Buckland Bask in Winning Form
Buckland Athletic move into September in high spirits after an impressive fortnight which has seen all men’s sides pick up maximum points and the women’s team cruise past Launceston with a dominant second half display.
Buckland Athletic 1st Team
The first team haven’t looked back since their wobble against Melksham, following up victory against Street with further wins at home to Longwell Green Sports on Saturday 27th August and away at Shepton Mallet three days later.
After Jared Lewington nearly broke the deadlock it was new signing Richard Groves who got off the mark against Longwell Green Sports with a superb strike, just before half time, which clipped the underside of the bar before going in. Buckland took their foot off the accelerator after the break and were duly punished as the visitors got back on terms within ten minutes of the restart. But Gavin Hammon notched again with a fine finish before Simon Revell scored from the penalty spot to seal a deserved win for the home side.
The same fixture last April had ended in a shock 2-0 defeat for Buckland who had also lost by the same scoreline at Shepton Mallet that month. And it was the hosts again who took the initiative in this Tuesday evening match, Harry Ritchie with the opening goal. Buckland fought hard to get level, Groves hitting the bar and Tom Easterbrook forced into multiple saves, but it wasn’t until ten minutes into the second half that they achieved their goal, Lewington heading home from a corner. That goal sparked off a bizarre eight minute period which saw three further goals scored, Lloyd Gardner driving home from long-range to put Buckland ahead two minutes later, Dan Griffiths widening the margin after capitalising on defensive errors but Joe Morgan reeling the visitors back in with a close range effort two minutes after that. Mallet almost found an equaliser in the last quarter of an hour, Liam Drew clearing off the line, but that effort was followed by an immediate attack which saw Hammon slotting home the decisive fourth to put Buckland top for 24 hours, Willand Rovers hammering Sherborne Town 6-0 to move above them the following evening. Athletic currently sit fourth as they await tonight’s visit from Wells – the first of a string of four home games.
Buckland Athletic Ladies
Laura Gough once again displayed her scoring prowess, scoring four times as Buckland Athletic Ladies came alive in the second half of their SWWFL opener at Pennygillam, home of Launceston LFC. One-nil up at the break, the Yellows turned up the heat in the second half to run out comfortable 6-0 victors. Joining Gough on the scoresheet were Emily Hannaford and substitute Hannah Brook.
Buckland Athletic Reserves
After having opened their title defence with a win at East Allington United, Buckland Athletic Reserves continued to show their championship credentials with two heavy victories away at Ashburton and at home to Brixham AFC Reserves. Plenty of former Buckland players were wearing the red of Ashburton and it showed with plenty of robust challenges from the start. The first flashpoint of the match came as Cameron Kelly went down after a clash with Sam Chorley and a few tempers flared. From the ensuing free-kick, Ed Plackett’s tackle on player-manager Lee Chapman was deemed a foul and up stepped Matt Beer in the 28th minute to blast Bucks ahead with a confidently struck penalty. Ashes responded with intent, pressurising the Buckland goal, but soon found themselves two down as Sam Peardon tapped home a great cross from the right on 32 minutes.
Ashes found themselves three down early in the second half as Jordan Ewing smashed a low shot through Jamie Bradley, heralding an eight minute spell where Buckland ended any hope of a comeback. Bradley had only just beaten away Chris Harper’s powerful drive when a second from the big man found the net; a minute later and four had become five, Harper again on target, Bradley taking the sting out of his low shot but unable to alter its course. Just after the hour mark, Ashes were dealt another blow, Sam Chorley, who had been booked in that earlier clash with Kelly, given a second yellow after Beer went down after what seemed like minimal contact. Ewing’s second, and Buckland’s sixth, came on 68 minutes after a move down the Buckland right and Matt Beer also scored his second of the afternoon, on 79 minutes with a powerful centrally-hit strike. Ashburton had a late penalty shout waved away with a shade of handball about substitute Max Simmonds’ intervention and there was a moment of concern for Buckland as Ewing went down in the goalmouth in the final minute; but he was up in time to see Beer put the icing on the Yellows’ cake by completing his first hat-trick in men’s football in the final minute.
Bucks then went on to score another eight in last weekend’s home tie against Brixham Reserves. Defender Ryan Dabbs kicked off the scoring with an early close-range finish from a cross into the box before Matt Beer continued his scoring form with a powerful drive from inside the area. Beer then turned provider, in the last ten minutes of the half, to send Jordan Ewing away on a one-on-one with the visiting ‘keeper, Ewing winning the contest. There was still time for another before the break, Ewing on target to end any uncertainty about the destiny of the points, and shortly after the restart Sam Peardon headed home Ewing’s corner for number five. Peardon again and Shane Gill added two more during the remainder of the half before Ewing completed his hat-trick on the stroke of full-time.
Buckland Athletic Thirds
Buckland Athletic Thirds, who narrowly missed out on the Division One title last season, have also enjoyed a positive start to their campaign with two 3-2 wins in two tough opening games. The Yellows began their campaign away at Beesands Rovers, never an easy place to go, while last weekend’s tie saw them beat another of the division’s title prospects Roselands at home.