Buckingham 1 Surbiton 0
Buckingham Seal Dramatic Win With Late Brant Goal to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
Going into the weekend Buckingham knew that only two wins from two would be enough to get them into the top four, and they would have to rely on University of Birmingham or Holcombe slipping up in their games.
Saturday saw reigning champions Surbiton visiting Stowe. Buckingham started the game nervously as Surbiton controlled the game in the first 10 minutes. Gradually Buckingham started to gain confidence and the first half played out very evenly with very few chances at either end. The second half started the same and from Buckingham’s first penalty corner Zoe Shipperley had a good shot saved by the Surbiton keeper low to her right. Surbiton began to get on top of the game, creating several chances and winning five penalty corners of their own. However, several crucial saves from young debutant goalkeeper, and player of the match, Daisy Hacking, kept the score at 0-0. The home side started to string some good passing moves together and as the game neared it’s conclusion, knowing they had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, Buckingham started to press higher up the pitch to pressure the Surbiton defence. With five minutes remaining Buckingham substituted Hacking for a kicking back, giving them a player advantage on the pitch. Controlling possession and finding passes into the D, Buckingham still could not break the deadlock but with just seconds remaining on the clock a ball fired into the D forced a mistake from the Surbiton defence, earning a penalty corner. With the final whistle blown Buckingham knew they would have one last chance to win the game. Lauren Thomas stepped up to fire the ball towards the bottom left corner and Abbie Brant got the crucial touch to take the ball over the diving keeper’s stick and into the goal for the most dramatic of victories.