Claydon fight back for opening day victory
Magpies recover from 1-3 defecit at half time to take points
Steeple Claydon Football Club opened the 2013/14 season with victory at home to Buckingham University.
Tony Gibbard and Mark Whiting named a 15 man squad for the game and asked the players to go into the game with the same attitude and belief that had been shown pre-season. Claydon began brightly with some good work by the midfield 5 including some low, driven shots skimming the posts from George Carpenter and Sam Fedoriw. Christopher Jones had some good opportunities also while Jacob Hodgins also went close.
It was Buckingham University, although on the back-foot during the opening exhanges, who made the first break-through with one of their midfielders smashing the ball home from short range after dropping kindly to him. The Uni side were 2 up shortly after when another low, driven shot beat Mark Piosek who injured his wrist in the process. Claydon responded well and started to knock the ball around, forcing a corner. Matthew Gibbs was unchallenged and nodded the ball into the roof of the net. The Magpies were back in the game but seemed to hit the 'self-destruct' button when a midfield/defensive error was pounced on by the Uni's skipper to cut the ball back to options running into the box. Another booming drive into the roof of the net made the scores at half time 3-1.
Claydon changed their 'keeper with Mark Smith replacing the injured Mark Piosek and the University side made some changes to their personnel, particularly in their midfield. "Play football in the right areas but press their back line" was the key message from Whiting and Gibbard during the half-time teamtalk.
The Magpies responded well with some attacking football which forced another corner. Matthew Gibbs picking up where he left off in the first half but stooping to nod the ball into the middle of the net. The University played a decent counter-attacking move with a wonderful individual effort from their 'skipper just squeezing under Mark Smith's hand.
At 4-2 down, Claydon looked a beaten side but managed to find another gear. The Magpies didn't panic and continued to create with Christopher Jones and Jacob Hodgins combining well up front. Hodgins was rewarded for his efforts with a well taken goal to make the scored 4-3 while Chris Jones nicked in behind the back line to slot in the equaliser. Within the space of 10 minutes the game had completely flipped on it's head!
Some good saves from Mark Smith and some good defensive efforts from Lee Hodges, Adam Cowley and Dave Terry allowed Claydon to keep the pressure on. Cowley delivered two floating balls forward that led to Claydon's final goals. One ball forced a corner that was hammered back into the box by Ronnie Harrington for Nick Shrimpton to chest in on the line, then Cowley played the ball into Alex Shrimpton who played the ball through to Christopher Jones to grab his second of the game.
At 6-4 it had been a breathless opening to the season with both sides working exceptionally hard. Although this was the Magpies 8th game already with a packed pre-season programme, the side and the management will continue to learn and will take a never-say-die spirit into next Tuesday's game with Padbury.
Tony Gibbard put it simply on the SCFC Facebook page; "Great win tonight 1-3 down at half time to come back 6-4 great battle and good to see passing football more than long ball in a game! Well done lads"