On Saturday Buckingham made the long trip to Manchester to take on Bowdon Hightown in their second Investec Women's Premier League fixture. Buckingham started poorly and were unable to create any fluency in attack due to a lack tempo and poor ball handling and as a result, were fortunate not to fin themselves down early on in the match. Towards the end of the first quarter, Buckingham began to play a little better with bot Eloise Laity and Abbie Brant coming close to opening the scoring. With just a minute to play, it was Laity who opened the scoring when she deflected the ball into the roof of the net from Buckingham's first Penalty to give the visitors the lead.
The second quarter followed much the same pattern as the first, with not many chances from either side but with Buckingham handling the ball a bit better it was Buckingham that created the clearer openings. With Laity being denied on two more occasions, the score remained 1-0 at HT.
Laity was denied once again early on in the third quarter and the visitors were thankful to Ella Jackson for making a telling intervention shortly afterward to keep the slender lead intact. Buckingham continued to struggle to retain the ball and put any meaningful phases of play together which build pressure on themselves. Buckingham conceded a number of penalty corners at end of third quarter but fortunately Jackson and the defence kept the homes side out.
Buckingham conceded another penalty corner at the start of the fourth period but the home side once again failed to convert. But with play following much the same pattern of the third quarter, it was probably just a matter of time before the home side converted one of their opportunities. With four minutes to go a Bowdon counter attack led to their eighth penalty corner and this time a well executed routine made the score 1-1. Both sides had a couple of half chances in the final minutes but neither could convert and the game ended in a draw.
Saturday was a frustrating day, we lacked energy in our leading and our movement off the ball all day. We had talked about the importance of retaining the ball for extended periods and just were not able to do that and as a result really struggled to build any concerted pressure. Organisationally on defence, we were pretty sound. However, once again, we conceded far too many penalty corners. This is something we can't afford to do at this level. Whilst we got away with it last week, we were punished in the end this week. The one positive is that we still came away with a point from what is always a tough away fixture. This week we look forward to being back Stowe for what we know will a tough and exciting game against The University of Birmingham.