Taken from the
10 May 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town finally got their hands on a trophy on Monday evening.
They lifted the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup at Ford Meadow following a 3-1 victory over
After the disappointment of their 4-0 defeat by Blackstone in the League Cup Final five days earlier, it was a
particularly gratifying triumph and one which delighted manager Morell Maison.
"I'm very proud of the players," he said afterwards.
"Leighton were physical and quick in the tackle and showed just how they beat Banbury in their semi-final,
but we stuck to our game and deserved to win it.
"It had been a bit of a dismal week, but this really brightens it up – it was a superb
The Robins took the lead in the 18th minute from a flowing move started by Dean Whittaker and involving Abdul
Abdi and Ruben Max-Grant before Meshach Cole held the ball up well before laying it off for Moses Olaleye to
score with a stinging drive.
However, Whittaker's joy was short-lived as, four minutes later, he gave the ball away in midfield and Leighton
played it between Stuart Blaik and Paul Stanley to equalise.
It was nip and tuck and something of a war of attrition in midfield, with both sides picking up bookings.
But into the second half the Robins concentrated on their football and began to move the ball around better.
They regained the lead with a fantastic effort in the 55th minute. Junior George found Ian Trott who spread the
ball wide to Olaleye. He went inside one man and outside another before unleashing a tremendous 40-yard drive.
The keeper got his fingertips to it, but it was too powerful for him to prevent it flying into the corner.
Although Leighton continued to compete well, that goal was the turning-point as the Robins took control. They
clinched their triumph with a minute left. This time man of the match Olaleye turned provider, beating two men
before laying it off for Max-Grant to drill home.
6 May 2003 Report by Derek Carpenter.
The Robins finally took home the silverware after a very hard-fought
encounter against Leighton Town at Ford Meadow last night. They went ahead thanks to a fine goal from
Moses Olaleye, resulting from a very rapid and precise move down the left which created the "overlap"
for Moses to drive home from the right.
Leighton Town responded shortly afterwards with an equally fine goal,
1-1. The encounter became quite heated up until and after the half-time whistle. Tempers were
controlled in the second half and, eventually, Buckingham scored again with Moses striking an opportunist
half-chance curling and bending the ball over the keeper and under the bar from long range.
Two other chances went begging before Ruben Max-Grant put the result
beyond doubt making the best of a fine opportunity created by, yes, that man again - none other than
Man-of-the-Match, Moses. There was no disputing this choice or who merited the silverware.
Well done manager Morell Maison, Pete Riches his assistant for preparing
and continuing to guide the squad throughout the match and the players themselves for a richly deserved prize.
Finally, we should spare a thought for Marcus McGillycuddy who was unable
to play through injury: he too has contributed so much to a great season.
Final score: Leighton Town 1 Buckingham Town 3.
Long Buckby 2-1 Buckingham Town
Sat 3 May
The Robins failed to convert any of their eleven chances
into a goal. They lost 2-1 with a penalty a-piece and a fine up and under from long range which punished Sean for
being just 5' 8'' and "off-his-line".
Buckingham Athletic 0-4
Buckingham Town Thu 25 Apr
The Robins progressed to their second cup final with two
goals from Meshach Cole, Ian Trott's first goal for the club and an Adam Turners 35 yard shot into the top corner.
(C/O Abdul Abdi from the message board. Thanks)
24 April 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town faced a testing Easter with home matches against the top two, Holbeach on
Saturday and Newport Pagnell on Monday, both of whom were top of the table on their arrival at Ford Meadow.
But the Robins came out of them with great credit. Although both were drawn, both were matches
they could, and perhaps should, have won.
On Saturday, the Robins and the then league leaders Holbeach were involved in a goal-less draw.
It was a really tight battle with defences generally on top, but it was the Robins who looked the better side
for long periods and went closest to breaking the deadlock.
Holbeach, arriving at Ford Meadow on the end of a 19-match unbeaten run, showed a surprising lack of ambition
for a side involved in a tight title race and did not test home keeper Sean Griffiths once, although some
credit for that must go to a miserly Robins back line.
But the visitors also defended well in a game of very few chances and it was 35 minutes before a clear-cut
opening was created, with Abdul Abdi's shot being cleared off the line by Barnes.
The game evened out a little as half-time approached, but the Robins were unlucky three minutes before the
break when Abdi's cross eluded everyone and bounced back off the far post.
The Robins were back on top again as the second half started.
Paul Stanley's free kick from only 10 yards inside the Holbeach half was tipped over by keeper Cross.
Holbeach still did not look like title challengers and Cross did well to deny substitute Marcus McGillycuddy at
the end of a typical mazy run.
It was only in the final 10 minutes that the visitors threw caution to the wind, but found the Robins' defence
still in a dominant mood.
Then, on Monday, an injury-time equaliser robbed the Robins of a deserved win over Newport Pagnell Town.
Apart from the opening 20 minutes, they looked the better side and did most of the pressing, and for the second
time in two days made their visitors look anything but title contenders.
Yet it looked a little ominous for them as the visitors started the more composed side.
Edgeworth was only inches away from reaching a Harmon cross while Harmon himself blazed wide from a promising
position. But after that opening spell the Robins had much the better of it.
Newport keeper Watts made a flying save to keep out a McGillycuddy piledriver and Max-Grant went close from
They went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 39th minute when a brilliant Cole shot on the turn
smacked against a post, with Max-Grant blazing the rebound wildly over the bar.
The half-time break made little difference to the pattern of play and Watts again saved well from the
impressive Moses Olaleye, although a cross may have been the better option.
The visitors were restricted to breakaways, but looked dangerous when they did attack and Griffiths was forced
to save well from Hill while Edgeworth headed narrowly wide.
However, in the 74th minute Abdi was replaced by Dean Whittaker, and what an inspired substitution it proved to
be as the latter gave the Robins the lead a minute later with virtually his first touch. Olaleye played a short
corner to Sogbodjur and when the ball was returned to him he crossed low for Whittaker to sweep it in at the
Although Griffiths did well to tip an Edgeworth shot on to the bar, as the 90-minute mark loomed it looked as
if the Robins were going to pull it off.
But two minutes into stoppage-time a free kick was controversially awarded against George just a yard outside
the box and Hill curled his shot around the wall and just inside the far post.
Manager Morell Maison was certainly pleased with his players.
"I felt we should have won both and I look upon it as points dropped," he said.
"However, we have played the top three in the past week and have emerged unbeaten, and we have lost just
once in the last 14 games, and that must bode well for the future."
17 April 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town produced a terrific display to beat third-placed Wootton Blue Cross 3-0 at Ford
Meadow on Tuesday evening.
It was a complete performance as they dominated from the back right through to the front.
In particular Nathan Bailey was outstanding, while Moses Olaleye and Ruben Max-Grant were excellent.
Even though Marcus McGillycuddy and Junior George were both missing, the visitors couldn't cope with the
Robins' passing and movement.
Although there was little between the teams in the opening 10 minutes, the Robins soon took control.
They took the lead when Adam Turner's 25-yard drive rebounded back off the bar and Meshach Cole nodded the ball
into Max-Grant's path to score.
Max-Grant, Olaleye and Cole all had chances to increase the lead before the break.
However, it seemed only a matter of time before they scored again and the goal duly arrived when Peter
Sogbodjur found Olaleye who skipped past two defenders before delivering a pinpoint cross for Abdul Abdi to
Cole wrapped it up with the third goal, taking substitute Dean Whittaker's pass in his stride and beating two
defenders before being grounded by the keeper. He picked himself up and converted from the spot.
The Robins should have picked up another three points at Ford Meadow on Saturday, but had to be content with a
0-0 draw with Desborough.
There was little wrong with their overall performance, but they just couldn't get the ball in the net.
They were dominant at the back, allowing the visitors just one shot at goal all afternoon, they ran the
midfield, but failed to convert their superiority into goals.
Cole was guilty of missing several chances he would usually tuck away as second nature, but both Max-Grant and
McGillycuddy were strangely quiet.
It was one of those games. Had the Robins managed to score early on, the floodgates would probably have opened
and they would have ended up with a hatful.
12 April 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town continued their rich vein of form by taking a satisfying
six points from their last two matches.
Manager Morell Maison has repeatedly said recently he is aiming for a top-six finish, and these
results took his team up to sixth.
On Saturday they won 2-0 at Ford Sports.
The home side strung five across the midfield in an effort to cut out the supply to the Robins' pacy front men.
But with Moses Olaleye and Marcus McGillycuddy hugging the flanks, the Robins kept possession well.
And with Nathan Bailey and Peter Sogbodjur excellent in the middle of the park, they moved the ball around
impressively to dominate the first half.
In fact, Ford had only one shot at goal in that opening 45 minutes.
The Robins finally took the lead early in the second half. Ruben Max-Grant flicked on Sean Griffiths' clearance
and a defender made the mistake of allowing the ball to bounce. That was all Meshach Cole needed as his pace
took him clear before he cleverly chipped the keeper.
The second started with a glorious cross-field pass from Bailey to Olaleye. The wide man went past a defender
down the right and whipped over a cross for Max-Grant to head home.
The Robins took off Max-Grant, McGillycuddy and Abdul Abdi to give the fringe players a chance as they cruised
through the remaining minutes for another impressive three points.
Town followed that up by winning 1-0 at Stotfold on Tuesday evening, grabbing the only goal in the last minute.
The Robins always seem to struggle against Stotfold, a hard-working team that likes to draw opponents to them
and hit them on the break.
They continued to employ that tactic and the Robins were indebted to two marvellous saves by Sean Griffiths in
the first half.
Against those, Ruben Max-Grant shot straight at the keeper from close range while Meshach Cole and Moses
Olaleye also had chances.
Maison took off Max-Grant in the second half and pushed Abdul Abdi up front, and they always looked in control
in the second half.
However, the game appeared to be petering out to a goal-less draw as the last minute arrived. But then Olaleye
fed Adam Turner on the edge of the box, and he twisted one way then the other before unleashing a great shot
into the top corner for a goal worthy of winning any match.
5 April 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town continued their recent good form with a comprehensive 4-0
victory over Boston.
And it was one that certainly pleased manager Morell Maison.
"I'm very happy – it was just the result we hoped for," he said.
"And the second-half performance was as good as we have played this season."
They limited Boston to just two shots on goal all afternoon as, despite still being without Michael Cox, Junior
George and Adam Turner, they produced some irresistible football.
It was nip-and-tuck in the opening minutes with Boston employing five in midfield and with the obvious intent
on blunting the threat of Marcus McGillycuddy, who had destroyed them in the corresponding away match.
But the Robins countered that by pushing McGillycuddy further forward and then went on to control the game.
Both Ruben Max-Grant and Meshach Cole had chances before they took the lead on 36 minutes with an excellent
goal. Moses Olaleye sped down the right, cut in and cracked in a rocket shot from the corner of the box.
The Robins pushed even further up in the second half and really took the game to their visitors.
Cole got the second from the penalty spot after he was tripped bursting into the box.
They could even could afford the luxury of taking off Cole and McGillycuddy and replacing them with Jonathan
Barnett and Leon Cashman. And both substitutes were very instrumental in the third goal.
Barnett instantly controlled an Olaleye cross and found Cashman, who in turn crossed for Max-Grant to score.
And 19-year-old Barnett wrapped up a fine win with a fantastic fourth, cleverly lifting the ball over the
advancing keeper before shooting into the empty net.
There could have been more as several more chances went begging.
ALTHOUGH they tended to make hard work of it, there was no disputing the Robins deserved to pick up another
three points on Wednesday evening by beating Cogenhoe 2-1.
They dominated for most of the time and the only surprise was they had to rely on a late winner to take their
recent record to just one defeat from the last 10 matches.
A succession of chances went begging early on, and that set the tone for the rest of the match.
In the first half, Ruben Max-Grant was sent clear on three occasions, but failed to test the keeper, Nathan
Bailey missed from six yards, and both Meshach Cole and Marcus McGillycuddy should have done better with
openings that came their way.
If there could be any criticism, it was they tended to over-elaborate, but they deservedly took the lead in the
12th minute through Cole, whose movement throughout was impressive, as he latched on to Abdul Abdi's fine pass
At half-time it looked a matter of how many they would win by.
Cogenhoe did create a couple of openings which were comfortably dealt with by keeper Sean Griffiths, but in the
63rd minute Mann curled a fine free kick over the Robins' wall for the equaliser.
Manager Morell Maison used all three substitutes as the Robins continued to pile on the pressure.
However, they had to wait until the 89th minute for the winner.
It resulted from a fine move involving Moses Olaleye, Cole and substitute Dean Whittaker and was finished off
with a sweet finish from McGillycuddy.
Maison would like to pass his congratulations on to Steve Cole and Buckingham Athletic for reaching two cup
finals, saying it was great for football in the town to see the two teams doing so well.
27 March 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town cruised through to the final of the Knockout League Cup with a 5-1 drubbing of St Neots.
Despite falling behind early on to a penalty, they went on to produce an excellent all-round performance in
which they were superior all over the pitch.
Once they had cancelled out that early setback, there was only going to be one winner.
Robins' manager Morell Maison was delighted.
"It was a very strong, very disciplined performance," he said.
"The boys did very, very well they were solid at the back and pacy and positive up front."
They stormed at St Neots from the first whistle with Paul Stanley and Ruben Max-Grant both narrowly wide, while
Marcus McGillycuddy crashed a 25-yarder against the bar.
But in the eighth minute keeper Sean Griffiths was penalised challenging Kuhne for a high ball and Kuhne
converted from the spot.
It took the Robins just eight minutes to equalise, however, with a brilliant goal from Meshach Cole. Collecting
Adam Turner's long ball with his back to goal, he turned his marker and fired a fine shot into the far corner.
Although St Neots' Dear missed a good chance, the rest of the first half saw the Robins almost constantly on the
attack, with McGillycuddy forcing a great save from keeper Young and Cole going close with a header.
And it took them just a minute of the second half to go ahead as Turner's corner to the far post was headed in
by Stuart Blaik.
St Neots were on the rack now and Cole shot over from six yards while McGillycuddy twice went close.
Their place in the final was eventually clinched in the 73rd minute when Moses Olaleye beat the offside trap and
raced on to McGillycuddy's pass to beat Young with a low drive.
St Neots had no option than to throw men forward and Byrne was only inches away from converting Claridge's low
But, in the main, the Robins' defence gave nothing away.
And they continued to look dangerous every time they went forward.
Cole missed a good opening before, in the 82nd minute, substitute Nathan Bailey was given acres of space down
the left and he squared the ball for McGillycuddy to score.
And in the last minute Cole's shot was beaten out and Bailey netted the rebound to wrap up a very convincing
display from the Robins.
They will now meet Blackstone in the final on Wednesday, April 23, probably at Cogenhoe FC.
THE Robins gave their ambitions of finishing in the top six a great boost with a really creditable win at
fourth-placed Wootton on Wednesday evening.
In the end they were very good value for the points although, without Junior George and Adam Turner and on a
hard, bumpy pitch not suitable to their passing game, it took them a little while to settle.
However, when Wootton took the lead on the half-hour, it was slightly against the run of play.
But it was a good goal as a Wootton striker waltzed round Nathan Bailey and Stuart Blaik, took advantage of a
lucky bounce to go past Paul Stanley and drilled a fine shot past Sean Griffiths.
The Robins upped the tempo and dictated the pace of the game in the second half.
With Moses Olaleye and Marcus McGillycuddy posing problems down the flanks and Ruben Max-Grant working his socks
off down the middle, they dominated play and it was only really a matter of time before they scored.
The goal they deserved came in the 62nd minute. Meshach Cole was fouled some 25 yards out and pretty central,
and Stanley smashed in an unstoppable free kick for the equaliser.
And just a minute later they got the winner.
Olaleye played a neat one-two with Cole, his cross was only half-cleared and McGillycuddy cracked it in from the
edge of the box.
They could have had more as McGillycuddy, Olaleye and Max-Grant all had good chances.
They could have proved expensive misses, but Griffiths produced two outstanding saves in the final few minutes,
although anything other than a Robins win would have been an injustice.
20 March 2003
ON the face of it, Buckingham Town's 4-1 home defeat by S&L Corby on Wednesday evening appears a very
However, that doesn't take into consideration the inexperienced personnel on view. Informed just a couple of
days earlier there is a change of fixture on Saturday (March 22) when the Robins now play their League Cup
semi-final against St Neots, and with the cup representing their best chance of honours this season, manager
Morell Maison took the decision to rest no less than seven of his regulars.
Among those left out were Marcus McGillycuddy, Meshach Cole, Junior George and Stuart Blaik.
The Robins did not play that badly, but a succession of errors at the back led to their downfall.
The visitors took the lead in the eighth minute courtesy of an error by keeper Chris Chandler, having a rare
appearance in place of Sean Griffiths.
He was still lining up the wall when Forbes' free kick flew past him.
The Robins equalised in the 36th minute when youngster Jonathan Barnett finished off a good passing move.
They dominated the opening stages of the second half, but another error by Chandler presented Curtis with the
The Robins created several chances, but a late brace from Sneddon sealed their fate.
It had been a different story on Saturday when the Robins had a comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Bourne Town
at Ford Meadow.
They were soon on top and twice went close to taking the lead.
First, Moses Olaleye went down the right and crossed for Ruben Max-Grant to head against a post. Then Meshach
Cole overran the ball when clean through.
The almost inevitable breakthrough came on 39 minutes when a fine passing move that started in defence ended
with Cole setting up Peter Sogbodjur to fire in from just outside the box.
Bourne managed just one shot on target in the whole 90 minutes, and that went straight at keeper Sean Griffiths
at a very comfortable pace.
In fact, there was little excitement in the second half, although the Robins did clinch victory with a second
goal late on as Stuart Blaik headed in an Adam Turner corner.
15 March 2003
ON the evidence of the first leg, there is still plenty of football left in this Buckingham Charity Cup
Buckingham Town got the 2-0 advantage, but Buckingham Athletic took a lot of the glory.
Apart from the opening 20 minutes when the pace of the Town's attacks had the Athletic defence reeling, the
difference in standard, equivalent to two divisions, was difficult to detect.
Following that early period, Athletic gave as good as they got.
And although Town can play a lot better than this, on the night they only played as well as they were allowed to
and Athletic certainly have nothing to fear in the second leg.
Not surprisingly, Town showed more composure on the ball, but were never allowed to settle by an Athletic side
constantly snapping at their heels and harrying them.
And when it came down to individual performances, it was Athletic players who caught the eye.
Apart from an error which led to the second goal, Carl Rogers was a mountain at the back, Rory Bray had a superb
game in midfield despite carrying a knock, and was well supported by Matt Butler and Richard Beevis, while up
front Glen Hawkins showed just what a good prospect he is.
After Beevis' free kick had only just been scrambled away, the home side went on to dominate the opening
exchanges with the pace of their attacks clearly surprising the Athletic defence.
They took the lead in the ninth minute. Marcus McGillycuddy, who otherwise was kept unusually quiet, showed
great skill to turn and fire a shot into the far corner.
The second, after 20 minutes, was a tragedy for the Athletic defence.
Both keeper Simon Rolfe and Rogers went for a through ball, Rolfe hesitated and Rogers miskicked straight to
Meshach Cole who was left with the simple task of rolling the ball into the empty net.
A lot of teams would have crumbled, but Athletic stuck to their task well.
Although Town had more of the possession and did most of the attacking, Athletic defended with great
determination and worried their opponents on the break.
Both sides went close, Peter Sogbodjur and Stuart Blaik for the Town, and Rogers and Micky Marshall for
And in the closing minutes Town keeper Sean Griffiths twice pulled off good saves to deny Hawkins a goal
Athletic probably deserved.
8 March 2003
A DEFENSIVE mistake in the last of the four minutes added on at the end of the game led to Buckingham
Town's 1-0 defeat at St Neots.
It was a surprising end to a match which had looked throughout bound to finish in a goal-less draw.
It was a non-entity from start to finish, there was very little worthy of note and it developed into a dour
St Neots, obviously out to prevent a repeat of the 6-0 pasting they received in the corresponding match at Ford
Meadow back in October, were quick to pull 10 players behind the ball and invited the Robins to try to break
Unfortunately, despite having by far the majority of the possession and passing the ball around well, they
lacked penetration and did not possess anyone capable of getting behind the home defence.
It looked odds-on a goal-less draw long before the match went into its four minutes of stoppage-time.
But, with the seconds running out, Junior George conceded a free kick on the edge of the box.
The ball was floated in, central defender Stuart Blaik called for it but failed to reach it, and Kuhne was left
with the chance to head an unlikely winner.
27 February 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town reached the next round of the League Cup with, in
the end, a comfortable 3-1 victory over Harrowby United last Saturday.
That said, they were given a real fright for the first hour and it took
three second-half goals to take them through after Harrowby had edged
the first half and just about deserved their half-time lead.
The Division One visitors had obviously done their homework. They were
lively, quicker to the ball and quick to close the Robins down,
preventing them getting their passing game going.
In an open, end-to-end first half, it was Harrowby who carried the
greater threat with Wormall a constant thorn in the Robins' defence.
Both Bird and Gray went close early on while Bird missed a decent
opening. Their best chance came in the 29th minute when a bad mistake by
Stuart Blaik sent Wormall bearing down on goal only to screw his shot
The Robins also had chances with Meshach Cole having a shot pushed away,
Adam Turner heading too high and Cole just failing to make contact with
Ruben Max-Grant's cross.
But the deadlock was broken in the 43rd minute courtesy of poor
defending by the Robins. Three players contrived to miss a cross before
Ian Trott crashed into Wormald and Frecklington converted from the spot.
Wormall and Morris both had early second-half chances for Harrowby, but
there were signs that the Robins were at last getting to grips with
They equalised in the 57th minute when Junior George's long throw-in
sent Cole racing through until he was upended by Fuller. Cole made no
mistake from the spot.
He could have had another penaalty in the next minute, but this time
Fuller got away with his rash challenge.
The Robins were getting on top now and they took the lead in the 70th
minute when Max-Grant rose well to head in Moses Olaleye's cross.
Although Gray again went close for the visitors, their attacks were now
few and far between and the Robins clinched victory with Cole's second
penalty after Glover had sent him tumbling.
20 February 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town were back to something approaching their best as
they convincingly beat last season's champions Ford Sports 3-0 on
With 19-year-old Moses Olaeye producing a man of the match performance
down the right and with a firm surface conducive to their passing game,
there was really only one team in it and the visitors never got to grips
Making a promising start, they took the lead with a trademark Marcus
McGillycuddy effort in the 20th minute.
That goal really settled the Robins down and they went on to dominate
the game. And with the defence looking solid, despite the absence of Ian
Trott, Ford were limited to just one shot on goal in the first half.
The second goal came when Olaeye sprung the offside trap and set up
Ten minutes later Max-Grant rose at the far post to powerfully head home
a corner for the third.
He could have had a hat trick, but was denied by the post, while Meshach
Cole could have had a couple as the Robins wrapped up a very satisfying
The Robins did not play that badly on Saturday, but were made to pay
dearly for two defensive errors that led to a 2-1 defeat at Holbeach.
Holbeach took the lead through Taylor after just two minutes, courtesy
of a mistake by Adam Turner.
The Robins relied on soaking up the pressure and hitting Holbeach on the
break, but in the second half they took a strong grip on the game.
However, with 20 minutes to go an error by Turner presented Keeble with
The Robins pulled one back with a well-made goal from Max-Grant, and he
should have gone on to win it for them, but failed to hit the target
when the Holbeach keeper threw the ball out straight to him, and then
missed two one-on-one chances as he lost his footing both times.
13 Feb 2003
AT last! Buckingham Town's dismal run which has seen them without
a win since early December was finally halted last Saturday with a 6-0
demolition of the league's bottom club Kempston Rovers.
Although Kempston have won only twice this season, they have pushed some
good sides close in recent weeks and, fighting for their lives, were not
going to be pushovers.
But, with the outstanding Abdul Abdi orchestrating everything from
midfield, the Robins made no mistake with a performance that heartened
manager Morell Maison.
"The extra training sessions have paid off and this was a very
welcome victory," he said.
"We were almost back to our best.
"Hopefully, we've had our bad run and I'm still aiming for a
position in the top four."
They got away to a great start when Meshach Cole fired them in front
after just two minutes.
And when Abdi added the second three minutes later it was a matter of
how many they would get.
Ruben Max-Grant continued the first-half goal spree by scoring in the
11th and 13th minutes and then completing his hat trick five minutes
Poor Kempston were left chasing shadows and did not have a shot at goal
in that first half.
Maison rang the changes at half-time, but they had no adverse effect on
the Robins' superiority as they continued to create chances.
Substitute Tony Clark was guilty of spurning three one-on-ones while
Cole hit a post.
However, they did score a sixth on the hour when Cole was fouled in the
box and got up to convert the resultant penalty.
1 Feb 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town's recent nightmare run continued last Saturday
with a 5-0 home defeat by lowly Stotfold.
A team that started the season as if goals were going out of fashion
have now gone eight games without a win, during which they have scored
Yet this was another match in which they did not play that badly, and
manager Morell Maison said they had no option than to play their way out
of this terrible run.
"It's all very frustrating, but I still have faith in my
players," he said.
"We're resolute, we're working very hard and the squad are all
"We just have to battle our way through this horrible run of
The Robins started well enough and they dominated the opening 25 minutes
Both Meshach Cole and Marcus McGillycuddy had chances and they looked
well in control.
But then it all started to go wrong. A Stotfold free kick was played
into the box and Adam Turner sliced his clearance into his own net.
That was completely against the run of play, but just two minutes later
Abdul Abdi attempted to play the ball back to Paul Stanley, his pass
went astray and a Stotfold striker raced away for his side's second.
And it soon got worse as new signing Moses Alaleye was out of tune with
He failed to move up and Stotfold sprung the offside trap to grab their
third goal in only five minutes.
There was no way back from that and two penalties in the second half
rubbed salt into the Robins' wounds.
There was no doubt about the first, for a foul by Ian Trott, but the
second, awarded when a forward tumbled over keeper Sean Griffiths, was
23 Jan 2003
IT was a long and subdued journey home for the players, officials
and supporters of Buckingham Town last Saturday night, writes Sports
Editor Barry Abraham.
It came after their FA Vase dreams had been left well and truly beached
in their Fourth Round tie at Lowestoft which they lost 2-0.
It has been an exciting adventure, but it ended with a very
The Robins were a little unfortunate to be trailing 1-0 at half-time
after having more of the game and looking slightly the better side.
It was there for the taking, a place in the last 16 beckoned, but they
just did not get into it in the second half and never looked like
turning it around.
Manager Morell Maison was left feeling a little sad, although he is
still upbeat about the future.
"It was very disappointing to go out," he said afterwards,
"especially as we have knocked out better teams than Lowestoft.
"I firmly believe that if we could have equalised we would have
gone on to win it.
"However, it's been great to have taken the club this far and we
still have a lot to play for this season.
"They are a young side, they have done well. I'm proud of them and
they will get even better it's all part of the learning curve."
The Robins went close twice early on as both Meshach Cole and Marcus
McGillycuddy were unfortunate to see shots deflected wide.
However, they had an escape when King was left unmarked but drove his
And it was disappointing marking that led to Lowestoft taking the lead
in the 14th minute.
Lewis Julius did not pick up his man at a throw-in and Stokeld was left
with plenty of time to pick his spot and drive a shot across keeper Sean
Griffiths and just inside the far post.
However, as the Robins took a grip in midfield, they looked the better
side for the next 25 minutes or so.
McGillycuddy made a tremendous run before his shot was deflected wide
and Julius was inches away from connecting with new signing Tony Clark's
Lowestoft got back into it just before the break and finished the half
strongly and Griffiths was forced to save well from both McGee and Head,
while Ian Trott's strong tackle denied Stokeld a shooting chance.
However, despite the 1-0 deficit at half-time, the travelling support
had seen enough in the first half to look forward to the second with
If the Robins could raise their game a fraction, there was every reason
for believing that they could turn the game round.
But the optimism proved to be misplaced as their favourites just did not
get to grips with the game in the second half.
With the exceptions of Trott and their man of the match Junior George,
the Robins just did not perform as they can.
And as the home side took a stranglehold in the midfield battle, the
Robins' passing became increasingly inaccurate and they came under the
cosh as Lowestoft sensed victory.
A second goal became almost inevitable and it duly arrived in the 70th
Stokeld, whose set-pieces had plagued the Robins all afternoon, drove a
free kick into the wall and the ball fell kindly to McGee who tucked it
away beyond Griffiths.
The Robins had no option than to throw caution to the wind and they
piled men forward.
Jim Benton drove a good chance wide and Cole had a shot blocked, but
Lowestoft looked dangerous on the break and several times almost broke
away to increase their lead.
And when the final whistle sounded the death knell on the Robins'
dreams, the stark fact is that home keeper Hitcham did not have a shot
to save all afternoon.
17 Jan 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town face their biggest match of the season this
Saturday, when they travel to play Lowestoft Town in the Fourth Round of
the FA Vase.
The prize is a place in the last 16 and a big step closer to a final at
West Ham's Upton Park.
Although the Robins have not had a match for three weeks because of the
bad weather and lost the three league games prior to the lay-off,
manager Morell Maison is not too worried.
"If we had played badly, I would be concerned," he said.
"The belief and form of the squad are still good."
The enforced lay-off for bad weather has been something of a
double-edged sword. While players have been able to regain full fitness
after injuries, the lack of match practice will be a concern and the bad
weather has prevented Maison having a good look at the opposition.
He was hoping to watch them for the first time against Gorleston on
Tuesday evening, but said he believed they were a strong side and
inventive up front.
They are currently third in the Jewson Eastern Counties Premier Division
with just four defeats from their 21 matches. One of those defeats was
to Bury Town, who the Robins beat in an earlier round although Lowestoft
did also gain a win over them.
Apart from long-term injury victims Nathan Bailey, Matt Primus and
Michael Cox, Maison will have a full squad to select from, with the
welcome return of Abdul Abdi and Adam Turner boosting the strength in
One new face in the squad will be new signing Anthony Clark, a prolific
scorer with Newport Pagnell in the past three seasons.
Maison is hoping he will play some part on Saturday.
So can the Robins progress? It will be a tough test, their stiffest yet
in the Vase, but Maison has no doubt.
"We are very determined and everyone is looking forward to
it," he said. "We are all confident we can get a result."
The clubs have met only twice previously, ironically both in the FA
Vase, at the Second Round stage, and honours are currently even.
The Robins beat Lowestoft 2-1 at Ford Meadow on November 24, 1990, with
goals from Terry Shrieves and Tony McGuinness. They eventually went out
of the competition at the hands of eventual winners Guiseley.
Lowestoft gained revenge on November 20, 1993, when a side managed by
Mick Foster lost 2-0 down on the coast.
4 January 2003
BUCKINGHAM Town had a somewhat disastrous holiday programme with
defeats in all three of their matches.
That means they won just once during December in which they have slipped
to sixth in the table and with plenty to do to get back up into the top
However, manager Morell Maison remains optimistic.
"Most of our recent defeats have been down to individual errors
while, overall, our general play has been quite good," he said.
"In addition, the injuries and suspensions we have picked up began
to tell on us.
"So it's back to the drawing board and now we must battle back and
show we can get back into the top two.
"We still have a lot to play for and I still believe we are the
best footballing side in the league."
Following the 2-1 home defeat by Raunds on the Saturday before
Christmas, the Robins lost 2-1 at runaway leaders Newport Pagnell on
With a much-changed defence, they more than held their own in the first
half and both Meshach Cole and Ruben Max-Grant missed chances before an
error by Peter Sogbudjur allowed Pagnell to take the lead.
The Robins lost both Adam Turner and Michael Cox with injuries before
they allowed the diminutive former Robin Darren Harmon to outjump the
defence and head Pagnell's second.
They got back into it when Junior George set up Cole, and they had
further chances, but good saves by the keeper denied them an equaliser.
That defeat was followed by another, 3-0 at Deeping Rangers, last
They dominated possession but, on a cloying surface, could not produce
their usual flowing style.
The Robins still looked to be well in control, but errors by Paul
Stanley, Sean Griffiths and Stuart Blaik cost them dear.
28 December 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town made a disappointing start to what is a difficult
holiday programme with a rare home defeat, 2-1 against Raunds.
But, despite this reverse, manager Morell Maison remains upbeat.
"This was a disappointing result, but going into Christmas fourth
in the table is a very satisfactory position," he said.
"We are still in the FA Vase and going well in a couple of other
knockout competitions, so I've got to be happy with the way things are
A positive from the match with Raunds is that the Robins did not play
They produced some exciting football at times and had no less than 11
attempts at goal, but a couple of lapses at the back cost them dear.
They went 1-0 down when Adam Turner was caught pushing too far forward
and left a gap in front of central defender Stuart Blaik which Raunds
capitalised on to the full.
But then the Robins really got on top and piled on increasing pressure
and forced the visitors into some desperate defending.
The equaliser eventually came a minute before half-time when Marcus
McGillycuddy came in from the left to finish with a trademark shot.
The second half saw them continue where they left off in the first.
But another example of sloppy defending led to Raunds grabbing what
proved to be the winner.
"We're still playing good football," concluded Maison.
"But opponents are tending to defend deeper while recent defensive
errors have let us down."
22 December 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town reached the last four of the Buckingham Charity
Cup at the expense of Olney Town on Wednesday evening.
But after a dour and rather non-event of 90 minutes and extra-time that
ended 1-1, they had to rely on a penalty shoot-out to go through.
The visitors took the lead in controversial fashion in the 57th minute.
Ian Trott appeared to block the ball with his chest, but the referee
gave a penalty and then sent Trott off. Atkins converted from the spot.
The Robins equalised three minutes later when Stewart, under pressure
from Meshach Cole, turned the ball past his own keeper.
There was little sign of either side grabbing a winner, and so it went
to penalties. Although Cole's first for the Robins was saved, Ruben
Max-Grant, Adam Turner, Stuart Blaik and Dean Whittaker were all
successful to take them through.
A LATE goal denied the Robins the three points as they were held to a
1-1 draw at Yaxley.
After their weakened side had suffered a 6-1 drubbing by Northampton
Spencer in midweek, the Robins were back to something approaching full
strength, and in the first half it showed.
They totally dominated the opening 45 minutes and they could have
reached half-time with the points in the bag.
But Ruben Max-Grant had forgotten to pack his shooting boots and was
guilty of missing one-on-ones on no less than five occasions, while
Junior George also spurned a good opening.
Their only reward came in the 26th minute when Steve Justin latched on
to a ball over the top to put the Robins ahead.
It was a different story in the second half, however, as Yaxley hit back
They closed the Robins down a lot quicker and upset their rhythm.
They really battled well and there was no arguing they deserved their
late equaliser from Sanderson.
Although Newport Pagnell appear to be racing away at the top of the
table, the Robins are still in with a great chance of making the
runners-up spot their own.
12 December 2002
RUBEN Max-Grant fired Buckingham Town into the Fourth Round of the
Carlsberg FA Vase with a fine hat trick last Saturday as they beat Ash
And there was no denying they thoroughly deserved to go through.
Ash were worthy opponents, a hard and determined outfit that gave the
home side some problems at times.
But in the end, they could never master the quick and accurate passing
of the Robins, and the blinding pace of their attacks spearheaded by
Max-Grant and Meshach Cole.
Manager Morell Maison was delighted. "On that form Meshach and
Ruben are very hard to play against," he said.
"And once we got on top in midfield, they just could not get
"I'm very happy to have gone through."
Yet it was the visitors who sent a shockwave across Ford Meadow by
scoring first after seven minutes.
Max-Grant had already had a header cleared off the line, but then
Woodhouse's free kick found its way through a packed penalty box to
reach Calvert who, despite the suspicion of handball, swept Ash in
The goal upset the Robins' rhythm for a while but, as they regained
their composure, it seemed inevitable they would score.
Peter Sogbudjur managed to flick the ball round keeper Hunt, but
unfortunately ran out of grass, while Cole and Marcus McGillycuddy went
close before, in the 32nd minute, the Robins duly and deservedly
The impressive Junior George sent Cole scurrying down the right and his
cross was turned in by Max-Grant.
Then, a minute before half-time, there was more fine play down the right
by Cole, and Max-Grant was again on the end of the cross to give the
Robins the lead.
The start of the second half was fairly even. Max-Grant had a shot
beaten away by Hunt and George somehow drove the rebound wide of an open
goal while, at the other end, Mitchell forced Sean Griffiths into a fine
save and Joyce drove narrowly wide.
But the Robins were still looking the more fluent attacking force and in
the 74th minute Max-Grant latched on to a clearance on halfway, cleverly
beat his marker and then waltzed round Hunt to shoot into the empty net
to complete his hat trick and make it 3-1.
There was something of a sour note when the game erupted with a 20-man
brawl right in front of the dug-outs. When order was finally restored,
the referee booked McGillycuddy and Adam Turner, plus Ash's Lay. He also
ordered Maison from the dug-out in an effort to ensure calm, although
the manager was not shown a card and will not be reported by the
The match was virtually over by that stage, but both sides added to
their tally in stoppage-time.
First McGillycuddy, who up to then had been strangely quiet, burst into
life and mesmerised the Ash defence before smacking in the fourth.
Then, three minutes later, Short fired in Ash's second which, by that
time, was only a consolation as they finished a well-beaten team.
AFTER a couple of home ties, the draw for the Fourth Round of the
Carlsberg FA Vase has been a little unkind to the Robins handing them a
tough away match with Lowestoft Town.
Having said that, manager Morell Maison thinks his side can reach the
last 16. "We'll win it!" was his immediate reaction.
"There are some good sides left in the competition, Lowestoft being
one of them, but with our midfield and forwards playing at the level
they are, we can beat them.
"I'm very confident!"
Lowestoft are having a good season in the Premier Division of the Jewson
Eastern Counties League.
They currently lie fourth, having lost just four of their 18 games, and
are six places above Bury Town who the Robins beat 2-1 at Ford Meadow in
the Second Round.
In the Third Round last Saturday they had a 3-0 win over Norwich United,
fellow-members of the Jewson Premier Division. The tie is
7 December 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town duly returned to
winning ways following two successive
defeats as they cruised to a very comfortable 3-0 win over Kempston
They controlled the match from start to
finish and were never in trouble as struggling Kempston failed to threaten at
The visitors managed to hold out for 20
minutes before Dean Whittaker slipped Meshach Cole through and his pace took
him clear of the Kempston defence to score easily.
Following that, it was just a question of when the second would come.
It duly arrived 20 minutes into the second half as Marcus McGillycuddy
cut in from the right and fired under the keeper.
The third goal was the pick of the bunch.
A Whittaker cross found Ruben Max-Grant who cleverly dummied to
send the defence one way before turning the other and crashing his shot home.
It was a good warm-up for when the Robins continue their adventure
with this season's Carlsberg FA Vase this Saturday, December 7.
They will be bidding for a place in the last 32 when they entertain Ash
United in a Third Round clash at Ford Meadow.
And considering the Robins' impressive home record this season, it looks
an eminently winnable tie.
Manager Morell Maison is certainly optimistic his side can keep alive their
dream of going all the way.
"We're in good shape, unbeaten at home this season and I expect us to
win," he said this week.
Having said that, Ash should be no easy pushovers.
Based in Aldershot, they play in the Premier Division of the Seagrave
Haulage Combined Counties League and are currently lying fifth in the table.
They took a decent scalp in the previous round, beating Ryman Division
Two Kingsbury Town 4-1 at home.
Maison has had them watched and, although confident, knows his side
will have to be on top of their game if there is to be no slip-up.
"Ash are a big and strong side, and play direct football," he said.
"They favour a rather strange 2-3-2-3 formation, which does leave them
open to the counter, something we will be looking to exploit.
"But we will have to defend well as they love to attack."
1 December 2002
THE dream of a new club record is over. Avoiding defeat at Boston
last Saturday would have stretched Buckingham Town's unbeaten run to 16
games and equaled the record set when Mick Foster was in charge during
the early 1990s.
However, despite the 3-1 defeat and the shattered hopes of a new record,
it was really a match they could, perhaps should, have won comfortably.
Naturally, Robins' manager Morell Maison was disappointed, but remains
"The second-half performance was as good as anything we have
produced this season," he said afterwards.
"I'm very proud of what has been achieved, and don't be surprised
if we go on another long unbeaten run."
The Robins fell behind in the 10th minute when Adam Turner was adjudged
to have handled and the resulting free kick was brilliantly curled into
the top corner, giving keeper Sean Griffiths no chance.
Despite the setback, the Robins were well in the game and it came as a
surprise when they fell further behind in the 20th minute as Matt Primus
failed to pick up a through ball and Griffiths was left with no cover.
From looking reasonably comfortable, the Robins were now chasing the
They picked up their pace and put plenty of pressure on the home side,
although it must be said Boston held out until half-time without too
However, as the second half got underway Marcus McGillycuddy really got
the Robins back in contention with a well-taken goal.
And it looked as if they must get something from the game and keep the
hopes of the record alive as they went on to dominate.
But luck deserted them as Ruben Max-Grant hit the bar and Meshach Cole a
post, while the latter somehow managed to hit the keeper with a
point-blank range header.
Boston only had one real opening in the second half, but that proved
enough to clinch them the game, although they will hardly get a luckier
goal this season.
The scorer completely mistimed his shot and could only shin the ball
but, as Griffiths slipped in the muddy goalmouth, it rolled agonisingly
over the line.
Maison has strengthened his squad by signing central defenders Lee Henry
(from Stotfold) and Jamie Hawthorne (from Corby).
After going 15 matches without defeat and almost setting a new club
record, Buckingham Town lost their second successive match on Tuesday
They just did not look anything like the side of recent weeks as they
crashed out of the Berks & Bucks Trophy 2-1 at Wessex League
Although they had the majority of the possession and looked the better
side, the cutting-edge up front of recent matches was sadly lacking. And
badly hit by injuries and suspensions, the defensive frailties were
there to see. In fact, they were forced to play Neil Butler and Junior
George out of position alongside Ian Trott at the back.
After conceding a rather harsh penalty, a defensive error presented
Thatcham with a second after only 20 minutes.
Although they worked hard to get back into it, it was one of those
nights and their only reward was a goal from Ruben Max-Grant after 75
21 November 2002
Blackstone 0 Buckingham Town 2
DESPITE missing five first-team players on Saturday, Buckingham Town's
2-0 win maintained their push for the UCL title and kept them on track
to set a new club record in the coming days.
By avoiding defeat in a league clash at Boston tomorrow, Saturday, and
in the Berks and Bucks County Cup at Thatcham on Tuesday night, The
Robins will extend their unbeaten run to 17 games beating the current
record of 16 set when Mick Foster was the Ford Meadow boss in the early
If the record is secured it will be a proud moment for current boss
Morell Maison, but he is keen to praise others who have made the current
He said: "It has been a real club effort. The work that is going on
behind the scenes is outstanding and continues to provide a platform for
the team to perform.
"The players on the pitch get all the credit, but the guys behind
the scenes are doing a tremendous job. We owe a big, big thank you to
Robin Taylor and his backroom staff."
Saturday's win was achieved with all three regular centre halfs Michael
Cox, Ian Trott and Stuart Blake absent through injury or suspension.
Abdul Abdi was also out with a knock and Lewis Julius was serving a
The reshaped side saw Matthew Primus, Mark Murrell and midfielder Junior
George moving into the centre of defence and Adam Turner making his
debut at left back after returning to the club from Enfield Town.
But the changes had little effect on the performance and the Robins were
ahead within five minutes.
A passing move resulted in a shot from Meshach Cole being blocked before
the ball was worked to Jim Benton to score his first goal for the club
since his arrival from Ford Sports. The attention then switched to the
makeshift back-line and what a fine job they did.
Blackstone pushed throughout the game but failed to register a single
direct effort on target as Buckingham scrapped for every ball and
Their reward came 10 minutes from time when Buckingham doubled their
Marcus McGillycuddy, quiet for large spells of the game, played a
one-two with Cole, drifted across the box from left to right and
finished with a stylish shot into the bottom corner.
The goal was the killer blow for Blackstone and, as their heads dropped,
Buckingham were allowed to push forward but failed to add to their tally
on a day the defenders took the glory.
15 November 2002
IF BUCKINGHAM Town were to go all the way in the Carlsberg FA
Vase, they will hardly have a harder test than they had in their Second
Round tie last Saturday.
In what was a cracking match, they were given a severe test by a
determined and skilful Bury Town who will count themselves unfortunate
to have lost 2-0.
The Robins were forced to draw on all their resolve, particularly in a
first half Bury dominated, and it is a great credit to their strength of
character and determination that they weathered the storm to go through.
Bury certainly had much the better of the first half. They were quick to
close down and blunt the much-vaunted Robins' strike force while, up
front, they were pacy and sharp and had the home defence chasing shadows
That they did not take a decent lead into half-time was principally down
to keeper Sean Griffiths who was definitely the Robins' man of the
match. He made a string of brilliant saves while his terrific flying
stop to keep out Ince's piledriver was simply magnificent.
Having said that, he should have been given no chance when Harrison
missed with a close-range header and Stringfellow failed to make contact
with a Tatham cross.
The Robins had been limited to just one real effort on goal before they
pinched the lead in the 45th minute. Dean Whittaker headed Junior
George's cross back into the box and Marcus McGillycuddy squeezed a shot
under keeper Bugg.
They had rode their luck and taken the lead against the run of play, but
they soon consolidated their advantage.
The second half was only five minutes old when good play down the right
by Whittaker and Ruben Max-Grant gave the latter a shooting chance.
Although Bugg managed to block it, Meshach Cole swooped gleefully to
guide it home.
That visibly lifted the Robins and they began to enjoy more of the game
as an attacking force while tightening up at the back.
Even so, Bury were not out of it and Griffiths continued his great work
with fine saves from Harrison and Tatham, Whittaker cleared off the line
from Stringfellow, and Newman had an effort ruled out for a foul on
But the Robins almost made it 3-0 at the end when Bugg denied Max-Grant.
Manager Morell Maison was a very happy man afterwards.
"I knew it would be tough, but I'm absolutely delighted," he
"We set out to have a good look at them early on and we tended to
hand them the initiative, but our keeper was fantastic he broke their
"And it's all about putting the ball in the back of the net."
THE Robins' reward for their heroic exploits against Bury Town is
another home match.
Former West Ham and England legend Trevor Brooking picked them out of
the hat first to meet Ash United in the Third Round of the Carlsberg FA
Vase on Saturday, December 7, when the draw was made at Upton Park at
Manager Morell Maison was present at the home of West Ham to witness the
draw and was happy with it.
"It will be another tough one but it's winnable," he
"I'm happy with the draw and I fancy us to go through, particularly
as we're at home.
"You can't expect easy games at this halfway stage, but I'm quietly
Aldershot-based Ash United play in the Premier Division of the Seagrave
Haulage Combined Counties League and are enjoying a good season.
They are currently third and have lost only two of their 16 games,
scoring 54 goals in the process.
In the Second Round last Saturday, they took the notable scalp of Ryman
Division Two Kingsbury Town with a 4-1 win at home.
9 November 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town have arguably their most important game of the
season so far this Saturday (November 9).
They play hosts to old adversaries Bury Town in a money-spinning
Carlsberg FA Vase Second Round tie at Ford Meadow.
Ford Meadow is fast becoming something of a fortress for the Robins this
season, and manager Morell Maison is optimistic his side can go through.
"I've watched them twice," he said this week.
"They are a big, strong side that play a little direct, somewhat
like previous opponents Flackwell Heath.
"I know it will be tough, but it is a game I expect to win. I'm
Although the two teams have not met in recent seasons, they are
certainly no strangers, both having enjoyed highly-successful spells in
what is now the Doc Martens League Southern Section in the late 1980s
and early 1990s.
Both clubs have fallen on leaner times in recent years, but both are
currently enjoying good seasons.
The Robins are currently third in the UCL Premier with games in hand
over the two teams above them and have lost just twice in their last 20
Meanwhile, Bury (the Rams) are currently sixth in the Jewson Eastern
Counties League Premier Division, their latest result being a 2-1 win at
Dereham Town last Saturday.
However, if history is anything to go by, then the Robins will start as
The two sides first met back on January 12, 1988, in the Southern League
Cup, with Buckingham running out 4-0 winners.
Since then they have met 15 times, with the Robins winning 10 and Bury
four, Buckingham scoring 34 goals and their opponents 21.
Buckingham's biggest win was a 5-1 success at Ford Meadow back in
February 1992, with Tom Pearson (3) and Steve Jenkins (2) on target.
Their biggest defeat came on their first visit to Ram Meadow when they
were hammered 8-0 in the 1988/89 season.
Now the current Robins will be hoping to extend that decent record on
Although Abdul Abdi should be available after missing last Saturday's
clash with Holbeach, Michael Cox and Lewis Junior will again be out
while Dave Fenton is sidelined for three months.
Central defenders Stuart Blaik and Ian Trott will both be available, but
then start suspensions before Tuesday's league match at Cogenhoe.
Meanwhile, the Robins reached the next round of the League Cup with an
exciting 3-2 victory over last season's league runners-up Holbeach.
Despite the tie being played in far from ideal conditions, it turned out
to be an enthralling and entertaining contest between two good sides,
capped by an outstanding winning goal.
The Robins were missing Abdul Abdi, Michael Cox and Lewis Junior, and
manager Morell Maison drafted in 19-year-old Dean Whittaker, Matty
Primus and Dave Fenton.
The match began at a fast tempo, with the home side taking the lead in
the 16th minute. A fine move that started with the keeper rolling the
ball out to Stuart Blaik passed through Whittaker and Fenton before
Ruben Max-Grant played in Meshach Cole to score.
They held the upper hand for a spell and it was a little surprising when
experienced striker Keeble pulled away from his marker to equalise with
a fine finish.
The remainder of the first half was fairly even, but the Robins were
given a shock when, straight from the re-start, Junior George slipped
and Keeble nipped the ball away from him to give the visitors the lead.
However, just five minutes later a patient build-up gave Whittaker the
chance to deliver a terrific through ball for Max Grant to touch home
Town were in the ascendancy now but it was not until the 83rd minute
that they found the winner although it was well worth waiting for!
Receiving the ball out on the left, Marcus McGillycuddy moved inside his
marker before unleashing a magnificent shot which was just a blur as it
flew past a keeper who never had a chance to move.
It was a goal worthy of winning any match.
2 November 2002
THE ROBINS followed Saturday's 1-0 win at S&L Corby with a 1-1
draw at Northampton Spencer on Tuesday evening to ensure they completed
Their record for the month makes impressive reading eight played, six
won, two drawn, 29 goals scored, just eight conceded but manager Morell
Maison still believes a top-four finish is the height of the club's
ambitions for the season.
He said: "If anybody had told me at the beginning of the month that
we would achieve that record I would have snatched their hand off.
"It is a fantastic time at the club but a top three or four finish
this season will still be a good achievement. We have got a lot of
talented players and a lot will depend on whether we can hang on to
On Tuesday, Buckingham were missing Lewis Junior, who is believed to be
interesting Grimsby Town scouts, due to a family bereavement and Marcus
McGillycuddy, who was stranded in Belgium due to the rail problems
caused by the weekend storms.
But despite those absences, they were still in front within the opening
five minutes when Dave Fenton carried the ball half the length of the
pitch before slotting the ball past the keeper. A similar move almost
doubled the lead shortly afterwards, but Spencer then dug in and made
Buckingham work hard for any further chances.
Spencer were rewarded for their efforts when they equalised in the final
five minutes, a disappointment for Buckingham but a point few could
argue the home side didn't deserve.
On Saturday Buckingham gave what Maison called their "most complete
performance of the season" to return with three points from S&L
The home side had not been beaten at home this season but defending
deeply only invited a bright and sharp Buckingham side into the area.
Buckingham's effort and persistence was rewarded in the 65th minute when
Mechach Cole's shot was parried only as far as Ruben Max Grant who
headed home the winner.
Buckingham have been handed a home tie with Jewson Eastern League side
Bury Town in the second round of the FA Vase.
The Bury St Edmunds side will visit Ford Meadow next Saturday as the
Robins look to build on their impressive 4-1 defeat of Clapton in the
Bury will provide the Robins sternest test of the season, but Maison is
hopeful of a solid performance,
He said: "It is a game we can win but it is going to be a tough
"In the second round proper of the FA Vase we have to expect tough
25 October 2002
IN-FORM Buckingham Town stayed on course for FA Vase glory after
comfortably overcoming Clapton in the first round, writes David Brennan.
Town, who are unbeaten in their last nine league games and at home all
season, made all the right moves in an emphatic win against Clapton on
Buckingham enjoyed a slice of good fortune in the 15th minute when a
Clapton defender tried to clear a free kick, curled in from the right
hand side of the pitch by Lewis Julius, only to head it into his own
Buckingham almost added another two goals but were then given a warning
when man of the match, keeper Sean Griffiths, made an acrobatic save
diving low to tip the ball around the post.
Buckingham then broke down field to set up Meshach Cole for Town's
Three minutes later, a sizzling half volley by Marcus McGillycuddy gave
Buckingham their third.
Further chances fell to Ruben Max Grant and McGillycuddy but Town began
to take their foot off the pedal.
A sustained period of Clapton pressure saw several outstanding saves by
Griffiths before a 37th minute strike from Clapton.
For the second half, manager Morrell Maison made some tactical changes.
Dave Fenton and Steve Justin replaced Julius and Primus, Abdul Abi was
replaced by Mark Morrell after suffering a groin strain, while Junior
George moved into a central midfield role allowing Town to defend higher
up the pitch.
The best, and final, goal of the game saw Griffiths play the ball out to
He passed to Morrell before McGillycuddy ran half the length of the
pitch, avoiding three tackles, and smashed the ball home.
Manager Morell Maison said Ford Meadow was fast becoming Fortress
Meadow, adding: "This was a fantastic result even though we didn't
play as well as we can.
"We are just taking it one game at a time but we are a good
footballing side and we are capable of going far."
19th October 2002 (Report from Andy Bone.)
Buckingham Town defeated their London-based visitors, Clapton, after
winning the game by scoring three goals in the opening twenty minutes.
An own goal in the first minute gave Town the lead before Marcus
McGillycuddy put the home side further ahead on 12 minutes. Meshach
Cole's 20th minute strike gave Town a three goal advantage before Hope's
28th minute goal made the final minutes of the half an interesting
battle. Clapton played very well and pushed for a second goal which
would have increased the home side's nerves. Chances fell at both ends
before McGillycuddy's run from his own half saw him score a fourth goal
that puts the Robins into the 2nd Round of the Vase.
17th October 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town's scoring exploits continued this as they jumped
back up to fourth in the table with games in hand.
Last Saturday's home match against St Neots was arguably their stiffest
league test so far but, following an opening 15 minutes of sparring and
weighing up the opposition, they destroyed the opposition 6-0 with
another display of sparkling attacking football.
Robins' manager Morell Maison was delighted with the performance, but
still feels the best is yet to come. "This was probably our most
complete performance of the season," he said.
"We are really settling as a unit and playing well, but I feel we
can still go up another gear."
There was little between the teams in that opening quarter-hour, but
with Michael Cox, Ian Trott and Stuart Blaik solid at the back, and with
Matt Primus and Junior George clearing up in front of them, the Robins
drew their visitors' sting and then pounced.
They took the lead slightly against the run of play. A sweeping move
involving Marcus McGillycuddy, Abdul Abdi and Lewis Julius ended with
the latter crossing to the far post for Reuben Max Grant to score.
Five minutes later, after another good passing move, Julius crossed to
the near post for Meshach Cole to add the second.
McGillycuddy had an unusually quiet first half, but he was pushed
further forward after the break and had a superb second half as he ran
the St Neots defence ragged.
He was instrumental in the third as he hared down the left and delivered
a great cross which defender Buckland turned past his own keeper trying
to prevent it reaching the lurking Cole.
That was game over but the Robins were far from finished.
McGillycuddy again went down the line and this time his fine cross was
volleyed home by Abdul Abdi.
Not long afterwards Cole was fouled by Buckland and got up to convert
the penalty himself.
Fittingly, it was McGillycuddy who wrapped it up with a stunning sixth.
He turned the St Neots defence inside out and finished with a blistering
shot into the corner.
THE Robins warmed up for their important Carlsberg FA Vase home tie
against Clapton on Saturday with a fine 4-1 win over Daventry Town on
They took the lead in the 17th minute when McGillycuddy converted Lewis
Abdi got the second at the end of a terrific passing move early in the
Although Daventry pulled one back, two well-taken goals by Cole gave the
Robins another three points.
The only blot on another fine display came when Julius was sent off for
10th October 2002
THE ROBINS gave Winslow 'an education in football' at Ford Meadow
on Wednesday night and those are the words of Winslow boss Jon Franklin,
writes Jason Gibbins.
Winslow competed well and enjoyed their share of quality football, but
once Buckingham went ahead they were always on the back foot.
Franklin said: "It was an education in football. We played some
good stuff, but they were superior to us.
"We are comfortable at the level we play at, but I have to take my
hat off to Buckingham they are a very quick and strong team. I am
disappointed to go out of the competition, but it was a good learning
curve for us."
The home side took the lead after around 15 minutes with a good strike
from Marcus McGillycuddy, cutting in from the left.
Abdul Abdi followed up a rebound to make it 2-0 before the break and
within minutes of the start of the second half, McGillycuddy fired a
cleared corner straight back past the keeper to make it three.
Abdi then thumped home a header from a corner to confirm Buckingham's
Robins boss Morell Maison said: "We played with excellent passing,
movement and control.
"What pleased me was not the fact that we scored four goals, but
the standard of the performance.
"What I did like about Winslow was that they never stopped working.
They continued to play football and passed the character test very
Buckingham Town 4 Winslow United 0
Buckingham Charity Cup
Northampton Town scouts were at Ford Meadow on Wednesday to take a look
at McGillycuddy. The two clubs are now in talks over a three-day trial
for the player.
3rd October 2002
THE ROBINS were held to a 2-2 draw for the third league game in a
row on Tuesday evening and for the second match in succession they
missed an open goal just moments before conceding a goal.
With the score at
1-1 shortly after the break, Meshach Cole tried to round the keeper when
through one-on-one but could only place his shot against his legs.
From the save the keeper released the ball up the middle, it deflected
out to the left and Sam Johnson shrugged off claims for offside to put
the home side 2-1 ahead.
The game started in a more positive manner for Buckingham and they were
ahead after around a quarter of an hour when Dave Fenton broke down the
right and played the ball in to Cole, to square it to Ruben Max-Grant to
With the interval approaching, Desborough were given a way back into the
game when Ian Trott hesitated and conceded a penalty, which was scored
by Tom Mills, with his recovery tackle
After the break, Cole's early miss was punished when the home side went
in front, but The Robins responded within a minute to level the game.
Fenton broke, cut inside and planted a shot n to the bottom corner.
Buckingham pushed for the winner throughout the remainder of the half,
but with Cole guilty of missing yet another open goal they could not
find the winner.
Boss Morell Maison said: "Meshach Cole is the most prolific
goalscorer in the league, but for the third game running he has not
taken chances which could have put the game beyond doubt."
28th September 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town eased their way through to the next round of the
FA Vase with a comfortable and convincing 3-0 win at Eton Manor.
They now face Ryman Division Two Clapton at Ford Meadow on October 19, a
prospect manager Morell Maison is relishing.
"I'm really looking forward to it," he said.
"We've already beaten Tring and lost narrowly away at Flackwell
Heath, both from the same league as Clapton, so I'm happy with the draw.
I really fancy it."
The Robins certainly deserved a decent draw after outplaying their Essex
Senior League opposition.
After a couple of below-par performances, they really got back to the
form they showed in the opening matches of the season.
It was an excellent all-round team performance as they re-discovered
their one-touch passing football, and the difference in class was
The movement up front was excellent, the midfield was back to its
creative best and the defence looked solid.
The Robins took the lead in the 14th minute. A good passing move down
the right started with Michael Cox and Steve Justin before the ball was
knocked out to Meshach Cole, who played it across for man of the match
Abdul Abdi to touch off for Ruben Max-Grant to score.
Ten minutes later it was 2-0, and it came from another good move down
the right. Abdi, Cole and Max-Grant were all involved before 19-year-old
Dean Whittaker marked his debut with a goal.
In truth, Eton Manor were chasing shadows for much of the second half
and there could have been more goals.
Max-Grant missed two one-on-ones, Cole had a couple of half-chances and
Justin finished the best move of the match by blasting over.
However, the scoreline was given a more realistic look when Cox and
Whittaker worked the ball to Justin, who slid it between two defenders
for Cole to stroke in the third.
19th September 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town's hopes of a decent FA Cup run were ended last
Saturday when they were bundled out of the competition 2-1 at Flackwell
The home side adopted a physical approach but it was Buckingham that
finished the match with 10 men, losing Stuart Blaik for retaliation.
Ruben Max-Grant suffered a broken toe, Michael Cox appeared to be struck
in the face by an elbow and Nathan Bailey failed to re-appear for the
second half after taking a knock on the knee.
In truth, the Robins played all the football, but just could not
overcome the physical approach of their opponents.
Flackwell took the lead in the 10th minute when keeper Shaun Griffith
failed to deal with a cross.
But the Robins remained patient and controlled most of the game.
They deservedly equalised from their first attack of the second half as
Meshach Cole was quickest to Abdul Abdi's good through ball and buried
his shot into the corner. However, any hopes of bringing the tie back to
Ford Meadow were dashed when the home side grabbed the winner in the
And to make matters worse two minutes later Blaik who along with Cox had
been outstanding at the back was sent off for retaliation to a Flackwell
challenge punished with a yellow card.
Robins' manager Morell Maison said afterwards: "It was
disappointing to go out the way we did, but we must put this behind us
and move on.
"A special word must go to the 40-odd supporters who travelled to
the game they were a credit to the club."
The Robins missed the chance of closing the gap on the leaders when they
were held to a 2-2 draw by Long Buckby at Ford Meadow on Wednesday
Although Abdi gave them a 10th-minute lead, goals from Fretwell and
former Robin Mark Jameson put the visitors ahead at half-time.
It was left to leading scorer Cole to salvage a point with the equaliser
after 56 minutes.
15th September 2002
FOUR second-half goals gave Buckingham Town what was, in the end,
a comfortable passage into the next round of the FA Vase last Saturday
with a 4-1 win over neighbours Brackley Town.
They were not at their best they did not have to be although they
deserved their win.
In what was an eagerly-awaited derby clash, a tame first half was, at
best, very poor.
Both sides looked nervous, but that can hardly be used as an excuse as
play was extremely scrappy and the passing at times lamentable, an
over-fussy referee not helping the 'entertainment'.
There was a dearth of goalmouth action and the first effort on goal did
not come until the half-hour when Brackley's Neil King shot narrowly
A free kick by the same player shortly afterwards was comfortably
collected by keeper Griffiths.
The Robins were really struggling to get their passing game going and
their best opening came close to half-time as a mix-up in the home
defence gave Ruben Max-Grant the chance to cross, but in keeping with
what had gone before he over hit it with players waiting in the middle.
The second half could only get better and the match sprung into life
within a minute of the restart. Brackley keeper Richard Darvill could
only parry the impressive Lewis Julius' shot to leave Max-Grant with a
Play did improve slightly and, lifted by that success, the Robins went
close through Stuart Blaik's header from a corner.
They doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Julian McCalmon tripped
Max-Grant in the box and Meshach Cole confidently put the penalty into
the corner. Although ordered to re-take it because of encroachment, he
promptly put it into the opposite corner.
Although still not at their best, the Robins were in charge now and in
the next minute Cole made a good run down the right and cleverly back
heeled the ball to Max-Grant, who laid it square for Julius to add the
Brackley did grab a lifeline on 75 minutes when a King free kick struck
Junior George on the hand and Paul Eldridge reduced the arrears from the
However, any thoughts the home side may have had of staging a late fight
back were extinguished two minutes later when good play by Max-Grant saw
Steve Justin fire a shot against the bar and Abdul Abdi head home the
The Robins will now travel to Eton Manor in the next round on Saturday,
WITH Saturday's FA Cup tie in mind, Robins manager Morell Maison rested
several regulars for Wednesday evening's League Cup match.
But the Robins were still too good for Division One visitors Olney Town
and dominated all over the pitch to win comfortably 3-1.
In a first half played at a good pace, Town took the lead in the 35th
minute when Jamie Darby, in his first match since breaking a leg, was
fouled in the box and converted the penalty himself.
However, just two minutes later Foster equalised.
The Robins regained the lead in the 55th minute. A corner was only
half-cleared, Stuart Blaik headed it back, and Ruben Max-Grant got in
front of the keeper to nod home.
Maison rang even more changes and there were only three or four regulars
on the pitch at the end.
Despite that, Max-Grant added his second in the 65th minute, collecting
Mark Murrell's cross and dancing past two defenders to fire into the
5th September 2002
DESPITE taking a step up in class, Buckingham Town continued their
exciting start with a fine 3-0 FA Cup victory over Ryman Division Two
Tring Town last Saturday.
They again looked strong at the back, combative in midfield and pacy up
Tring had obviously noted their scoring exploits and set their stall out
by defending deep and trying to hit on the break.
Although it worked insofar as it was still level at the break, the
Robins could well have been several goals up as Reuben Max-Grant had
three one-on-ones only to be denied by the excellent visitors' keeper,
Abdul Abdi had two blockbusters also well saved, Stuart Blaik hit the
woodwork from a corner and Ian Trott also went close.
Robins' manager Morell Maison pushed Lewis Julius out wider at the start
of the second period, and within three minutes the move had worked.
Matthew Primus split the Tring defence to find Julius on the outside and
his beautiful cross was turned in by Meshach Cole.
Tring refused to or were not allowed to change tactics and when Primus
and Julius combined again, this time Primus supplied the cross for Abdi
to score the second.
That was as good as game over, but the Robins emphasised their obvious
superiority with a third goal. It came from another Primus cross which
caused panic in the visitors' defence and a defender deflected the ball
past his own keeper.
And there could have been more as both Steve Justin and Julius went
close to increasing the lead.
The Robins will now play Flackwell Heath away in the next round.
MANAGER Morell Maison blamed himself after the Robins suffered their
first league defeat of the season on Tuesday evening, 3-0 at Daventry
He changed the shape and formation looking to contain what he knew to be
an aggressive Daventry side.
In consequence, they lost a lot of the fluidity which has bought so many
goals in earlier games.
Maison admitted he was devising a game plan to take on Flackwell Heath
in the next round of the FA Cup.
In addition, a couple of his players went into the game carrying knocks.
"This was a bit of a blip, but I'm not too worried," Maison
"We will go into this Saturday's FA Vase match at Brackley full of
The Daventry goals came from Towers (2) and Jones.
It was only in the final 20 minutes, when Buckingham reverted to their
more usual shape, that they threatened and put the home defence under
any real pressure, during which time a Daventry defender was sent off.
1st September 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town made it 16 goals from their three matches with
another exhilarating performance last Saturday that saw them thrash
Deeping Rangers 6-1.
Although they will play better teams than they have so far, you can take
nothing away from them at the moment.
They look an exciting side and are playing some terrific football and
Deeping, for one, were just not in the same class on the day.
Building from the back with Lewis Julius and Junior George prompting
superbly from midfield, the pace and running of Meshach Cole, Abdul
Abdi, Marcus McGillycuddy and Reuben Max-Grant ripped Deeping apart and
will trouble much better teams than Saturday's opposition.
Manager Morell Maison is delighted with the way things are going.
"This was another job well done," he said afterwards.
"I'm over the moon with the start we've made it's fantastic.
"We've worked hard pre-season and are now reaping the rewards.
"This is the culmination of two years' hard work, but they are a
young team and they will get even better.
"Now we must work hard to maintain the current level of play."
The Robins made an explosive start and were 3-0 up within 12 minutes.
There were only two minutes on the clock when defender Wilson tried to
chest the ball back to his keeper Lowndes, but the alert Cole nipped in
to bundle it in for the first of his four.
A minute later Abdi picked up a loose clearance and hammered in a
thunderous shot from 20 yards.
At the other end, Chris Chandler did well to save from Woods and to tip
a Mead shot on to the bar, but in the 12th minute Cole was tripped by
Korkmaz and Max-Grant casually converted from the spot.
The Robins looked likely to score every time they went forward, but had
to wait until the 37th minute for their fourth.
A McGillycuddy cross was charged down and everyone thought the ball was
going behind everyone except Cole, that is, who somehow kept it in and
then beat Lowndes from an almost impossible angle.
And on the stroke of half-time Cole waltzed through several bemused
defenders to complete his hat trick.
The second half started with Max-Grant going close, but in the 49th
minute McGillycuddy hit a great ball inside the full-back to Julius
whose cross found the head of Cole. Although Lowndes got to the ball and
stopped it, the linesman ruled it had already crossed the line.
Perhaps it was too easy as the Robins took the foot off the gas and
played it around in exhibition style at times.
Manager Maison could even afford the luxury of substituting Julius, Cole
and McGillycuddy, but still they could have had more goals as they went
close several times.
Deeping grabbed their consolation through Woods with three minutes left
as the home side understandably relaxed.
Despite the fantastic start, Maison still sees things to work on.
"I've noticed that all three teams we have played so far have tried
to contain us in the second half in an effort to keep the score
down," he said.
"We must learn to be more patient and keep playing our football and
not resort to knocking hopeful balls forward."
23 August 2002
BUCKINGHAM Town manager Morell Maison was a happy man this week
after watching his side make an exhilarating maximum start to the new
"I'm a very happy man," declared Maison.
"We totally controlled both games and produced two terrific
Scoring 10 goals in their two games, they opened their campaign with a
6-2 win at Bourne last Saturday.
Apart from a 15-minute spell midway through the second half, they
totally dominated the game and fulfilled all the pre-season promise with
a superb display.
In fact, had they taken all their chances, the final scoreline could
have been even more embarrassing for the home side.
After Marcus McGillycuddy missed a good chance of giving them the lead
in the first minute the Robins, missing four who could be regarded as
first-team players, were a little tentative at the start.
But once they settled there was no holding them and they took the lead
with a fine goal.
The move started with McGillycuddy and went through Abdul Abdi and
Reuben Max Grant before Meshach Cole drove a fine shot into the bottom
Another terrific build-up between McGillycuddy and Max Grant saw the
latter hold up the ball for Abdi to hit the second.
Then Cole got his second with a lovely strike following more good play
by Michael Cox, McGillycuddy and Max Grant.
And two minutes before the break a Louis Junior cross was finished
sweetly by McGillycuddy for 4-0.
The second half started with Stuart Blaik hitting the bar and Max Grant
striking a post.
The Robins then lost Blaik with a groin injury and this upset their
rhythm for a spell, during which Nelson and Bourner reduced the arrears
to 4-2 before the Robins reaffirmed their superiority with two more
McGillycuddy found Abdi with a short pass and he left two defenders
floundering before unleashing a great finish from 30 yards.
And it was McGillycuddy who wrapped up a very encouraging start by
volleying the sixth from Junior's cross.
The Robins made it six points from two games as they cruised to an
impressive 4-0 win over Woodford at Ford Meadow on Wednesday evening.
McGillycuddy had a superb game and wreaked havoc in the visitors'
He was instrumental in the three first-half goals from Max Grant (2) and
And he scored the goal of the match two minutes into the second half.
Picking up the ball on halfway, he set off on a mazy run and weaved his
way through the Woodford defence before cracking an unstoppable shot
into the top corner.
For the rest of the match, it was just a case of damage limitation for
the visitors as the Robins turned on the exhibition stuff.
Mention must be made of the back three Michael Cox, Ian Trott and Stuart
Blaik who were rock-solid.
Buckingham Town won their friendly at Leicestershire side Thurnby
Rovers 3-2 last Saturday.
It was a useful workout against a team that won five trophies last
The Robins opened up a 3-0 lead by half-time with goals from Reuben
Max-Grant, Meshach Cole and Lewis Julius.
In sweltering conditions, they took their foot off the gas a little in
the second half as manager Morell Maison took the opportunity of giving
several reserves and youth-team players a run out.
Maison used 19 players in Tuesday evening's friendly at Leamington Spa,
which the Robins lost 3-1. With several new players in the side in the
first half, and with Jamie Darby making a welcome return following a
broken leg, a mix-up between central defenders Stuart Blaik and Ian
Trott presented the home side with an early lead.
Leamington added a rather fluky second and hit a fine third before
The Robins lined up for the second half with what Maison believes is
just about his strongest line-up.
And with Abdul Abdi and Meshach Cole combining well up front, they went
on to dominate the remainder of the game.
They were twice denied by the woodwork before Abdi set up Cole for a
"It's all coming together well," was Maison's verdict.