Buckingham denied first league win but progress into cup quarters

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Buckingham picked up their second point of the season at the weekend when they held rivals Leicester to a 3-3 draw.

Both sides started brightly with the two goalkeepers called upon to make saves in the opening exchanges before the breakthrough arrived when fine work from Amie Hone and Abbie Brant culminated in Fiona Farley finishing from close range.

Buckingham had chances to increase their lead but their failure to do so was punished by Leicester, who pulled level from a penalty corner after a short spell of pressure.

However, in front of their vociferous home supporters, Buckingham responded immediately and retook the lead just four minutes later, Farley claiming her second following a fine run from Phoebe Richards to edge the home side back ahead at the break.

Again the hosts looked to open up a two-goal cushion but a sloppy turnover allowed Leicester to get back on level terms and with neither side happy with a draw, the game remained open and opportunities came at both ends.

Farley came close to making the score 3-2 midway through the half but she didn’t have to wait long to claim her hat-trick, popping the ball home from close range after a swift counter-attack, much to the delight of the home crowd.

But once again, the lead lasted just a matter of minutes as another cheap turnover and some poor defending allowed the visitors to level.

Buckingham threw everything at Leicester in the remaining nine minutes and came agonisingly close to a winner on more than one occasion but it was not to be and the game ended 3-3, a result that leaves Buckingham bottom of the Premier Division.

On Sunday, Buckingham made it into the quarter-finals of the Investec Cup with a 3-1 win over Hampstead & Westminster. Welsh international Phoebe Richards weighed in with a brace while defender Rebecca Heywood claimed a rare goal and Alex Naughalty produced an outstanding player of the match display.

Head coach Zak Jones said: “Saturday’s result was very frustrating but it was a really pleasing performance in so many ways. There were so many facets of our team play that are now getting close to where we would like them to be and we are scoring goals.

“Sundays dominant performance reinforced the fact that we are heading in the right direction and also means that we have won two of our last three matches and are unbeaten in three which hopefully gives us a foundation to build on.”