Winslow United FC – 1
Buckingham Athletic – 1
Winslow United left it late to snatch a point, in a typical local derby at Elmfield Gate which saw plenty of passion, a whole load of mud, and two teams desperately trying to win the game for local pride as well as points to climb the league table. Jason Costello scored his first league goal of the season in second half injury time to earn Winslow a point, which on fairness of play was the least they deserved.
Credit has to be given to the clubs work party on the morning of the game, for getting up to the ground early on, and working tirelessly to ensure the game went ahead. After all the rain the previous day, they all worked a miracle to get the pitch playable.
Easily United’s largest crowd of the season assembled pitch side, braving the freezing temperatures that seemed to get lower by the minute. There were plenty of pasties & sausage rolls being consumed by cold hands, and the teas and coffees were forever flowing throughout the game.
For anyone unaware of how much lower league local derbies matter, then the faces on the Winslow faces in the bar after the game would tell you this was just as important as any fan of the North London or North East derbies. With the game time running out, it was Athletic who looked like they would hold the bragging rights at the end of the game, until that late late leveller earned Jason Costello the most shaked hand and slapped back by the end of the evening. It may all sound over the top after only a draw, but with lady luck clearly avoiding the road to Winslow this season thus far, many will be hoping she has finally found us on her satnav?
As the players took their time to adjust to the slippery surface, it took until the eleventh minute for the first effort of any note, as Buckingham threw in a cross from their right, the home defence struggled to get to the ball and a snap shot from the Athletic striker saw the ball balloon over the bar. In the eighteenth minute, a Winslow attack saw Costello win the ball and lay it off to Grant Karwacinski who fired wide, but he was being held back by a defender who was very lucky the referee did not see otherwise a penalty would have had to have been given.
Athletic took the lead in the thirty third minute with a route one goal. From a goal kick, the ball was allowed to bounce which cleared the home defence, and Chris Davies nipped in to lob the ball over the advancing home keeper Tom Weymes and into the net.
Winslow almost got level just three minutes later when a corner from their left was headed just wide by James Bishop. Five minutes before the break the visitors should have doubled their lead when from a cross Matt Cruise found the space and time to get his shot away, but blazed over the bar.
Seven minutes into the second half saw a Winslow attack break down, and the blue shirts piled forward on the counter attack, the ball was fed into the path of Josh Hooper who fired low across goal only to see Weymes brilliantly dive away to his right to turn the ball away to safety. A minute later, Athletic won a free kick out on their right, Adam Bone floated the ball into the penalty area, a crowd of heads went up, and the faintest of touches saw the ball creeping inside the far post, until Weymes again at full stretch tipped the ball around the post for a corner.
As the conditions worsened on the pitch, it looked likely that a slip could prove costly to either side, and neither team really managed to put any moves together that looked threatening. On seventy two minutes, United’s new signing Maurice Doherty Labode went on a mazy run that saw him evade three or four challenges on the edge of the box, play a one-two with Costello, and a poke towards goal had some of the crowd celebrating the ‘goal’ only to see the ball trickle agonisingly wide of the post. A minute later saw another Athletic counter attack down the right send Cruise away on goal only to see him fire wide of the far post.
As the game went into the final five minutes, Winslow threw everything they had at the Athletic goal but with no real threat, and when Luke Tavener saw an effort spiral off his own player and away for a goal kick, it looked all set for Athletic to take the points. That was until in the first minute of added time, when a Weymes goal kick was flicked on, and Costello raced onto the ball in the penalty area and fired the ball home to level the game.
United: 1: T Weymes 2: R Freshwater 3: C Setterfield 4: M Wiltshire 5: A Bailey 6: D Job 7: N Farrow (85 mins L Murphy) 8: G Karwacinski 9: J Costello © 10: J Bishop (74 mins L Tavener) 11: D Butler (61 mins M Doherty Labode)
Un-Used: G Ford, O Golding