Post Christmas Campaign Begins With Disappointing Away Loss
The first game of the second half of the league season did not go to plan for Buckingham as they were beaten 4-0 away at the University of Birmingham. A result that saw them drop from second to fourth in the league.
Buckingham started brightly with Eloise Laity forcing a fine smothering save from the home goal keeper as early as the second minute. With both sides intent on playing attacking hockey, the game flowed from end to end, but despite this chances were at a premium. The home sides Olympic Gold Medallist Lily Owsley came close to opening the scoring with a rasping back hand shot but was denied by a fine diving save from Ella Jackson. Buckingham nearly opened the scoring themselves in the nineteenth minute, when a fine move down the right hand side and diving deflection from Abbie Brant brought another very good save from home goalkeeper. Yet, it was the home side who opened the scoring just a few minutes later when some poor marking allowed Katelyn Aitchinson to finish from close range. Buckingham responded well and Lottie Porter was denied an equaliser by the with of the post, when she was first to react to a penalty corner rebound. However, frustratingly just a minute before half time, the home side made it 2-0. Owsley deflecting home from the University of Birmingham’s first and only penalty corner.
Buckingham regrouped at half time and with Kitty Higgins superb at the heart of midfield, played some good hockey in the second period. They created a number of half chances and three further penalty corner opportunities but could not find a way through the home sides defence or goalkeeper. As Buckingham threw everything forward in the closing stages, they conceded two goals in the last three minutes, which meant the scoreline did not truly reflect the closeness of the game.
“It was a very frustrating and disappointing result. It will sound a bit bizarre but it didn't really feel like a 4-0 game, as we actually played reasonably well in many facets. However, it was a timely and harsh reminder of how small the margins are at this level. We were a little bit soft in both D’s. We can't hide from that fact, as that was ultimately the reason for the scoreline. Sunday clearly highlighted the areas we need to improve in, and we will be working really hard this week on correcting those aspects, so we can go again on Saturday. The other positive is that we have been here before, at the start of the season. We responded really well too that disappointment last time and I am confident that we will do so again”.
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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.