Buckby exit FA Vase with heads held high

Warm praise for all his players: Buckby boss Glenn Botterill
Warm praise for all his players: Buckby boss Glenn Botterill

BUCKS’ boss Glenn Botterill has heaped unqualified praise on his players after their superb performance in the fifth round of the FA Vase on Saturday.

Despite going out of the competition to a 2-1 defeat at Leiston, he could not speak more highly of his side’s attitude and determination.

“Even in defeat I was proud of each and everyone of them. I could not have asked for any more. Everything was spot on.”

Saturday’s defeat was a bitter disappointment for the Buckby players and officials as it was the second season running the Station Road outfit have been knocked out of the last 16 of the FA Vase competition.

And the win followed several controversial decisions, including a call for a sending off in the game, and a late goal in the dying minutes which ended the Wembley dream for the Buckby side.

The general feeling on the day was that Buckby had done more than enough to win the match outright and were particularly impressive in the first-half.

Botterill said: “They (Leiston) are a very good side. We played very well and their manager said afterwards ‘I didn’t know what to do. We tried everything but ran out of ideas.’ We were superb in the first-half.”

Earlier in the week Buckby had been held to a 0-0 draw away at Holbeach in the league.

Buckby got off to a confident start on Saturday under the captaincy of Richard Bunting and held off any challenges on goal from the strong Leiston side.

The breakthrough came for Buckby in the 34th minute in a move which began with ever-reliable Dan Holman who collected the ball and played it out to the wing.

A cross ball found Ashley Robinson who made no mistake firing into the net from close range to give Buckby a well-deserved lead.

At this point Buckby looked to be in the driving seat and could have increased their lead on several occasions.

Then with only 19 minutes remaining Richard Bunting ran through only to be impeded but the referee waved play on.

Leiston got a corner and the cross was parried into the net by the keeper but the goal was awarded to Danny Cunningham.

And Buckby’s woe was added to in the 91st minute of the game when a Leiston corner saw David Head find the back of the net for the winning goal despite Buckby’s claims that Richard Bunting was held down.

But Buckby refused to give up and Dan Quigley’s superb free-kick in the dying seconds rattled the home side’s crossbar ending Bucks’ last hopes of getting a reprieve.