• Match Report
  • Saturday 12th Feb 2022
    Newport Pagnell Town
    KO: 15:00
    Away Game

    Penalty heartbreak for Buckland in Vase Buckland’s brilliant Vase campaign ended today in the cruellest fashion with a dramatic 4-3 penalty defeat. Two saves from Andy Collins proved futile as Ben Carter’s miss was followed by saves against Cieran Bridger and finally Ryan Bush, brutally ending the Wembley dream. The game had been in Buckland’s hands following Owen Stockton’s opener on the hour, a long-range effort creeping over the line with Newport Pagnell ‘keeper Conway well away from his line. Buckland seemed to have the game under control until the final nervy minutes of sustained Newport pressure yielded a frantic equaliser, defender Alfie Powell steering past Collins in the final seconds of injury time. It was a doubly painful way for Buckland’s Vase journey to end, the ignominy of defeat further exacerbated by the jubilant scenes among the Newport faithful. A scarcely-believable 1187 fans were in attendance, hundreds of whom ran onto the pitch to celebrate both the equaliser and the winning moment, ‘keeper Conway being mobbed following his match-winning save. The scenes were truly befitting of the occasion of a last-16 tie, the chanting and cheering of a mass of fans at one end of the ground throughout only adding to the atmosphere and tension of what was one of the most important games in both clubs’ history. Both sides had been looking to emulate their previous best runs in the competition, both having reached the quarters in 2016/17. The opening 45 probably reflected this, neither side able to maintain any semblance of control in the game through passing sequences, Newport especially looking to use the windy conditions to their advantage through long-balls over the Buckland defence. Neither side truly threatened, the backlines comfortably 3holding on to their records of only having conceded twice throughout the competition. The game was finally sparked into life with a rare mistake, Buckland similarly using the conditions to their advantage in the second half to force Connell to leave his box to clear. His effort was a poor one however, Owen Stockton capping his man-of-the-match performance with a 40-yard effort towards the open net. It was truly agony for the travelling Bucks fans behind the goal, the ball slowing, bouncing, crawling, and in! Stockton was mobbed by team-mates and fans alike to silence to sizeable crowd. Newport were immediately more threatening following the opener, looking to use the powerful frontline combination of Webb and especially Burnside. He was to almost respond immediately as some rare miscommunication among the Buckland defence left ‘keeper Collins isolated, Burnside flashing his effort into the side-netting, many of the Swans’ faithful believing it had gone in. Unfortunately, this was come true in the game’s final moments. Bucks would ultimately rue counter-attacking chances for Price and especially Webber, who choose to shoot when the square ball of Johansen seemed the better option. Bucks increasingly lost their composure as the minutes ticked down, relying on clearances and countless headers from captain Farkins to hold the lead. But ultimately the pressure would tell as a last-gasp cross led to a goalmouth scramble, the ball ultimately falling to defender Powell to turn past Collins and lead to the agony of penalties With both opening spot-kicks being comfortably slotted home, it appeared the momentum had swung Bucks’ way as Collins pushed away to his left. Events immediately swung once more as Ben Carter’s powerful drive smashed the left-hand post. A score and miss apiece left things effectively at sudden death as Collins’ second save was immediately cancelled out by an outstretched leg to deny Cieran Bridger. After Newport’s Ford had lofted his effort in, it left the unenviable task for Ryan Bush to keep the Bucks afloat. But it would be the Swans who kept their heads above water in the competition, Conway parrying to send Willen Road into raptures and Newport onwards into the final eight.

    Reported by: Lewis Calf