Athletic beat Olney to end season with cup glory

The winning Buckingham Athletic team. Pictures by Andy Bone
The winning Buckingham Athletic team. Pictures by Andy Bone

Buckingham Athletic ended the season in style on Monday afternoon when they lifted the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup for the first time in over 40 years after a thrilling 6-2 victory against Olney Town in the final at Stratford Fields.

Athletic made a dream start when Matt Cruse headed in a corner in just the seventh minute after a good delivery from Adam Bone, and moments later it was 2-0 as Phil Martin was on hand to convert from close range.

Damien Wiffin (right) won the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup in his last game in charge of Athletic last week

Damien Wiffin (right) won the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup in his last game in charge of Athletic last week

This seemed to sting the visitors into life, though, as two goals in six minutes brought them back on level terms.

Firstly, on 22 minutes, Danny Webb chased a ball into the left hand channel and unleashed an unstoppable looping volley from 35 yards which flew into the opposite corner before Aaron Murrell fired home a spectacular equaliser.

After that breathtaking start, neither side could conjure much in the way of clear-cut chances in the remainder of the half as they went into half-time locked at 2-2.

The Athletic came out in the second half and enjoyed the better start of the two sides.

On 66 minutes Sid Hawkins powerfully headed home an Adam Bone corner to put the Athletic ahead again from another set play.

Olney missed the chance to level after hesitation in the Athletic defence saw Matty Old lob the Athletic goalkeeper Andy Hammond only to see his effort hit the post before the danger was cleared.

The visitors were dealt a further blow as Jamie Burrows picked up a second yellow and his side were reduced to ten men.

Buckingham were quick to take advantage of their extra man as Scott Latham bagged a fifth before goalkeeper Andy Hammond stepped up to convert a late penalty that completed a resounding win and their first Buckingham Charity Cup success since 1972.

Speaking afterwards, Athletic boss Damien Wiffin said: “It was a great day for everyone associated with the club.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we have won the Charity Cup for the first time since 1972. I thought overall we fully deserved our win.

“Our team talk before the game was to start on the front foot, press high up the pitch and take the game to them. We had a dream start scoring after just seven minutes then again eight minutes later.

“With their first attack the lad has scored an absolute worldie then within minutes we had dropped deeper and deeper and they were level.

“At half-time we stressed the point to press higher up the pitch, like we had at the start of the game, and I felt we always had goals in us.

“We did produce and I felt once we were ahead and they were reduced to ten men it was always going to be difficult for them to come back.

“We were clinical in front of goal, something this season we have been lacking at times.

“Adam Bone’s delivery was brilliant today and when he puts in balls like that then teams struggle to defend against it. Today has been a great way to finish the season.”

The final raised a fantastic £1,266 for charity, which beat last year’s figure of £1,124.00.

Athletic: Andy Hammond, Dan Staley, Adam Bone, Brad Walker, Dave O’Dell, Jack Menday, Paul Dearlove, Scott Latham, Matt Cruse, Sid Hawkins, Phil Martin.

Subs: Nick Bennion, Dan Hassell, George Jackman, Jack carter, Manny Chabvonga

Olney Town: Joe Pursell, Ben Smasher, Khalid Zakkour, James Pacifici, Jason Goldman, Will Wright, Danny Webb, Christian Smail, Aaron Murrell, Jamie Burrows, Matty Old.

Subs: Junior, Dean Torto, Gary Thurston, Ben Kirkham, Steve Khune.

Referee: Jake Hillier

Assistants: Ryan Dix and Phil Houghton

Attendance: 250