Buckingham Athletic – 2
Buckingham Town – 2
The final ever Buckingham derby saw the two sides share the points however the home side were devastated by a penalty two minutes from time which gave the Milton Keynes side the chance to level, and Kelvin Osei-Addo who had scored after just nine seconds of the contest was more than content to double his tally for the afternoon and snatch a late draw that the Town second half performance warranted, all after being down to ten men for the entire second half. With the visitor’s changing their name to Milton Keynes Borough from the New Year, they entered the field of play in their new bright yellow kit with their new club badge proudly showing off their new title, and their early opener rocked their hosts, but Athletic fought back and were ahead by the break courtesy of two set pieces that went straight in, they then held out against the ten men where they had to defend for the majority of the second period, but were undone by that last gasp spot kick.
Any pre-match team talks from the Athletic manager Neil Griffiths were out of the window from the start, the away side took the kick-off and sent the ball down field where defender Robert Tapp looked to have everything under control, but he slipped and in a split second Osei-Addo was on it and unleashed an unstoppable drive that flew over Josh McAdoo in the home goal and into the top corner. The hosts almost fought back immediately when Robbie Carter was released down the left flank, he skipped past a challenge & drove into the box where his initial shot was blocked, a follow up was also blocked before eventually the danger was cleared.
Carter was soon making a nuisance of himself down the opposite side, a ball across the six-yard box saw Kevin Owusu and Rob MacDonald inches away from connecting but again it rolled to safety, Owusu then centred a perfect cross into MacDonald whose diving header looked in until it came back off the base of the post and rolled out for a goal kick, he then almost turned provider as he flashed the ball across the goal face but it was an inch too high for the incoming Blessing Zulu, Owusu went close again collecting a pass outside the box before turning and firing over the crossbar of Town keeper Bobby White.
Neil King found some space on the corner of the box and his cross found Owusu in the box however he timed his leap all wrong and just glanced the ball back to White, the inevitable equaliser then duly arrived with eleven minutes of the half remaining, Athletic won a corner which full back Nick Bines swung in from their right and the curling cross eluded everyone and nestled inside the far post. Town came straight back and a cross that was half cleared was met by Alex Marios and his low drive had McAdoo diving away to his left to gather, then on forty-one minutes the visitors were reduced to ten men when their skipper was sent off.
Robbie Carter went up with Scott Dummitt to challenge, both fell to the floor and the referee on the spot brandished a straight red card to the centre half, for what was later assumed to be for foul play. A minute of chaos ensued before King placed the ball and curled into the box, White appeared to have it covered but slipped and one bounce took into the far bottom corner to give the hosts the lead going into the break. H/T: 2-1
As so often happens in football, the team with the numerical advantage could not make it count in the second period, and instead were defending for long periods of the forty-five minutes, with the occasional foray forward looking to extend their slender lead. From the off Jack Clarkson got down the right channel and with options in the middle he opted to shoot, blazing high over the top, at the opposite end Robbie Carter did well on the edge of the eighteen-yard box twisting & turning before shooting, a block came in but rolled out to MacDonald who drove low towards the bottom left hand corner but inches wide of the upright.
Another Athletic clearance found Sam Bearman some twenty-five yards out and his dipping drive had McAdoo at full stretch to tip over his crossbar, his side then won a free kick was which was lofted into the box and found Gabrielius Judickas with his back to goal, he managed to turn his marker but his shot deflected away for a corner, another move saw the ball played up to Judickas on the edge of the area where he managed to turn his defender but then just lifted high over the top. Town then went even closer when Osei-Addo to the right of goal forced McAdoo into a good save & the rebound fell to Marios who absolutely smashed across the open goal and just wide of the far post.
Then with just two minutes remaining Osei-Addo made a run into the box and a challenge took him down, despite the protests from the blue defence the official pointed to the spot, the front man picked himself up and levelled the scoreline, Ath then went closest in added time to a winner, a Bines free kick curled in was met by the head of King but under pressure he could only head over; a draw being the fairest outcome on the balance of play. F/T: 2-2
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