance fell to Drew Mitten whose low drive ricocheted off various boots before spiralling out for a corner. An Ampthill corner was half cleared out to Mark Smith who floated it back into the box where Carter headed back across keeper Bob White who had to dive to push around his post, the set piece wasn’t dealt with and from the penalty arc Ash Mead absolutely thumped over the crossbar.
A ball knocked over the yellow backline saw Gabrielius Judickas turn his marker before firing towards the bottom corner where it appeared Ampthill keeper Josh Thompson wouldn’t reach but covering across Smith cleared, from the corner the ball reached Alex Marius who over the shoulder fired high over the top. A cross from the Buckingham right then found Clarkson unmarked in the middle but without realising how much time he had he thumped his header high over the top, but on twenty-two minutes he did open the scoring when played down the middle he had the attention of two defenders however he managed to get his shot away that deflected up off the leg of Lee Neufville and looped over Thompson and in.
At the other end a rasping drive from Carter soared towards White’s net until Enoch Sare put his head in the way to deflect over, the home side were then nearly made to pay when a long ball upfield looked set to be cleared by Mead but he slipped allowing Judickas to strike first time but way over the bar, before Mitten again tried his luck from eighteen yards but lacking conviction it was a comfortable collection for Thompson. The Robins missed a guilt edged chance when Shane Uings played a good one-two with Judickas who fizzed his cross along the six yard box and running in at the back post Clarkson just couldn’t get on the end to convert.
Six minutes ahead of the interval Buckingham scored their second when Mitten out on the byline crossed into the middle where Clarkson slotted home, their hosts almost immediately responded when Matthews was sent scampering away towards goal and avoiding defender Sam Bearman he managed to get his shot away but White gathered with both hands down to his left. The home side were then denied a last minute goal back thanks to some bodies on the line defending, an initial shot from Brad Clarke was blocked and the ball rolled out to his fellow front man Ash Higgins who, with White committed to the first effort and out of the game, side footed towards the bottom corner but from nowhere Bearman threw himself in front of the shot to block. H/T: 0-2
The opening few minutes after the break saw the home side really struggle to make an impact on their visitors, the frontmen were having to drop deep to get on the ball meaning there was a lack of targets once they were on the front foot. A free kick some twenty-five yards out gave an opportunity for Carter to try and bend one around the wall but his effort was glanced away for a corner, Buckingham threatened again when Mitten crossed from the left and in front of goal Judickas accepted on his chest but to his dismay the power took it into the gloves of Thompson.
Ampthill midfielder Jack Mordecai was then equally disappointed when set away down the left channel after beating the offside trap, as the red shirts claimed he was off he simply rolled the ball towards White who gratefully smothered. The home side then went close when a throw found Clarke inside the area, he slipped a pass through for substitute Manny Obodo to attack the front post where he crossed into the middle and a shot from the incoming Matthews was gathered by White right on his goal line, a poor clearance allowed a cross back into the box where sandwiched between two red shirts Clarke got to the cross to firmly head down only to watch his effort bounce agonisingly wide of the back post.
Clarkson tried to seal his hatrick with a twenty-five yard low drive inside the near post which was inches wide, a minute later Marius tried a similar feat from the opposite side but he pulled his drive way wide of the target. With time running out the hosts suddenly burst into life, Obodo collecting the ball inside the own half he went on a mazy run that saw him evade four tackles and blocks and still he went on, as he neared the penalty area and with options either side he drove wildly past the post, their next attack saw a pass up to Higgins with his back to goal, he held up well but with options either side he tried to thread a pass through a crowded box which saw a block and long clearance and the chance was gone.
A throw then found the chest of Clarke inside the Robins area, he managed to control before turning his marker but then lifted over the crossbar, the final cross of the afternoon saw White lose track of the ball which found its way to Kieran Phillips who stabbed towards the unguarded net, but yet again Bearman was closest to throw himself in front of the shot to block and the danger was cleared. F/T: 0-2
Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk