Buckingham Town assistant manager Alex Court described his side’s 1-1 draw with high-flying Lutterworth Athletic as their “best performance of the season”.
The Robins have endured a turbulent campaign but despite missing a number of players, they produced a superb performance to more than match promotion-chasing Lutterworth and earn a fully deserved point.
Court took charge in the absence of manager Chris Robson and oversaw an excellent display although neither side were able to make the breakthrough in a goalless first half.
Buckingham grew in confidence as the game wore on, however, and they took a surprise lead six minutes into the second half when Lewis Hallford converted a spot-kick after he had been tripped in the penalty area.
Now in the ascendency, Town had numerous opportunities to add a second goal but they failed to take advantage and were made to pay when Chris Bradshaw powered home a header 17 minutes from time.
Lutterworth then threw everything forward in search of the winner and it looked like they would find it when Nigel Wharton was somewhat harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty box, but 16-year-old Buckingham keeper Josh Bonaiti made a magnificent double-save from the resulting spot-kick to preserve his side a deserved point.
“Never before have I come away from a 1-1 draw feeling like we’ve picked up all three points,” Court said afterwards.
“We knew it was going to be an extremely tough task but I could tell the players were up for it and wanted to fight for each other.
“This showed in our performance and I’d like to say a huge well done to the players on what was by far our best performance of the season. To give a top side like Lutterworth such a tough game was pleasing to see.
“The only negative about the performance was that we should have killed the game off at 1-0. We had numerous chances and if you don’t finish off a side like Lutterworth they’ll make you pay for it, which they did.”
“It’s no coincidence that our performances have improved massively over recent weeks. We’re finally keeping a stable side and only having to make one or two changes from game-to-game, rather than the five or six we’ve been making all season.
“It’s taken a long time to get a relatively settled group and now we’re tasked with keeping them. With a few additions, this could be the foundation of a very decent side.
“If we can continue to field this side, there’s no reason why we can’t end the season on a high and look forward to next season with a sense of optimism.”
Buckingham are next in action later today, Friday, when they take on Bugbrooke St Michaels.