After an on-off start to the season due to a cancellation from Riverside Rovers last week, the boys were keen to start picking up momentum for their title bid in their first home league game of the season.
Huntingdon United were exactly as we expected, physical from the off, resulting in a somewhat nervous start from Buckden. After dealing well with the initial pressure, the midfield started to impose themselves on the game with a strong quartet of Tim, Luke, Scutty and Josh "crybaby" Smith. We didn't have to wait long for the moment of the match, with Luke Fennell picking up the ball on the side of the opponents half, spotting the run from John Love, and floating a delightful pass over the defender. Lovey leapt like a salmon and cushioned a volley straight across goal, nestling in the side netting. That bit of magic seemed to settle the nerves after a shaky start and, with Huntingdon's midfield starting to chase shadows, Buckden were able to capitalise. Josh Smith, no doubt still haunted by his misses at the game against Swavesey, opted to become provider this week setting Dom Smith through on goal with a cheeky flick over their centre back. Similar to the first goal, Dom neatly cushioned the ball with the outside of his boot back past the keeper and straight in the corner. Two nil.
Whilst credit must go to the midfield, the defense were not performing to their usual high standards but were able to keep Huntingdon at bay, only ever giving them half chances that never really threatened the Buckden goal. Going forward was a different story, with Brownschweiger showing their defender a clean pair of heels on multiple occasions down the right hand side and Westbury popping up in the box with a good headed chance shortly before half time. We went into the break with a comfortable and deserved 2-0 lead, aware that Huntingdon were not about to roll over and give us an easy second half.
The second half started and with the wind against us and the sun glaring in our eyes the conditions were not great, which showed in our performance. The tempo had dropped and Buckden found themselves with their backs against the walls. Huntingdon started to create chances, hitting the crossbar twice, and were it not for our goalkeeper Jan pulling off some brilliant saves then the score could have turned out very differently. Changes were made, with Shane, Owen and Jack coming into the action, but was soon followed by a crunching 50-50 tackle which a committed Chris Dennis threw himself into, resulting in further damage to his glass ankle and a subsequent substitution that brought Scutty back into the thick of it. The second half was fairly scrappy throughout, but Buckden battled through and were able to see the half finish goalless, earning them a clean sheet and a well fought 3 points.
With another home game next week against Alconbury, Buckden will be hoping they can carry their winning form over in the search for a third successive win.