Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 5
Summertown Stars AFC – 0
Buckingham Athletic Ladies started their season with an emphatic win over Oxford side Summertown Stars, scoring five without reply on an afternoon of driving rain and swirling winds that did not deter Athletic opening their campaign in the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division Two North with some aplomb, leaving manager Carmen ‘Tigs’ Robinson “the proudest football manager ever”!
The visitors had the first chance on three minutes when Naomi Jayaratne broke away and homed in on goal, out pacing her marker to get into the box a last ditch saving tackle from a covering defender managed to clear the ball for a corner. Straight up the other end Evie Hawkins got in behind the Stars defence but fired straight at Annabelle Trafford.
Athletic grew in confidence and a right wing attack saw Jordan Heron progress deep into the Stars half, laying the ball back to skipper Kerry Stapleton she crossed to Emma Marshall who fired over the bar. The home side then took the lead on sixteen minutes, Jade Copas making history as being the first Athletic Ladies goal scorer, collecting the ball some forty yards from goal, advancing into the area and firing across the keeper and into the bottom corner.
A minute later Hawkins almost copied her team mates’ effort when slipped in behind the defence but this time keeper Trafford came out to clear sliding in to take the ball off Hawkins boot. Summertown won a free kick which Hayley Heam thumped at goal and Stapleton was alert to head away from in front of goal, before some good build up play resulted in Heron firing narrowly wide from close range.
Summertown broke on twenty-six minutes through Jayaratne again and her drive was initially parried by home keeper Ellen Fenables who collected at the second attempt. A minute later Athletic doubled their lead when a Stapleton shot was punched out by the Summertown keeper straight to Hawkins to side footed into the empty net.
Hawkins was then denied again by a brave diving save at her feet by Trafford averting the danger on the edge of the box, and moments later Hawkins dispossessed a defender and got a shot away from just a few yards out and on the line Stars defender Tamara Powell headed away with the keeper stranded.
Seven minutes before the break Stapleton scored the goal of the game, collecting the ball some twenty odd yards out she smashed at goal and the ball sailed over the keeper and into the roof of the net. Before the interval Heron drove into the keeper’s gloves, and Hawkins lifted an effort over the top from just outside the area. The last kick of the game saw Jayaratne break free again and after closing down on Fenables fired wide from twelve yards out. H/T: 3-0
Summertown went close early in the second period when a cross just eluded the boot of Jayaratne who was inches away from pulling a goal back for the visitor’s. Heron then hit the post for Athletic when crossing from their right, and on fifty-three minutes the hosts scored their fourth. A corner into the six-yard box wasn’t cleared and eventually Stapleton side footed home amongst a mass of bodies.
Evie Hawkins then made it five on sixty-one minutes when she drove at goal and shrugging off a challenge she stroked the ball into the bottom corner. As the rain increased Athletic enjoyed their superiority and played some nice football, Lily Hamp down the left beating her marker and crossing in to Heron who fired at goal only to see her effort bounce up off the crossbar and over for a goal kick, a move deserving of a goal.
Heron then forced the Summertown keeper into a fine save tipping over a shot from the righthand side of the area, & Stapleton battled well to retrieve the ball from a defender before firing wide from outside the box. Before the end Heron blasted wide, before Stapleton fed in Kayleigh Harwood whose shot was turned away for a corner with the slightest of deflections. F/T: 5-0
To keep up with the ladies’ season save this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/Index.do?league=9687504
After the game Sports Shots spoke with captain Kerry Stapleton:
For match photo’s click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm2H9QPA