SSMFL D1; Ampthill Town 2-0 Buckingham Athletic

Ampthill Town – 2
Buckingham Athletic – 0

09.02.2019

Ampthill Town began life under the new management of Paul Blackman with a two goal win over Buckingham Athletic at Ampthill Park to upset the form book, two first half goals were enough to take the three points and as much as the visitor’s tried to get back in the game they simply couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net, they then had to play out the final twenty minutes with ten men as two quick fire yellow cards for Rob MacDonald saw him sent for an early bath, after the game both managers agreed the better team on the day won the game. Town also hit the woodwork more than once during the ninety minutes & the win saw them remain in fifteenth place in the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division One table but close the gap on those above them and now only need another six points to put pressure on the top ten places, ahead of a midweek trip to bottom place Hatfield this Tuesday, meanwhile Athletic look to bounce back from this disappointment with a slightly more difficult midweek visit of second place Broadfields United.

Buckingham started brightly enough, from the kick off Immanuel Soetan was released down the left touchline and getting to the byline he pulled the ball back across the penalty area but behind the red shirts in the middle allowing the home defence to clear. An Ampthill throw then released Jamie Cerminara into the Ath area and as keeper Josh McAdoo went out to meet him the striker knocked the ball past him but away from goal and off balance he could only fire into the side netting, moments later a knock down to Cerminara saw him get his angles all wrong and loop high over the top, whilst at the opposite end Soetan did well in the corner to cut back inside his marker before curling around the far post.

Athletic skipper Dan Staley ensured the scoreline remained intact when a long range effort had to be headed away from inside the six-yard box after Lawrence Burton got the better of McAdoo, but then on seventeen minutes the home side did open the scoring and it was down to an excellent goal kick from debutant Town custodian Mitchell Howe who sent the ball long downfield & a flick on from Jake Kissiedu allowed Cerminara to run on and spotting McAdoo off his line execute the perfect lob over the keeper and into the unguarded net from twenty yards. That lead was almost cancelled out within seconds of the restart as a pass back to Howe saw some miscommunication between him and a defender allowing Soetan inbetween to stick out a boot and poke the ball across the six-yard box, it rolled across the gaping goal with no one anywhere near to knock home, and away to safety.

Brad Clarke celebrates his goal

Cerminara then caused more problems to the way defence and laid off to Burton who blazed over the crossbar from the eighteen yard line, Athletic then created a good chance when Kevin Owusu crossed from the right and in front of goal MacDonald headed straight into the gloves of Howe, on twenty-five minutes Jack Menday tried his luck from twenty yards but the ball skidded along the surface as it sailed comfortably wide. The visitors won a free kick which Neil King floated into the box, it was headed away but running in full back Ash Farmer drove over the top, and a fierce shot from Cerminara saw McAdoo having to parry with both hands and fortunately no other yellow shirts were close enough to pick up the rebound which allowed Staley to shield the ball until his keeper collected.

Five minutes before the break Ampthill were denied a second by the woodwork when a cross was left by both keeper & defender allowing Cerminara to slide in and get the merest of touches to divert the ball goalwards but it bounced back off the foot of the post and McAdoo was able to get back to gather, but just two minutes later they did double their lead when Kissiedu got the better of his marker to cross from the right hand side of the area, as the ball rolled across the box defenders stood watching the ball as Brad Clarke stole in behind and tapped into the empty net, despite the vigorous claims of offside the goal stood. H/T: 2-0

Nine minutes into the second period saw a clearance from the Ampthill defence up to Kissiedu just inside the Ath half, with a defender on his shoulder he out fought him to get away and from eighteen yards fire across the goal face and wide of the back post, moments later a ball into the back of the penalty area was smashed at goal by Burton only for the ball to crash down off the underside of the crossbar, bounce down and away, as the home players claimed it had crossed the line the officials waved them all away.

Rob MacDonald is shown red card

If the task of getting back into the game wasn’t hard enough, it was made ever harder on sixty-nine minutes when MacDonald received his second yellow card within a few minutes to be sent from the field of play, both for niggly fouls that were born out of frustration as Athletic struggled to get their game going at all. Then the first attack from that point saw the ball played up to Soetan inside the penalty arc with his back to goal, his first touch flicked the ball up and his second saw him acrobatically go for the overhead bicycle kick but it cleared the goal frame comfortably.

The game drifted out to a conclusion with little other goal mouth incident, six minutes before the end a long ball into the Ath box saw Town left back Tom Carter presented with the opportunity to shoot but his dipping drive flew over the bar, ahead of substitute Tom Cooksley being released away down the flank and crossing into the box where Carter again cleared the bar. In the final minute an Ampthill corner was met at the near post by the incoming Mark Smith who got his head to it but again the ball crashed back off the woodwork and was cleared to safety. F/T: 2-0

Attendance: 53

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After the game Sports Shots spoke with Ampthill manager Paul Blackman: 
And also with Athletic boss Neil Griffiths: 

For match day photography (105 images over two pages) please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmAshZeK

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