Battling Athletic avoid the drop

Jonny Cater had a penalty appeal turned down
Jonny Cater had a penalty appeal turned down

FOOTBALL: Buckingham Athletic boss Jim Gunn was a happy man as his side bagged a point in a 2-2 home draw against Langford to see them avoid relegation from South Midlands Division One.

A Pat Martin strike in the 16th minute and an Adam Bone goal on 22 minutes secured the draw, with Kim Forsythe and Paul Garrett scoring for Langford, the latter’s 25th minute goal levelling it up.

Buckingham could have even won the match, a late penalty appeal being ignored by the referee despite the linesman’s flag going up after Jonny Cater was fouled in the Langford box.

With two games left, starting with Amersham Town this Saturday at home, fifth-from-bottom Athletic can’t now be caught by local rivals and relegation candidates Stony Stratford Town, who are one place off the basement spot, with Sun Postal Sports well adrift in the anchor spot.

“It’s been a really long hard season and I’m delighted for the club, players and supporters we’re safe from relegation,” said Jim Gunn, who is stepping down at the end of the season. “Avoiding the drop has been the target from day one as when I came in two weeks nefore the start of the season we virtually had no team and morale was very low. We didn’t get fit as a squad until November.

“Slowly things turned around. The players put in a lot of hard work and recent wins against league leaders London Colney and Welwyn Garden City have been great achievements.

“A good result against Amersham Town this Saturday would be tremendous.”

>> Buckingham Athletic Ladies travelled to Stanford Ladies on Sunday and came away with what looked at one time an unlikely 4-3 win.

Losing 3-0 in the first 30 minutes, positional changes were made and on 36 minutes a goal by Monique for Buckingham started what was a great comeback.

The score was 3-2 just seven minutes later with a fine strike for Monique’s second. This was followed by Ballinger getting the equaliser on the stroke of half time with a coolly taken shot for 3-3 .

The second half belonged to Buckingham with some great passing play.

Fenables was hardly troubled in the Buckingham goal and their fourth and winning goal came on 55 minutes when after some good passing football Monique completed her hat-trick.

Buckingham kept going but couldn’t add to their score and in the dying seconds the Stanford no 10 hit the cross bar with a great free-kick .

A great comeback from Buckingham Ladies whose form has seen a return of 10 points from a possible 12 recently .

The ladies are at home this Sunday against basement side Thatcham, kick-off 2pm.