Buckingham on verge of fourth straight league title

Jo Ellis fires Buckingham into the lead against Swansea. Picture by Chris Hobson
Jo Ellis fires Buckingham into the lead against Swansea. Picture by Chris Hobson

Buckingham’s first team are one win away from claiming their fourth straight Conference West title after beating Swansea 2-1 at the weekend.

Despite missing a number of key players, Buckingham started brightly against Swansea with Jess Bloom going close in the first minute, and it didn’t take long for their early pressure to pay off when Player of the Match Jo Ellis opened the scoring with a fine reverse stick strike on five minutes.

The home side continued to dominate through the speed and intensity of their play, but their failure to increase their lead was punished by Swansea when, on the stroke of half-time, the visitors were gifted possession and won a penalty corner, from which they levelled the scores.

The 1-1 half-time scoreline was an unfair reflection on the balance of play in the first period, but Buckingham regained their concentration after the restart as they again shaded another hotly-contested 40 minutes.

Swansea held firm until midway through the second half when a pinpoint long pass from Ellis found Bloom who rifled her shot into the net.

With Swansea again having to chase the game, Buckingham created two fantastic opportunities to extend the lead through some free-flowing passing moves but their inability to score a third meant that Swansea remained a threat to the end and a swift counter-attack was only stopped when centre back Beth Stainsby put her body on the line to make a last ditch tackle that forced her to leave the field as Buckingham stood firm in a tense final few minutes.

Buckingham can now seal the title and a place in the end-of-season play-offs with victory at mid-table ISCA.