IN what was their fourth pre-season friendly, Buckland Reserves welcomed Dawlish United to Homers Heath on Saturday, July 23.
Within the fifteen minute mark the home side found the back of the net for the first of five times; a Billy Bristow ball swung in to the box and, after much back and forth, a toe poke shot, having first deflected off a Dawlish player’s knee, saw the ball and put the Bucks in the lead.
Putting time aside to rehydrate is vitally important and so, having indulged in their first, and by no means last, drinks break of the bout, the Bucks pressed home their attack and soon found success.
Josh Squires laid the ball off for Nick Edmund who deployed a dummy or two, which sent defenders this way and that, before sending the ball straight into the bottom corner of the net: the away side now trailing by two goals.
A Billy Bristow ball crossed into the opposing teams box would surely have seen Edmunds on the score sheet for a second time as the forward manoeuvred the ball into the Dawlish net with his head; the linesman and referee, however, called offside and the goal was disallowed - Charlie White soon rectified the situation by claiming the third goal of the match.
Dawlish United entered the mid-match break with very little, if anything, to show for it; the Bucks on the other hand were comfortably ahead and this was, in part, thanks to keeper Toby Bennet who had kept a clean sheet.
With somewhat rested legs both team took their positions on the pitch for the second half and action began afresh at Homers Heath.
Bereft of a goal, Dawlish United sort to change their standing on the score-sheet and, with renewed vigour, the away side took the fight to the Bucks: intercepting a ball and scoring soon after.
The Bucks response was swift: scoring twice in quick succession off the back of efforts from Charlie White and Luke Lewis respectively.
Dawlish United did manage to claw back another goal but the writing was on the wall: the Bucks walked away victorious with five goals to the away side’s two.
Buckland Reserves manager, John Fleet, said: ‘We played really in the first half, took 10, 15 minutes to get into it because, again, each per-season game it’s different bodies almost being thrown together, takes them a minute or two to get going but once we did I thought we played some good football and scored a couple of good goals.
’The second half was similar to be fair, we let in a couple in but overall I am pretty pleased with our performance and the result.
‘It was nice to have a game where we were on the front foot, we had a lot of possession and could try things ourselves, when we played Bovey and Newton Spurs we were very much chasing the game and chasing the ball.
‘Those games were more fitness exercise whereas Saturday we used the game to do a few things that we wanted to do.
‘I planned pre-season so we had some tough games as well as some games against teams from the league below. So far it has worked out how I expected, the two tough games we lost, the two against lower league opposition we won.’