Buckingham Athletic U18 – 3
Bourne End U18 – 0
Buckingham Athletic U18’s progressed into the Berks & Bucks County Cup semi-finals with a win over Bourne End on Sunday at Stratford Fields, and as convincing as the scoreline sounds the story could have been very different had the visitor’s taken one or both of their two very early chances that should have seen them ahead before their hosts got their game going, but those chances were missed and they were made to pay when the home side scored two goals in as many minutes and from there looked comfortable seeing the game out to a conclusion. Afterwards Buckingham manager Dan Turney admitted his side had reverted back to a more direct style of football as the heavy pitch was not suitable for their usual passing game, and some early nerves almost cost dearly but once they calmed and played to their instructions, the Bourne defence struggled to cope with the pace and power their hosts had up front, and a three goal lead by half-time proved unassailable with no further damage after the break.
Five minutes in Bourne won a free kick in the middle of the pitch which Theodore Luff played straight down the middle and a deflection off an Ath boot set up Josh Ralphson perfectly but he had to take the shot on first time and lifted over the crossbar, moments later George Watson did well down their left wing and crossed into the box where another ricochet off a blue boot put the ball into the path of the incoming Maximillian Yuill who from six-yards drove wide of Hayden Coombs’ right hand post. Despite their good start End fell behind on the quarter hour mark when Kyran O’Dell did well down the right channel and as bodies swarmed into the box he pulled back to Elton Anning inside the penalty arc who drilled low into the bottom corner.
The lead was doubled a minute later when a simple ball down the middle for Cassius Brookes to chase after saw him lose his marker and as keeper Matthew Garske came out to the edge of this box the Buckingham striker slotted past him with some ease. With a two goal lead the home side were a side transformed and attacked at will, Anning soon had another pass to chase after inside the area and rounding the Bourne keeper he went to wide and as he tried to square back to team mates in the middle he could only locate a defender who cleared long, O’Dell was next to try his luck latching onto a superb pass through the visitor’s defence but Garske advanced to dive at his feet & got something on the shot to divert for a corner.
Brookes then attacked down the flank and was inches from finding O’Dell in front of goal but the cross was just too close to the keeper who managed to gather and hold, at the opposite end some patient build up play from the away team resulted in Josh Warden shooting from eighteen yards that had Coombs diving superbly to his left to catch with both hands, play was switched very quickly to the other end where Brookes fed in O’Dell but as the striker went to shoot the ball hit a bobble and he could only lift high over the top. Ath scored their third with four minutes of the half remaining, a Bourne free kick was easily cleared down field and a lob over the top saw Alagie Swarray Deen power ahead of his defender before rounding Garske and tapping into the empty net. H/T: 3-0
Just two minutes after the restart Ath were on the attack with O’Dell who saw a shot from the edge of the area take a deflection allowing Garske to cover across his area and gather, whilst Bourne won a free kick out on their left which was swung in and climbing highest Watson headed straight into the waiting gloves of Coombs, a foul twenty yards out gave the home side a sight of goal again but O’Dell curled over the crossbar, and on the hour mark the visitors came close when Thomas Crockett arrowed a dipping drive over the top from twenty-five yards out.
A Buckingham corner was swung right into the near post where a mass of bodies all challenged and as the keeper fell to the floor the ball rolled in but the referee was quick to sound his whistle and give the foul to deny a fourth goal, ahead of O’Dell again trying from the edge of the box but getting under it he lifted far too high to cause any danger. The game petered out in the latter stages although a late run in behind from Swarray Deen had Garske out in a flash to block with defenders on hand to clear, Athletic progress and eagerly await the semi-final draw ahead of league cup action later this week. F/T: 3-0
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