After the shocking performance against Huntingdon, and the need to get back to the pass and move identity we’ve had all season, the team arrived at Manea with plenty of time to get through a thorough warm up and team talk before the game. And as we completed our warm up their players were arriving with twenty minutes until kick off.
And the difference in preparation was obvious from the first minutes of the game, with Buckden looking to keep the ball on the ground and build up attacks from the back, moving the ball from side to side, and when giving up possession pressing high up the pitch to win it back. All Manea could do was kick it long, which Chris Dennis and Adam Westbury won every time to start another Buckden attack. Buckden were getting in behind Manea’s defence with ease and looked dangerous with every attack, winning multiple corners before finally the first goal went in. A free flowing move, keeping possession before the ball was fired in to Lovey’s feet, a cushioned lay off to Luke Fennell, a touch out wide right to James Woo who fired the ball into the bottom left corner, with what was either a shocking cross, or an incredible finish.
Buckden looked good to score some more, and from a Manea corner Buckden countered, a great decision from Lovey to leave the ball started Shane’s 80 yard sprint from box to box, skipping past challenges before being brought down in the box and winning a penalty, a slightly dramatic fall down didn’t do anything to prevent the ref from giving it. As Josh Smith got ready to take the penalty with many complaints about Manea not putting the ball exactly in his hands for him to take it but a yard or so away from him, got some of the Manea players a bit rattled. But when it came to putting the ball in the back of the net Josh found the corner. The keeper made a great effort to try and save it but the shot was just too powerful and accurate by Josh. For the rest of the half Buckden probed with great width given by the full backs Ryan Brown and James Price, Lovey and Josh gave a variety of options up front, James Woo and Dom Smith held their width before cutting inside to cause the Manea defence all kinds of problems. Manea might have caused Buckden some more problems if it wasn’t for Shane winning every header from their goal kicks.
2-0 at half time and there was only ever one result it was just a question of how many, throughout the second half Buckden kept the ball well and were never really under any kind of pressure, resulting in Oli Day rolling around on the ground stretching to keep himself interested. Buckden had more chances in the second half to increase their lead with good build up play from the whole team, but lacking the clinical finish to kill the game off. In truth it was a pretty poor second half lacking any real goal mouth action and high tempo play, but Manea’s keeper made some great saves to keep the score just the 2-0.
Overall a good result and a great performance from Buckden getting back to winning ways after the blip at Huntingdon. 6 wins out of 7 in the league and back to the Buckden way of playing football. Big mention to Shane who was awesome in the middle of the park, winning every aerial battle and other physical battles. Never allowing Manea to take advantage with their overload in the middle.