On Saturday 27th September, Bucks travelled to Haddenham looking to bounce back from the disappointment of the dropped league points last week, again travelling with a strong squad who are all fighting for their places.
Bucks started the game well and should have gone ahead inside the opening 10 minutes when Carl Moreton broke down the left flank before squaring the ball to Ray Long who saw his shot blocked by the Haddenham Keeper when a goal looked certain. The away team maintained a good spell of pressure which reaped its rewards just before the 20 minute mark when Lewis Creser volleyed home a great diagonal ball from Carl Clay(19). This was no more than Bucks had deserved having controlled the opening exchanges in the game, but the advantage would be short lived as Haddenham equalised a few minutes later(22). With Carl Clay on the ball and facing his own goal, the striker closed him down quickly and when he attempted a clearance, the ball was smashed into the Bucks goal past the helpless Matt Moran. It was Haddenham who would go on to take the lead again following a defensive slip by Scott Bannister. A long kick down field was contested by Bannister and the home team striker, and when the centre-back slipped, with the covering Carl Clay caught off guard, all that was left to do was the striker to finish across Moran and into the far corner of the goal from just inside the box(35). Despite good possession and a few half chances from the away side, Bucks went into half time a goal down and knowing that they had gifted Haddenham the lead in the game.
The second half started slowly with possession being exchanged all over the pitch but it was Haddenham who created the first real goal scoring opportunity, albeit very fortuitously, and again a goal was the end result. A long ball in the left channel looked as though it was going to be cut-out by Carl Clay but somehow the ball slipped through him and the striker finished well across the keeper to make the score 3-1 (52). Bucks had a strong feeling that if they kept the ball better and stopped gifting Haddneham chances, that they could still get something out of the game. A triple substitution from manager Dave Green saw Tony Castielli, Carl Clay and the impressive Carl Moreton replaced by Rikki Sinfield, Vinny Greco and Joe Oxley as Bucks tried to inject a bit more energy into the side. This had the desired effect although it was the home side who scored again when a very dubious penalty decision was awarded following a challenge by Mike Ainger. The Haddenham player converted from the spot to increase the home sides lead (64). Bucks struck back soon after following a good piece of play from Vinny Greco. He picked the ball up on the right wing before cutting inside and unleashing a powerful shot which the keeper could only parry before the ball was bundled home by Joe Oxley(866).
Momentum was with the away side and the Haddenham were being asked a lot of questions, which they answered well, causing frustration to Bucks. Long balls out from the Haddenham backline were being picked up by the Bucks defence before starting attack after attack but the goal just wouldn’t come. It was from a long hopeless ball that Haddenham managed to get their 5th goal of the game. The winger raced on to a ball into the left channel before being fouled by Scott Bannister. From the resulting free-kick the Haddneham winger whipped the ball over the bucks defence, keeper and Daniel Jones on the goal line and into the far top corner(82). Another needless goal conceded by the away team caused some very heated discussions amongst some of the players but somehow urged them on to get more goals. The first came when a cross from Daniel Jones on the right of midfield was met well on the head by Joe Oxley who headed back across the keeper and into the far corner to make it 5-3(86). With time running out for the away side, another late lifeline came when Ray Long finished well. A ball clipped over the top of the defence by Vinny Greco was met well with a fierce volley on the turn from Long, across the helpless keeper and into the top left hand corner(89). From the restart Bucks pressed the home team’s defence but with time against them, they were not able to find the equaliser with the game finishing 5-4 in favour of the home side.
For the second game in a row, Man of the Match this week went to Daniel Jones who led by example with his tireless work rate in the middle of the park, as well as his assist for a goal as well as other goal scoring opportunities.
On Saturday 4th October, Bucks are again playing away in the league, this time against Downley Albion (2.30pm kick-off)