Shepton Mallet Deal Bucks a Hammer Blow – Local Football Round-Up Part 1/3
Thursday evening’s 2-0 loss at Shepton Mallet means there is now little margin for error for Buckland Athletic if they are going to do enough to win promotion to the Southern League. Victory would have put Buckland two points behind their sole remaining promotion rivals, Bristol Manor Farm, with a game in hand, but after bringing Barnstaple’s nine game winning run to an end two day’s earlier, the Somerset side were always going to be trouble.
Prior to Thursday, Buckland had enjoyed a fine few days with a comfortable 4-0 home victory against mid-table Bitton on Saturday and a decent 2-2 draw away at Bristol Manor Farm.
Liam Moseley got Buckland underway against a young Bitton side, finishing well on the half-hour mark and it was the number nine again on target as he danced through the visitors’ defence to slot home ensure Bucks went in two up. Two minutes after the restart, visiting ‘keeper Jamie Powell fumbled Simon Revell’s free-kick to hand substitute Ellis Laight the chance to make it three, which he did. The final goal was headed home by another sub, Jared Lewington, after Charlie Johansen’s free-kick; the latter making his first full appearance for the Yellows.
The day before their trip to Bristol, Buckland received the fantastic news that Homers Heath had passed the ground grading for Step Four football, while another promotion contender, Barnstaple, had failed theirs. But Adam Castle’s side were brought back down to Earth with a bump just nine minutes into their next match as Lloyd Mills powered a header into the top corner to give Manor Farm an early lead. Buckland drew level on the half-time mark, Shane Gill with the goal, but promptly fell behind again three minutes after the interval, captain Jordan Metters showing great skill for the hosts. But Buckland restored parity on 57 minutes after being awarded a penalty which the returning Lloyd Gardner dispatched.
Then came the Shepton Mallet match and the jaded Yellows lost out 2-0 following some superb defending from the home centre-backs Dale Peckham and James Billing who, fittingly, scored the goals too.