Hallen and Clevedon Swept Aside as Bucks March On: Local Football Round-up Part 1/3
With the Toolstation Western League’s unofficial winter break now coming to an end, fans of Buckland Athletic will have been anxious to see how the hiatus will have affected the players. They needn’t have worried. In a five day spell, the Yellows made up for lost time by claiming ten goals, two clean sheets, three league points and a place in the quarter-finals of the Les Phillips Cup.
First up last Saturday were struggling Hallen, a side the Bucks had already beaten at Homers Heath in a September league fixture, albeit by a solitary goal. Only 37 attended the Les Phillips Cup second round match as Buckland secured their last eight place with a comfortable 4-0 win.
The match began with a poignant moment as Buckland played tribute to assistant manager Andy Hill who had recently lost his battle with cancer. The visiting players wore commemorative T-shirts and a minute’s silence was respectfully observed by all present.
The Yellows broke the deadlock just before half-time, Shane Gill tapping home after a goalmouth scramble on 42 minutes to give his side the half-time advantage. Gill’s second, nine minutes into the second half, was more of a spectacle as he skipped across the six-yard box before slotting the ball into the corner of the net. Fellow wide man Lloyd Gardner had the chance to make it three after Gavin Hammon was felled in the box by Ciaran Greening, but Sam Burgess guessed the right way and pulled off a decent save to keep the home side in the game. That was until the 67th minute when Hammon ended their hopes by burying the ball past Burgess, a reward for his industrious performance. Centre-back Liam Head provided the final flourish, converting a 20-yard free-kick with a minute left on the clock. The reward for Buckland is a home tie against fellow promotion contenders Bristol Manor Farm.
Hallen may be struggling this season, but the situation for Somerset side Clevedon Town is even more dire. Relegated from the Southern League last season, the Seasiders have continued to free-fall in the Western League with 20 defeats out of 25 played and the worst goal difference by some distance. Having dispatched them from the FA Cup last August with a 3-0 victory at Homers Heath, Buckland travelled to the Hand Stadium on Wednesday evening in the side’s first league clash of the campaign.
Home custodian Jordan Paton had already done well to keep the scores level for the first quarter but he was picking the ball out of the net for the first time after 27 minutes, Liam Moseley hitting the spot via the inside of the post. Moseley then missed a sitter before Lloyd Gardner opened up a gap by slotting under Paton with six minutes of the half remaining.
An unmarked Gavin Hammon tapped home on 50 minutes to make it three and a solo run by substitute Shane Gill, which started from inside the Clevedon half, ended with the midfielder increasing the score to 4-0 on 61 minutes. 16 minutes later and another substitute, Ellis Laight, successfully turned in a free-kick to make it five before the hapless Mitchell Greenslade put past his own goalkeeper after a wicked 87th minute cross from the left.
An intense spell of action now sees Buckland play Saturday and midweek games throughout the rest of February and March. Mid-table Brislington are the next up; the Bristol side will come to Homers Heath on Saturday.