Buckingham coach Zak Jones admits the depth of his squad will be severely tested in the coming weeks as their injury problems continue to grow following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to East Grinstead .
Having already lost Katrina Nicholson to a serious injury picked up in pre-season, Buckingham will now also be without defender Beth Stainsby after she was forced off in the defeat to East Grinstead.
The visitors led 1-0 at half-time and soon doubled that lead in the second half before Phoebe Richards pulled one back, only for Grinstead to seal victory with a late third.
Jones said afterwards: “It was a pretty scrappy game and a frustrating result in the end.
“I didn’t feel that we deserved to concede again at the death but having said that we started slowly and they were probably the better side.
“They have recruited well and I expect them to be challenging in the top four so the fact we competed well throughout and are disappointed not to get something from the game is a positive.
“Unfortunately, there was also some concerning news on the injury front as we lost Beth Stainsby to a serious knee injury during the match.
“Having already lost outstanding midfield player Katrina Nicholson to a ruptured ACL that will keep her out for nine months, the depth of our squad is going to be tested.”
The opening quarter of the match was hotly-contested with neither side able to get on top as Buckingham missed the first penalty corner when their routine broke down.
On 18 minutes, a cheap turnover gifted the visitors their first penalty corner and they made no mistake. A well-executed routine resulting in East Grinstead taking a 1-0 lead into half-time which could have been greater had it not been for some crucial interventions from Buckingham’s Bella Williamson.
The home side regrouped in the break and came out strongly in the second period but Richards was unable to capitalise on a one-on-one opening and that proved costly as Grinstead doubled their lead with a close range strike.
Buckingham’s response was immediate, though, as Richards made amends when she deflected in Zoe Shipperley’s cross to pull a goal back.
A fine passing move on the counter then created a glorious chance for Kitty Higgins with just over 10 minutes remaining but once again Buckingham were unable to make the most of the opening and as the hosts pushed for an equaliser, a swift break from the visitors resulted in a third goal.
Buckingham host champions Surbiton this weekend.