Three points secured in a smash and grab performance by Mens 2nd Team
By Tim Bellamy
Mens 2nd Team dig in to secure three vital points
The Mens 2nd Team went into this crucial league match against high flying Gerrards Cross still cursing from letting two points slip last week at South Berkshire. They knew that Gerrards Cross would be well prepared and ready to take the game to Buzzard from the first whistle. The first ten minute ebbed and flowed from end to end with both teams trying to establish their game plan on the other. What followed was some good movement and passing by the Buzzard team along with some last ditch defending. Half way through the first half the deadlock was broken when captain Tim Bellamy picked up the ball drove into space before delivering a pass to Matthew Nash who deflected onto the on-rushing Stephen Fuller who finished a superb reverse flick beyond the advancing keeper.
The goal seemed to fire Gerrards Cross even more. Buzzard having to withstand wave after wave of attacks with goalkeeper David Thompson pulling off a number of unbelievable saves. The movement from the opposition was starting to take it toll on Buzzard, but the back four of David Wavish, Tom Billington, Tom O'Reilly and man of the match Liam Wavish responded to the challenge. With eight minutes of the first half remaining, Daniel Wright was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul on the Gerrards Cross forward as they looked to break. Buzzard knew they had to hold out until half time and they did with relative ease considering they were down to ten men.
At half time, Leighton talked about holding their shape and starting the second half on the front foot. Things did not quite go to plan as Gerrards Cross started strongly and David Wavish joined Wright in the sin bin for a bad tackle. Down to nine men, Buzzard knew they had to dig deep. Gerrards Cross piled on the pressure, with at least ten short corners in short succession, but Leighton would not relent. Back to eleven men and having not conceded, Buzzard grew in confidence with David Canty, Martin Bailey and David Hooker competing well to try and gain a foothold in the game.
Buzzard knew that if they could soak up the pressure then chances would come on the break with the pace of Nash, Fuller and even Fraser Retford who was not hindered by having to wear his mother's hockey shoes. Leighton did manage to extend their lead through one such break with Bellamy sending a ball into space for Nash to chase, only for the Gerrards Cross goalkeeper to get there first. Unfortunately for the opposition keeper he only proceeded in gifting it straight to Nash with an open goal in front of him. Unlike last week when he missed a similar chance, he buried it and gave Buzzard a much needed two goal cushion.
With time running out Gerrards Cross threw the whole house (not just the kitchen sink) at the home side. Buzzard finally cracked and conceded when Cross finally got a short corner routine to work. One goal in it with ten minutes remaining, Buzzard were rocking a little but they were determined not to let vital points slip like they had done in the previous two weeks. When the final whistle went, Leighton knew they had managed to weather a storm from Gerrards Cross to claim the three points that puts them in fourth place ahead of a tricky away game at Wallingford next week.