Town Slip Up in the Mud
It was another less than stellar performance from Woodstock who had to scramble a goal at the death to take a share of the points away at Buckingham Athletic.
The Reds were without several key players as they lined up on a pitch that somewhat unbelievably passed an inspection despite being under water a few hours earlier. Questions were raised prior to kick off about the suitability of the surface, which were well founded as the game itself is testament to.
Neither side could find their footing early on (both actually and figuratively) as the ground began to resemble the Somme after just a couple of minutes. It was the home side who struck first following a mistake from Kev Pike which allowed Buckingham to break through on goal. Sam Jeffrey also fluffed his lines, misreading the ball and failing to clear to gift the hosts an easy goal to go 1-0 up.
Town came back with a goal from the spot after Nathan Emmett was tripped. He got up to stroke the ball home low and hard past the Buckingham keeper. Woodstock doubled the lead with a dubious goal after the ball appeared to go out of play. The ref waved play on and Ethan Waite played the ball to Josh Cox who struck home from 10 yards.
Another mistake gifted Buckingham an equaliser. First Sam Jeffrey slipped as he came to gather with 2 defenders on the line with poor clearances and failing to close down the ball before it was poked home.
Level at halftime, both sets of supporters were hoping that a game of football would break out in the second half after a very uninspiring first 45 minutes. Unfortunately the pitch, as suspected had played its part and forced keeper Sam Jeffrey off with what would later be an injury to his medial knee ligament caused by getting his foot caught in the quagmire. One has to wonder what the sense of playing the game was as such an injury was inevitable and will cost Sam at least 6 weeks out of the game.
The second half was another poor affair with Nathan Emmett having a goal ruled out (somewhat questionably) for offside before the Buckingham keeper made an absolute howler, dropping a tame Ethan Waite effort through is legs and into the unguarded net much to the chagrin of his dad, who for some reason felt it necessary to walk round the pitch and threaten the Woodstock bench! Her was persuaded to move on and enjoy the rest of the game.
Buckingham grabbed a deserved equaliser within minutes after the Woodstock defence failed to challenge a header from a free kick which looped past sub keeper Tom Molloy. This was the only quality of the entire game although quite frankly, Woodstock made it all far to easy.
The hosts finally went ahead with 10 minutes to go, once again after Woodstock failed to clear and looked at sixes and sevens at the back. the ball poked home from 6 yards out.
It took this late shock for the town players to finally realise that it might be better to pass than to try to dribble on such a difficult "pitch". Harley Firkin forced a corner after the needlessly timed the ball out of play from a tame effort that was missing the mark. With almost the last kick of the game, Rob Greenslade was on hand to bundle the ball home at the far post to give town a somewhat undeserved share of the points.