Buckingham held to frustrating draw by Beeston

Jess Bloom shoots and scores from a penalty stroke. Pictures by Jake McNulty

Jess Bloom shoots and scores from a penalty stroke. Pictures by Jake McNulty

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Buckingham head coach Zak Jones took plenty of positives from his side’s display after they were held to a frustrating draw at home to Beeston.

Despite dominating much of the encounter, a mixture of good goalkeeping and poor finishing meant Buckingham had to be content with a a 2-2 draw – a result that keeps them ninth halfway through their maiden season in the Investec Premier Division.

Amie Hone

Amie Hone

Jones said afterwards: “Although the result was frustrating, in so many respects it was a really positive performance.

“We moved the ball exceptionally well and linked as a unit superbly for the majority of the game. Unfortunately, we came up against a ‘keeper in superb form and some of our decision-making in the final third was not quite what it should have been.

“However, the pleasing aspect is that, after a couple of poor performances, we are back playing well and creating opportunities.”

Up against the only side below them in the table, Buckingham made a fast start on Sunday and created numerous good openings in the first seven minutes, the last of which led to a penalty stroke and it looked as though this would be the dream start the home side were looking for, however Jess Bloom’s flick was spectacularly saved at full stretch by the Beeston goalkeeper.

Although Buckingham were dominating, Beeston took a shock lead against the run of play when some poor marking allowed an attacker to score from close range.

Undeterred, the hosts remained in control and they were eventually rewarded when Bloom made no mistake from a second penalty stroke after the ball had struck a defender’s foot on the goal-line.

Buckingham continued to carve out chances and they deservedly went ahead four minutes before half-time when a fine passing move involving Zoe Shipperley, Amie Hone and Morag Mclellan resulted in Player of the Match Bloom sweeping the ball home.

Further chances came and went for the home side as the visitors clung on thanks to some last-ditch defending, and Buckingham were punished for not making the most of their chances when a mishit cross bobbled its way across the circle to where an attacker was able to stab home.

That goal seemed to cause the home side to panic and they were indebted to goalkeeper Anna Searle, who produced a superb save to keep Buckingham level.

In the remaining minutes, Buckingham had chances to snatch all three points but they came up against a goalkeeper in inspired form and were forced to settle for a frustrating draw.

This weekend, Buckingham travel to fourth-placed Holcombe and will be without captain Zoe Shipperley, who leaves for Argentina where she will represent England in the Champions Trophy, a competition that pits the top eight sides in the world against each other.