A Drew Mitten hat trick was not enough for the Robins as they fell to an opening day defeat with a 5-3 loss at Peterborough Sports.
The Robins got off to the worse start possible, conceding after just 45 seconds when the Turbines striker took advantage of a defensive mix up and found himself one-on-one with Rokus Jasiulevicius and coolly rounded him to put the ball into an empty net.
The Turbines doubled their lead after 12 minutes when their winger was allowed to cut inside and was given plenty of time and space to shoot powerfully from 25 yards into the top corner.
It took the Robins 20 minutes to get into the game and they pulled a goal back after 22 minutes when captain Joel McCormick played a superb through ball to Mitten, who finished well with his weaker right foot.
The Robins continued to control the game and created many chances to grab an equaliser, but couldn’t find a way past a solid Turbines defence and keeper.
Buckingham started the second half where they left off from the first half and were looking the more dangerous side before pulling level on 61 minutes when Mitten scored his second of the game with a powerful drive.
At this point, it was the Robins who seemed more likely to go onto win but the game changing moment happened after 72 minutes when Dave King received his second yellow card of the game and was given his marching orders.
From that moment, Peterborough were able to take control of the game and keep the ball with the man advantage.
They retook the lead on 78 minutes, and scored a fourth five minutes later to make it 4-2. The Robins pulled a goal back on the 90th minute when Mitten completed his hat-trick, again after great work from McCormick to play him through, and another great finish with his weaker right foot.
With a matter of seconds remaining, the Robins were caught on the break and Peterborough Sports killed the game with their 5th goal.
Manager Chris Robson said afterwards “I am very disappointed with today’s result. I felt we went to Peterborough, who are tipped for automatic promotion and spending good money on their players, and matched them.
“I thought they were a very good team with some great players and they deserve the title of promotion favourites.
“It is the same story as the AFC Rushden & Diamonds game though which has cost us at least a point today. We caused our own problems from start to finish.
“At any level of football you cannot find yourself 2-0 down after 10 minutes, it gives you a mountain to climb to get anything from the game.
“To be fair to the boys, they climbed that mountain and done brilliantly to come back and then at that point looking likely to go on to win the game. Then the moment that changed the game, the red card. We do not have any complaints with the decision, even though Dave didn’t touch the player, he gave the ref the chance to send him off by flying into a tackle like that. It wasn’t a nasty challenge but a late one.
“Defensively as a team we need to improve, and improve quickly or we will find ourselves conceding a lot of goals week in week out.
“Going forward I feel we are probably one of the better sides in the division but we can’t keep relying on the forwards to outscore the other team.
“There are positives to take from today, as I said attacking wise there will not be many teams better than us, and the understanding Joel and Drew have is fantastic to watch. Another positive was the way we came back from 2-0 down, it shows great character.
“We need to pick ourselves up quickly as we go again Tuesday night against a strong Northampton Spencer side, and try to get some points on the board.”