Buckland Book Place in Les Phillips Last Eight
A tough encounter at Chipping Sodbury Town went narrowly Buckland’s way as the Yellows secured back-to-back wins following the heartache of their FA Vase exit.
The mark of a side with a winning mentality is one that will pick themselves up from a devastating defeat, dust themselves down and get straight back to winning ways. That’s exactly what Buckland Athletic have done since their painful exit from the FA Vase just two steps from Wembley.
The Les Phillips Cup may not quite compare with the Vase but after getting knocked out at the semi-final stage last season, Buckland would surely love to go one step further this season. They started their second round tie in perfect fashion, Lloyd Gardner curling an opener into the top corner after just seven minutes of play. That goal separated the sides at half-time but Buckland nearly doubled up when loan signing Craig Duff tested the home ‘keeper Tim Griffiths who was forced to push his shot around the post. Duff refused to be denied though and when Griffiths failed to hold on to Simon Revell’s drive, he was on hand to knock in the follow-up from close range on 72 minutes. Three minutes later and it was George Box for the visitors who successfully followed up after Grant Fisher’s save to reduce the arrears. Buckland held out for the last 15 minutes though as the visitors worked hard to force an equaliser. They join last year’s runners-up Willand Rovers, Melksham Town, Cribbs and Shepton Mallet in the quarter-finals. The big shock of the round was at Oaklands Park where mid-table First Division side Roman Glass St George sent Premier leaders Bristol Manor Farm out by a goal to nil. Still to be played are Wellington’s home game against holders Hengrove Athletic, an all-Division One tie, and Gillingham Town’s home tie against Bradford Town.
Next Saturday, Buckland travel to Brislington in a bid to make it 11 league wins in a row (13 unbeaten) following last Saturday’s narrow 2-1 success with a scratch squad at Bitton. All the goals were scored in the second half in that one, with Charlie Johansen finding the net with 25 minutes remaining and Jared Lewington easing the visitors’ task with a 75th minute back-post volley after some nice wing-play by Lloyd Gardner. Kyle Ford ensured that the Yellows were not allowed to rest on their laurels though with a goal for Bitton less than five minutes after that but Buckland held on to scoop another three points and keep the pressure up on Manor Farm.
Buckland will be keeping a close eye on tonight’s game at Eastern Way as fourth-placed Melksham Town look to put the brakes on Manor Farm’s title drive to allow the pack to close the distance.