Buckden 2nd and Manea 9th, always going to be a game where Buckden could grab some goals and improve their goal difference, as long as they started it the right way. Buckden turned up with a slightly unfamiliar squad in comparison to their regular team. Owen Howard was suspended and Josh Smith had a sore lip. However, with Pricey and Macca covering there was never any danger that there would be any offside mistakes. The opposition, Manea Utd, rocked up in their purple kit looking extremely scary with a clear intent to intimidate the young squad, it was a good tactic from the team but didn't work.
The whistle went and the first half was underway. Buckden pounced on the ball straight away and gained possession, from this moment they controlled the rest of the game. Alex was playing just behind G man up top and it looked like a threatening formula. Westbury was winning the ball in the centre of the park and gave it to people who could play football, whilst Sam Underwood was causing havoc down the left hand side with James Woo doing the same down the right. It was only a matter of time before they took the lead. And then... From a corner, it came out to left back Adam Kidman who calmly controlled it and then knocked it inside to Westbury, he then uted a lovely touch to set up new kid Alex, BANG! With the outside of his right boot he scored, the keeper couldn't get near it and more importantly Buckden were winning 1-0. The game was already over in the eyes of the spectators. Manea couldn't get close to Buckden, and then with a lot of possession goal number 2 came. The ball got knocked into G man who controlled the ball and turned at an extremely slow pace. Sam underwood meanwhile ran past his marker (who at this time looked as if he had sun stroke), and the ball got knocked in to Sams path. He made the rest look easy. One touch, two touch, goal. Bottom right corner saw the ball roll in and once again the keeper had no chance. At this point the 3 points looked comfortable however, the rest of the game was about having a good performance and letting the rest of the league know that Buckden are serious promotion contenders. Goal number 3 was on its way after a few chances missed. James Woo hit the post and G man scooped a couple wide. Any concerns about getting a 3rd were soon dealt with when star man Alex Shepherd went on a run inside the box showing pace and skill (everything Adam Westbury once dreamt of). The defender clumsily brought Alex down and a penalty was given. Alex finished it beautifully and the score went to 3-0. Buckden were playing with confidence and the score was to soon get bigger. Just before half time Buckden won a corner from the right hand side. Dom Smith took it and the defender on the front post tried clearing. He did the opposite and completely embarrassed himself. Kicking it with the right foot was the wrong choice mate, he scooped into his own net and Buckden were winning 4-0. The day for the men in purple was not going well and half time was very much needed, especially for the right back who was struggling with the pace on the flanks.
Half time soon came and Buckden went into the changing rooms the happier side. Rumours were spreading and the spectators heard that the ref was kissing a Manea Utd player, this would soon be proved in the second half.
Second half soon started with more goals inevitable for the away team. Alex was looking for his hat trick and it would soon come. First though a goal was on its way for G man. With passes from the midfield being strung together it meant G man had some time to find some space within the penalty area. James Woo gave it to him and on the half turn he struck it, few seconds later it hit the back of the net. 5-0!!! Confidence was spreading all over the pitch and there would soon be more for star man Alex. Possession was once again the key for Buckden as the Manea defence were all over the place, Alex found the ball within the penalty area after making a forward run, he looked up once and knew exactly what he wanted to do. Side foot pass into the corner of the goal. 6-0 and a hat-trick for Alex! Josh Smith was looking worried on the sideline as he knew the inlay position up for grabs was the bench. Pricey to soon be introduced and a change in formation to a 3-5-2 led to another goal. Dom changed from an unfamiliar right back to become the second striker and Pricey became the 3rd centre back to join Kieran and Den. After some petty arguing from a Manea Utd player, he soon decided to stare the ref out for 15 seconds, this resulted in a kiss on the lips from the ref. Strange situation to watch but love was clearly in the air. Meanwhile, James Woo was soon to recover from hitting the post in the first half after a forward run from left wing back Adam Kidman led to a low cross being put in and a tap in for James. A smile was put on his and the gaffers face as they both knew it was a well deserved goal and 3 points. Macca was the final substitute to be made after he replaced Adam Westbury. A well deserved round of applause from Graeme Ling as he played well, but also didn't score so a fiver was on its way to the reserve managers wallet. Macca settled comfortably in Adams holding midfield role and Manea had no chance of scoring. Dom Smith has been getting some stick recently as his finishing has been poor but the movement was excellent from the attacking midfielder in the build up to this goal. He created some space for himself and took his goal well by chipping it over the keeper. Classy finish and a classy score at 8-0. The final goal was to come from Sam Underwood rather than G man. He was too concerned about putting on his fancy dress costume rather than to score another goal. Sam Underwood weaved his way around the Manea Utd statues and scored the final goal of the game. A solid finish from a player who has been a pivotal part of the promotion campaign of Buckden FC this season.
The controlled play from Buckden was too much for a struggling Manea Utd team fighting to stay in the league. Some great finishing on show and some great possession play will be the main positive for the gaffer as well as the 3 points which were in the bag after 20 minutes. A busy schedule for Buckden coming up with some tough games but, if they can continue to perform like this then there will be no one stopping them in their surge for promotion. Big month for big players!