Buckby battle to whistle

WHAT a difference seven days makes – a total repeat of the previous meeting.

Long Buckby brought in Dan Farrell for the injured Ash Malhorta and Dan Mullarky came in for the unavailable Jean Debouri.

On the bench was Amos Kabeya who signed after leaving Woodford.

The Bucks started as they left off last week, taking the game to the hosts and Dan Mullarky, Mike Houghton and Louis Dupree all had good chances in the first 15 minutes.

A few minutes later, Gary Storher had a good shot wide and the home team had hardly been in the Buckby half.

On 26 minutes Buckby took the lead, when a rare Yaxley attack was thwarted and Mike Houghton ran the whole length of the pitch unchallenged and hit a low shot into the corner of the net to give them the lead.

Buckby continued to press and Tom Gilbey, venturing up from full back, shot wide, when, well placed.

Gary Storher was dominant in midfield and just failed to reach a through ball.

On 44 minutes, the lead was increased when following good work on the left by Nkosi Mzungwana and Louis Dupree, Mike Houghton swept in a cross to make it 2-0.

Dan Farrell in the Buckby goal had hardly anything to do and several home supporters chose to leave at half-time feeling that their team had no chance of getting back in to the game.

The dreadful weather continued and home team came out with more spirit.

They were rewarded when a free kick was awarded on the right and from the free-kick Ricky Hailstone reduced the arrears.

The Bucks went straight down the other end and good work by Dan Mullarky and Louis Dupree, enabled the keeper to collect under pressure from Mike Houghton.

Yaxley hit the bar on 65 minutes to show their intent, and Liam O’Neill should have put the game out of reach when on 68 minutes he found himself clear, in front of goal.

But instead of placing a shot, he went for power, against the keeper’s legs and away.

Amos Kabeya came on to replace the tireless Mzungwana on 69 minutes.

Mike Houghton broke clear and was pulled back, as he still had the ball, no flag was raised and the chance was lost.

On 76 minutes Gary Storher had another good chance but delayed his shot and it was blocked.

Two minutes later Dan Mullarky shot over after a good run.

On 80 minutes Craig 
Jackson replaced Sam Birtwistle, pushing Dan Mullarky back to full-back from midfield.

Minutes later Yaxley won a corner and the ball into the box was not dealt with and Ondre Odain poked the ball through a pack of legs to give the hosts a lifeline they didn’t deserve – but worse was to come.

On 85 minutes Tom Gilbey conceded a corner, very harshly, but once again from the corner Luke Hipwell headed the winner unchallenged.

Buckby still had time, and deep into time added on, a series of corners was unsuccessful as the ball was cleared off the line.

In a match that was played in such torrential rain, both teams should be congratulated that there was not one bad tackle in the game, despite the conditions.