Canterbury 3 Buckingham 2
Buckingham Suffer Frustrating Loss
Buckingham endured another frustrating day at the office on Saturday. They started really positively, creating a number of good openings, with Player of the match Alice Rolfe a constant threat down the right hand side. However, Buckingham's execution in the final third was once again lacking and they failed to convert. Despite this Buckingham continued to play fine attacking hockey, moving the ball with great tempo and fluidity. They were rewarded when Tash James gave the visitors the lead with an unstoppable deflection into the roof of the net from a well rehearsed penalty corner routine in the twenty fourth minute. From the push back Buckingham's aggressive pressing immediately stole the ball and they won another penalty corner. This time Abby Brant was on had with a smart rebound finish, to double the visitors lead. Buckingham continued to have the better of the play but it was the home side who reduced the deficit just three minutes before the break. A contentious decision in midfield left the home side through on goal and a fierce shot beat goalkeeper Ella Jackson at her near post. There was a controversial end to the half, when home side equalised with the last hit in a period that seemed to have lasted longer than the normal thirty five minutes.
Feeling pretty aggrieved, Buckingham used half time to regroup and reset. However, the visitors still came out slowly at the start of the second half but fortunately Canterbury failed to convert either of their early penalty opportunities. Buckingham worked their way back into the game as both sides created openings, with neither able to take advantage. Yet more controversy came with thirteen minutes remaining when a physical challenge in midfield led to Katrina Nicholson being suspended for ten minutes with the home player only receiving a five minute suspension. Buckingham created a couple of great chances and a penalty corner when the sides were ten-on-ten but were unable to convert. The home side immediately took advantage of the xtra player when they returned to their full compliment. A swift counter resulting in them taking the lead with just under four minutes to play. Buckingham threw everything at Canterbury in a desperate attempt to get back on level terms and they did create a couple of half chances, but they were unable to convert as the game ended in a very disappointing loss.
Saturday was an immensely frustrating day. There were lots of talking points and controversy and it was one of those days when every major decision didn't seem to go our way. However, the bottom line is, we failed to manage some aspects of the game particularly well. We let external factors affect our focus, were not clinical enough and once again made a couple of key defensive errors that cost us dearly. The result was made even more disappointing given the fact we actually played really well for long periods. We remain in 5th and have another huge away game against fellow playoff hopefuls Holcombe in an evening push back this Saturday.