Mens 2s win away at Phoenix & Ranelagh
Bellamy and Nash ensure three points come back to Buzzard
Leighton travelled to Reading to take on Phoenix & Ranelagh looking to get the season back on track after a week off and a defeat the previous week. However after travel disruptions delayed the team, Buzzard started slowly with goalkeeper Stu McDonald being called upon to make a save within the first thirty seconds. What followed was wave after wave of attacks as the opposition started on the front foot. It was only a matter of time until the deadlock was broken, with the Phoenix & Ranelagh striker poaching one after a mix up in the Buzzard defence.
Leighton started to grow into the game and pass the ball with greater confidence. Chances came and went in the latter half of the first period, with Dave Hooker failing to get a touch onto a fierce drive from captain Tim Bellamy and both Fraser Retford and Steve Fuller failing to convert good opportunities to equalise.
Matthew Nash was mesmerising the Phoenix & Ranelagh defenders with his dancing feet and stick skills resulting in a number of short corners. Unfortunately Buzzard were unable to convert any of the short corners, despite Martin Bailey and Hooker getting shots away.
At half time, Buzzard knew that if they continued to pass the ball and make sure they remained patient the win would come their way. Phoenix & Ranelagh began to sit deeper and deeper trying to hit Leighton on the break through their skilful forwards; however Man of the Match Callum Leary ensured that their chances were kept to a minimum.
Buzzard continued to stretch the pitch with wing backs Tom Billington and Tom O’Reilly pushing Phoenix & Ranelagh’s wingers back, resulting in them playing six players in defence. This created more space for Buzzard’s midfield to dictate play. The pressure was building on Phoenix & Ranelagh and finally the equaliser came following a cracking finish from Bellamy. He had drifted into space at the top of the D and having been fed superbly, slammed a shot on the volley right into the bottom left hand corner before the keeper had chance to move.
Following the equaliser there was only going to be one winner and with three minutes remaining Buzzard managed to secured the well-earned three points. Having collected an aerial, Nash fed Retford who returned the compliment and slipped him into space. Nash then went on another mazy run, skipping past three defenders before rounding the keeper and slotting home with aplomb.
The whistle soon followed and the three points were returning to Buzzard. Leighton will look to take the positives into next week’s game against bottom of the table Sonning and try to continue their momentum.