Woodstock Town Ladies Reserves – 0
Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 4
Buckingham Athletic kept the pressure on league leaders Banbury United with victory at Woodstock Town reserves on Sunday afternoon, on a cold but sunny afternoon. With manager Carmen Robinson unable to be at the game, coach Ian Mason took the reins without disruption to the good form the ladies have been in all season. Having played the hosts only seven days previous at Stratford Fields, it was always going to be a case of who learnt more from that game, where the Athletic scored eight without reply, and a much better display from Woodstock this time round especially in the second half restricted the high flying away side to four goals.
Woodstock had the first chance of the game when Lauren Major & Claire Riseley were sent away in the Buckingham half, before they had chance to get anywhere near the penalty area the ever dependable centre half Emma Marshall once again showed her defensive qualities by sliding in to tackle and clear the ball for a throw.
On six minutes Rachel Thorpe was stopped in her tracks some twenty yards out with a great tackle, running in Kayleigh Harwood hit the ball first time sending it flying wide of keeper Katie Hill’s right hand post. An Athletic corner then saw Sam Jolley swing the ball in and coming in unmarked Thorpe headed over.
Buckingham took the lead on nine minutes, a ball inside their own box wasn’t cleared by a hesitant Woodstock back line, and before they knew it Thorpe had seized upon the opportunity rifling home across the keeper into the bottom corner. They then doubled the lead on twenty-four minutes when Georgina ‘Chicken’ Howell ventured forward from defence and from thirty yards out hit a loose ball towards goal, it was the perfect hit and flew over the head of the Woodstock keeper and in sparking wild celebrations from her team mates.
Evie Hawkins was then introduced to the game, and it wasn’t long before she was in behind the back line and from six-yards out she managed to smack against the crossbar and the ball bounced away to safety. A minute from the half-time whistle Athletic skipper Kerry Stapleton powered from midfield into the Town area before smashing a shot wide of Hill’s left hand upright. H/T: 0-2
Whilst the first half had been all Buckingham, after the break the home side improved and had their fair share of possession. In the first minute a sliced defensive clearance from the away side saw the ball land at the feet of Naomi Norrie and from twelve yards she lifted over Ellen Fenables in the Athletic goal and over the crossbar.
Another attack from the hosts broke down on fifty-nine minutes and the ball sent long to Stapleton on the half way line, she attacked the left wing before crossing to Hawkins on the corner of the six-yard box but the Buckingham leading scorer could only poke wide.
A minute later Jade Copas forced Hill into making a close range block with her feet to deny, before Stapleton did increase her sides lead on sixty-five minutes. Picking the ball up twenty yards out she advanced a step or two before shooting, as the ball reached the outstretched hands of Hill in the Town goal, the glaring sun dazzled her view and the ball eluded her grasp and went in.
With fourteen minutes remaining Thorpe grabbed her second and Buckingham’s fourth, from an Emma Marshall corner the ball travelled across the six-yard box and running in Thorpe tucked into the bottom corner. Jolley then fed in Hawkins who fired inches wide from close range, although a raised flag may have ruled out the effort otherwise.
Thorpe sensing a hat trick then saw Hill turn away another chance with her feet for a corner, whilst at the opposite end Town striker Lauren Major was set away for a one-on-one against Fenables, her shot coming back off the post and rolling to safety. The last chance fell to Izzie Clamp who had an initial shot blocked, the ball fell back to her and she fired at goal again only to find the waiting gloves of Hill. F/T: 0-4
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After the game Sports Shots caught up with defenders Chelsea Markwell & Georgina Howell:
For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm7yaN19