Robins boss Chris Robson expressed his disappointment at the way Buckingham Town began their UCL Division One campaign, losing 5-2 to newly-promoted Oakham United.
Buckingham made a dream start when, inside the first two minutes, a Mitch Brent corner was met by debutant Scott Weymouth, who powered a header home to put the visitors into an early lead.
It proved to be a false dawn, though, as Dan Jenkins headed in Stewart Lambie’s free-kick to level on the stroke of half-time and within 15 minutes of the restart, Richard Nelson put Oakham in front.
The Robins struggled to cause the home defence problems while at the other end, Luke Connell produced a superb double save to keep the visitors in the game, only for Eddie McDonald to slot home a third goal moments later.
Dan Delderfield grabbed a goal back for Town, volleying in from eight yards out, but a red card to Weymouth ended all hope and late goals from Lewis Leckie and Lambie added gloss to the final scoreline.
“I’m very disappointed tonight in how we started our league campaign,” Robson commented afterwards.
“Apart from two ten minute spells we were very bad.
“We lacked quality which was surprising seeing some of the players we had on the pitch, and we resulted to aimlessly hoofing the ball.
“We asked the boys to be a bit direct but do it with quality and get the ball down in the final third, but something so simple we couldn’t execute.
“We were missing four key players who would have started tonight, and if they were here maybe the extra quality would have been there, but with the squad we still had out it is disappointing to see us struggle in such a way tonight.
“Maybe the players got caught up in the occasion. It was Oakham’s day, new boys to the United Counties League in front of a big crowd and everybody wanted them to win.
“We all know we were poor, so we have to brush this under the carpet and go again next week and I expect to see a reaction. Nothing is won or lost after one game into a season, so we move on and put it right.
“Credit to Oakham though, they played some good stuff and had a few players who caused us problems. They will be comfortable this season.”
Buckingham played AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the James Victory Trophy last night, Thursday, and on Saturday, they continue their league campaign at Bourne Town.