Buckingham 2 East Grinstead 1
By Zak Jones
Buckingham Get Off To The Perfect Start
After a positive pre season where the new incoming players have been successfully integrated. Buckingham got their Investec Premier League campaign underway with a tough fixture against East Grinstead at Stowe School. The visitors finished third, one place above Buckingham in last years table and are a side boasting three current Great Britain internationals, including two Rio gold medallists. The games started at a high pace but with neither side able to exert much control. Tash James brought a fine save from the visitors goalkeeper early on but chances were few and far between in an intense but scrappy first half. Ella Jackson also produced a fine stop from Great Britain striker Sophie Bray as the sides went into the break level.
Buckingham started the second half brightly but a spectacular backhand strike from Bray gave Jackson no chance and the visitors the lead inside three minutes, from their first real chance of the half. Buckingham were gradually finding their rhythm in attack and they were level just three minutes later following some fantastic play down the right hand side. A great run from and cross from Lottie Porter found James who's snap shot was turned in by Wales international Eloise Laity and Buckingham were ahead just five minutes later. With the visitors temporarily reduced to ten players, the home side took full advantage, building the pressure until eventually Maddy Newlyn volleyed a rebound home from Phoebe Richards initial shot. Buckingham spurned a guilt edged chance to make it 3-1 just a few minutes later after a swift counter attack, as they began to exert more control. Both sides had chances in a frenetic final ten minutes that saw both sides reduced to ten players at various times but Buckingham showed great grit and determination to come through what was a very stern test.
“We were very pleased to come away with all three points as EG are a quality side with some world class players. It definitely wasn't pretty at times. We didn't handle the ball as well as we would have liked especially in the first half, although this aspect did improve in the second half and there are still certain aspects of our defence that need to improve. However, we showed fantastic character and resilience to secure the win. Whilst the squad is delighted to be up and running, we all know there is plenty to work on and feel that there is a lot more to come. We will be working hard in the week as we face a very tough away fixture against last years runners up Holcombe."