Buckingham coach Zak Jones admitted he was “bitterly disappointed” after his side succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Bowdon in the Investec Premier Division.
With both sides on just one point from three fixtures this season, Buckingham went into the game determined to get something tangible for their efforts so far, and they started brightly and created a couple of early openings.
The visitors repelled that pressure, though, and gradually got a foothold in the game as Buckingham lost their way and struggled to keep hold of possession.
Despite the home side’s errors, the remainder of the first half was a pretty even contest, but it was Bowdon who broke the deadlock from their third penalty corner of the half.
With 30 minutes gone, Great Britain International Sally Walton’s initial goal bound strike took an unfortunate deflection that left home goalkeeper Bella Williamson with no chance.
Buckingham came out with renewed vigour in the second period and stepped up the intensity of their defence and pressed the visitors back for long periods.
However, despite passing the ball with far more accuracy, a number of near misses, five penalty corners and a case for a penalty stroke, the home side just could not find a way through the away side’s well-marshalled defence and the game ended 1-0.
Jones said afterwards: “This was obviously a hugely disappointing result and frustratingly inconsistent performance.
“We started well but played poorly for much of the first half. However, we came out in the second and were much more positive and aggressive with our defending which meant we had far the better of both territory or possession.
“Despite this, we just couldn’t find a way through a very solid defence. I can’t fault the effort and endeavour but we just need to be more consistent with our quality of offence and our intensity on defence across the seventy minutes.
“Although we were all bitterly disappointed to lose to one of our close rivals in the table, the key is that that we remain positive and upbeat as there is a long way to go in the season and one win would move us into mid table.”
This disappointing result leaves Buckingham second from bottom of the table ahead of a daunting trip to current league leaders University of Buckingham.