Buckingham 1 Slough 0
By Zak Jones
Buckingham Earn Hard Fought Victory Over Slough
Without Wales International Eloise Laity, who sustained a broken hand in training on Thursday night, Buckingham welcomed Slough to Stowe on Saturday for their eighth game of the campaign. With the sides having shared the spoils last season, this was always going to be a tough fixture for the home side, against a team who are always very difficult to play against. Buckingham started well and earned a penalty corner in the first minute but Zoe Shipperley’s powerful strike was well blocked by the defensive runner. Despite this positive opening, Buckingham struggled to find any tempo or rhythm against a very solid and well organised visitors defence. This first half was a real war of attrition. Although, Buckingham had slightly the better of the exchanges and created more openings, in truth both defences were on top as both sides only mustered a single shot on goal each, and struggled to break each other down.
Buckingham started the second period with a little more energy and started to pass the ball around with a bit more tempo and intent. However, any clear cut openings were still few and far between. Once again, Buckingham had the slight upper hand and they finally made the decisive break through on twenty-five minutes. Some good patient play and a fine ball in from player of the match Rebecca van Arrowsmith, saw Tash James deftly deflect the ball home for her fourth goal of the season. Moments later, Buckingham nearly extended their lead but James was somehow denied by a superb goal-line clearance. Just two minutes later, James was denied once again when she rounded the advancing goalkeeper but a timely intervention prevented her from getting her shot away. The remainder of the match was intense and hard fought, but with neither side able to create any real opportunities, Buckingham took the hard earned three points. The win takes them up to third in the table, five points behind leaders Surbiton and two points behind second placed Holcombe.
“Saturday was definitely not a game for the purist. It was a very intense game but one with very few chances. Despite identifying the need for us to play with a real energy and tempo against a side like Slough, I felt we never really got going and just could not get any rhythm or fluidity in our game, which was disappointing but some credit must go to them, as they worked really hard and were very well organised and difficult to break down. However, despite the slight frustration, I was really pleased with how we stuck to our principles and processes when not playing as well as we all would have liked. I was also delighted with the composure, resilience and character the girls showed to come through what was a really tough examination.”