Phoenix & Ranalagh 2XI v LB men's 2XI
Smash and Grab
Phoenix & Ranelagh Men's 2s 0 - 1 Leighton Buzzard Men's 2s
Leighton started brightly and full of confidence following their win last week against Sonning, against a well organised Phoenix side. Both teams tried to play the game in the right way, with lots of short passing and interplay. On a couple of occasions Leighton were caught high up and pitch with the pace of Phoenix forwards causing Buzzard's defence a number of problems. Following one flowing move by Phoenix, Buzzard were lucky not to concede with Tim Bellamy saving on the line with Jim Galloway beaten. The game became more stretched with both sides looking threatening until they reached final third where they needed to be more clinical in possession. Phoenix's sights of goal were minimised by Joshua Farnfield, Will Jenkinson and David Wavish intercepting a number of their passes around the D. At half time, with the deadlock still to be broken, Buzzard knew that this game would be decided by one piece of brilliance.
With Buzzard sitting a little deeper to minimise the opposition's pacy threat the game began to swing in their favour with Methi Man of the Match Daniel Wright making a number of incisive runs from left back. This enabled Buzzard to overload the Phoenix defence, but unfortunately Matthew Nash and David Canty were unable to convert the opportunities that came their way; both swinging and missing when through on goal. In addition, Craig Westley was unable to get a touch on two balls that were fizzed into the D by Bellamy. So with time running out the game was still in the balance.
With 90 seconds left, Buzzard pushed for a winner, but Phoenix hit them on the break with Leighton's defenders happy to concede a short corner. Wright rushed to close the ball down that broke to Martin Bailey. Rather than hitting the ball out of danger, Buzzard worked the ball up the pitch with quick, decisive and incisive passing through Fraser Retford, David Hooker and Craig Westley. Westley square ball to Nash took the goalkeeper out of the game and he just needed to find the backboard to win. He shot, but only found a Phoenix defender's foot on the line. A penalty flick was awarded as the final whistle blew. Up stepped Nash, with his team mates unable to watch, and finished with aplomb to win the game in the most dramatic fashion. A great game, played in the right spirit resulted in Buzzard collecting three more points in their promotion push.