Athletic sweep to hard fought Junior Cup win

Football

Iver 0

Buckingham Athletic Reserves 1

Athletic Reserves were celebrating last Saturday after winning the Berks & Bucks Junior Cup.

Lewis Higgs’ 70th minute header sealed victory for Buckingham in a hard fought match at Binfield FC.

The pitch was very hard and quite bobbly and suited the bigger and more physical Iver team.

Athletic’s first chance fell to Jonny Cater whose shot was deflected wide for a corner.

The next effort on goal was a 25-yard shot from Ryan Simon which went straight at the keeper, but the best chance of the first half saw Cater break through and lob the ball over the Iver keeper only for a defender to cover round and clear off the line.

In the second half Paul Bowley in the Athletic goal was the busier of the two keepers mainly having to deal with crosses.

Manager Andy O’Dell made a switch after 67 minutes replacing Chris Brunning and bringing on Lewis Higgs.

This seemed an inspired move as on 70 minutes Steve Briggs got to the bye line and his cross was met by Higgs header down into the ground, the ball looping over Weaver in the Iver goal to give Athletic the lead.

Two minutes later Iver hit the Athletic bar and Andy Smith hooked the rebound away.Iver stepped up the pressure and won a free kick on the edge of the box but Bowley made a great one-handed save tipping the shot over the bar.

With only three minutes left on the clock Higgs was sent tumbling to the ground on the halfway line.

Once it was sorted out the referee brought out a red card for Higgs for violent play and also sent off an Iver player for the same offence, Seven minutes of injury time was then played but the Athletic back four held on well to bring the cup back to Buckingham after it was last won by the first team in 1965.

Mention must be made of the whole team’s performance from keeper Bowley to the back four, the midfield and the two players up front, especially the second half performance of Jonny Cater, who held the ball up so well.

Iver went into the game higher-ranked as they play in the East Berks Division One.

There were great scenes of jubilation at the end when skipper Kenny Massey collected the cup from Bill Gosling, with the celbrations going well into the night.

Athletic: Bowley,Briggs, Smith, D.Howkins, Massey, Alder, Ogle, Simons, Cater, Bennett, Brunning. Subs: Higgs, Blake, Hannam, Delves, Hooper.

>> Athletic first team got a good 1-1 draw away to St.Albans City Reserves last Saturday in the South Midlands Division One, skipper Jamie O’Callaghan levelling the game up 18 minutes from the end. Luck scored for City.