Athletic blast seven to book cup final place

Ardington & Lockinge Seniors 2

Buckingham Athletic Reserves 7

Athletic Reserves moved into the final of the Berks & Bucks junior cup with a comprehensive away win at Ardington last Saturday.

Regular keeper Dean O’Dell broke his collar bone in a game on the previous Tuesday so first team manager Paul Bowley dusted off his gloves and played his first game for some time.

Ardington started the better and had the ball in the net in the first few minutes but to the visitors’ relief the linesman’s flag was up for offside.

Gradually Athletic came into the game, Andy Smith had a great free kick from outside the box pushed around the post for a corner and then Athletic hit a purple spell of four goals in 16 minutes.

On 21 minutes, Jonny Cater fired in a shot which the home keeper could only push out for Lewis Higgs to fire home. Five minutes later Chris Brunning got down the left and his cross was met by Higgs to make it 2-0.

Then great work by Matt Ogle saw him cut in and fire under the keeper on 32 minutes to make it 3-0.

The best came after 37 minutes when the ball fell to Andy Bennett 25 yards out to smash home.

Two minutes before half time, an Ardington player was allowed to run from the halfway line before he was tackled outside the box but to every one’s amazement the referee pointed to the penalty spot and Ardington scored.

Right on half time they got their second when Bowley could only help a header into the net.

After the break Athletic hit back straightaway after 22 seconds as a poor kick from the home keeper went straight to Bennett who coolly finished. Athletic were totally on top now. Brunning fired just wide and on 56 minutes after good work from Cater, Bennett completed his hat-trick.

Buckingham capped a great day for the club after 72 minutes when Brunning took the ball off the keeper only for him to bring him down for a penalty and a red card for the goalie. Cater stepped up to make it seven. There was still time for Smith to hit the bar with another free kick.

Athletic will face Iver in the final to be played at Binfield FC on Saturday April 9, 3pm kick-off.

>>Athletic first team gained a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Bedford Town Reserves last Saturday falling behind to an early goal but showing great determination to level just after the interval through Jamie O’Callaghan in the South Midlands Division One clash.

This Saturday the first team are away to Welwyn Garden City while the Reserves travel to London Lions Reserves, both 3pm kick-offs.