Following a successful pre season period that included wins against Stourport, Gloucester City and The University of Birmingham, Buckingham opened their new Investec Premier League campaign with a home fixture against Clifton Robinsons.
With the signing of ex England and Great Britain International, Lucy Wood, as well as Emma Onien from Slough and the return of Abbie Brant, Buckingham started brightly but were pegged back when ex player Phoebe Richards opened the scoring for the visitors from their first attack as early as the third minute. However, despite the frenetic pace, the home side remained composed and created a number of good opportunities with Tash James and Lottie Porter coming close to bringing the sides level shorty afterwards. After a number of near misses, it was Katrina Nicholson who brought the scores level when her deflected shot found its way home on thirteen minutes, to leave the scores level at the end of the first quarter. Buckingham continued to have the better of the next quarter and after a period of dominance, their efforts were rewarded when Lottie Porter fired home from close range to give the home side a narrow lead, four minutes before the break.
Buckingham began the second half poorly, conceding a penalty corner in the opening minute. Thankfully the danger was cleared and the home side were unfortunate not to extend their lead four minutes into the third quarter. However, they were 3-1 up shortly afterwards when player of the match Katrina Nicholson fired home following a great run. Buckingham continued to have the better of the third quarter but could not add to the scoreline.
The home side remained in the ascendency for the majority of the fourth period but they were unable to add to the scoring until Tash James finished from close range to extend their lead to 4-1. Clifton fought back hard and after a period of sustained pressure scored a consolation goal with a minute remaining to make the final score 4-2.
Next week Buckingham travel to Manchester to take on a Strong Bowdon side in what will be a tough encounter away from home.
"It was a promising first outing in many ways. We played some really good hockey at times and created a good number of opportunities. Although we left a number of chances out there due to a lack of accuracy in the final third, it was good to see us looking so threatening and to score four goals! Defensively, we were not quite as organised as I would have liked, so there is still a bit of work to be done there. We are keeping our feet firmly on the ground but with the new combinations already starting to gel nicely, things look positive for the season."