By Tony Incenzo
I have been to the market town of Buckingham twice before for football when I watched both Buckingham Town and Buckingham Athletic play at their respective home venues.
Buckingham United are the new kids on the block having been founded as recently as 2011. They joined the Spartan South Midlands League Division Two from the North Bucks & District League in 2019 and have therefore been on my radar for a visit for a couple of seasons so that I could recomplete visits to all the SSML grounds.
It was a 100 mile round trip for me to Buckingham, where the local population is just under 13,000.
Where was it played?
Tucked away in a nice housing estate, the Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre features a large sports hall building. Some enthusiastic children were arriving for judo lessons on the day of my match. The main football pitch is situated behind the car park. Although there is no covered accommodation for spectators, it is a decent set-up with perimeter railings, dug-outs and a sprinkling of advertising boards. An elevated view of the match was available from the grass banking that runs along one touchline.
What’s in the programme?
Buckingham United have a good model which other clubs could follow. They produce a one-off glossy programme for the whole season. This contains background information about the club and sells for £2. It is then updated with a matchday insert that includes up to date team line-ups.
And the match itself?
Both Buckingham United and Old Bradwell United sent me messages via Twitter on the morning of the game confirming that this fixture would definitely go ahead. It was a crisp but dry day which saw the second bottom hosts taking on the divisional leaders.
There was a whirl of activity as the kick-off was delayed by a few minutes to remove liberal helpings of dog mess from the pitch. The hard-working Buckingham United volunteers carried out this thankless task to great effect. Much as I expected, Old Bradwell were the stronger side and cantered to victory thanks to strikes by Tommy Cooke (13 minutes), Sam O’Neill (34 mins) and Darryl Smith (53 mins).
Buckingham United had the chance of a consolation goal when they won a penalty in the last minute. I won’t name the player involved to spare his blushes but he tried to execute an elaborate Panenka-style chip straight down the middle. Unfortunately, he totally over-hit the ball and it sailed miles over the crossbar and out into the car park. I recorded this incident on my phone from directly behind the goal and there were howls of laughter from both sets of players!
Penalty miss today pic.twitter.com/lUR4T5rxgb
— Tony Incenzo talkSPORT (@TonyIncenzo) January 22, 2022
Facts and figures
Score: Buckingham United 0 Old Bradwell United 3
Where: Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre, Catchpin Street, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire MK18 7RR
Competition: Spartan South Midlands Football League Division Two
You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo