Buckingham Town started life under new manager Chris Robson with a comfortable 3-1 win over UCL Premier side Long Buckby in their first pre-season friendly.
The Robins started the better side and controlled the tempo for the first 15 minutes, almost going ahead through Callum Tychowski’s spectacular long-range volley after good work from Andy Cleere.
Long Buckby settled into the game and began to dominate before deservedly taking the lead with a thunderous strike into the roof of the net, giving new signing Rokus Jasiulevicius no chance in Town goal.
After weathering the Buckby storm, Buckingham hit the home side on the counter-attack to pull level at half-time. Daniel Lydiatt made a quick break down the right and then played a pinpoint diagonal pass into the path of another debutant, Andy Cleere, who found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper and the forward made no mistake with a cool finish.
The Robins seized control in the second half as they attacked at will and took the lead when great work from Joel McCormick saw him beat three men before he brilliantly backheeled the ball into the path of Tychowski, who slotted the ball home for a debut goal.
McCormick then sealed victory when he took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score the simplest of goals.
Robson said afterwards: “It was great to get going and get some much-needed match minutes under the players belts. It was a very good test for us to start our preparations for the season against a fellow UCL side although a level above us.
“I was very pleased with the performance and the way we applied ourselves with our work rate and attitude. We played some good football in spells and it was great to see the players trust their ability and their team-mates ability to play this way.
“We want to bring attractive football to the club and we have been working on this since day one of pre-season, so it was great to see them in their first game play the good football we want them to.
“There were spells where Long Buckby were on top and that was expected as they play at a better level than us, but we defended well and apart from their goal they didn’t cause us too many issues. Although it was a good performance and win, we will not get ahead of ourselves as pre-season friendlies are all about the fitness and getting used to playing matches again its not to analyse the results too much.”
Robson has made several new signings in his short time in charge. Joel McCormick has re-joined the club, while Dave King, Aman Nti, Daniel Lydiatt and Akin Iluyemi have all signed.
Robson added: “Joel is a fantastic player at this level of football, and we are very happy that he has agreed to sign for the club. I know Joel very well through our days as strike partners at this club, so I know what makes him tick and I am sure I will be able to get the best out of him. If I can do that as well as get him to enjoy his football he will be an asset to the club and most importantly as a striker score us some goals.
“Joel has been playing professionally in New Zealand recently but will be back home in the next few days, and after speaking with him his excitement to come back to the club was there for me to see, so I have no doubts he will be committed and raring to go.
“Dave brings a wealth of experience having played at this level of football for the past 10 years. He is a great organiser and will talk to the younger lads during the game to encourage and advise them when the coaches and I can’t. A very good ball player who will also muck in with the dirty work for the team.
“Aman will scare the opposition defenders. He is big, strong,and lightning quick, he also has a bit about him when it comes to quality and ability. I worked with Aman when he was a youngster at the club in 2007. He has now matured and grown into a very good player, and a player that will excite the fans.
“As soon as I knew I was going to take the manager’s job, Daniel was one of the players on top of my list to bring to the club. He is a fantastic athlete, and one of the finest full-backs I have seen at this level of football. He has had a very successful career so far in and around the Luton non-league circuit, and I have no doubts he will go on to be a top player for us.
“Akin was one of the players from last season’s squad I was looking forward to working with. I know him very well from when he was a raw youngster at the club back in 2007/08.
“He has matured into a very good player at this level, and has the natural ability to progress if he works hard, applies himself well, and is willing to learn of the coaches and I. He is very skillful, fast, and will be another player that will get the crowd of their feet.”
McCormick said: “As soon as I heard Chris was given the manager’s job and we spoke, I was immediately looking forward to re-joining the club.
“Although there was a big time difference between us when I was in New Zealand we managed to have a chat and I knew straight away that I wanted to sign and try and play a part in what I believe will be a successful new era for the club.
“Having played with both Chris and Alex Court for a number of years it was a no brainer for me, they are great guys who have great ideas on how the game should be played.
“Personally it’s great to be back at Buckingham Town, the club has been good to me over the years and I am hoping to find the same form I had in my first couple of seasons with the club.
“I’m looking forward to giving my all to help the club get back to where I believe it belongs.”