2 v 0
There’s a belief in the realms of psychology that delayed gratification is better than acting on your impulses, the theory being that you gain a greater reward for your patience.
The Bucks were both patient but impulsive in this game; when the opportunity arrived, they cast their restraint to one side and delivered a spell of 10-15 minutes’ worth of almost ceaseless attack that won the game.
In their current situation, a win by any means would have been welcome; however, the Bucks sent their fans home happy with a tick in the box marked ‘performance’ also, making it their best 90 minutes for some considerable time.
Under Greene, the Bucks had yet to collect any points; however, the hosts tried to get onto the front foot, with Kai Williams darting here and there, his pace getting him behind the Farsley defence. His low cross was turned into the side netting by strike partner Jason Oswell inside the first 10 minutes.
Celtic responded with a curling Luke Parkin delivery from a free-kick being headed by James Hanson powerfully, and gratefully, straight at goalkeeper Russ Griffiths.
After 20 minutes, a slick Bucks move down their left ended with Kevin Berkoe’s cross being just too high for the airborne Tom Sparrow to meet with his head; the debutant, signed on loan from Stoke City, fouled a Celtic defender in the process, but the crowd warmed to the positivity in the Bucks’ approach.
On the half-hour the Bucks got their clearest sighting of goal yet; Cameron Antwi, another loan signing, found Durrell 15 yards out with a pass from the left edge of the penalty area. Durrell was central and had time, and such is Durrell’s prowess that you expected the net to bulge; however, he got underneath his shot and cleared the crossbar.
Durrell was soon taking aim once more, scuffing a low shot wide of Wright’s right post when Ross White’s overlap pulled a defender away.
Celtic still posed a threat and could, maybe should, have been ahead when Luke Parkin’s angled shot was beaten down by Griffiths; the Bucks keeper was out at Parkin’s feet to bravely smother the follow-up.
It was all square at the interval, and the Bucks persistence would be the key in turning a decent performance into that sought-after victory. The first chance of the half fell to Celtic, as Jimmy Spencer met a low cross from the goal-line but screwed his shot across the face of goal and wide.
Celtic were to enjoy their best spell, and Spencer was again wasteful, this time firing the ball over the bar from 15 yards out when Parkin’s pass picked him out in the penalty area. The visitors went close again on 58 minutes when makeshift defender Adam Clayton’s close-range header was saved at the foot of his post by Griffiths.
The Bucks, however, were about to go into overdrive, and the visitors had no answer. On 59 minutes, Williams’ pace drove him infield from the right and when Durrell joined the play his low cross towards Oswell appeared to come off defender Lewis Turner before being instinctively forced up and onto his crossbar at close range by Wright. Oswell had a similar chance from an Antwi cross minutes later.
There was to be no let-up, and Wright pushed Durrell’s shot on the run out for a corner, the keeper unwilling to take the chance that the fiercely-struck shot was going wide. From the corner, Oswell’s stooping flick-on at the near post flashed through the six-yard box, and Antwi’s efforts to turn the ball towards the open side of the net at the far post saw the ball strike the outside of the upright.
Durrell then cut in along the edge of the penalty area, letting go of a low, curling shot that bent beyond Wright’s fingertips, but also a few feet wide of the post.
Amid this spell, manager Greene had introduced substitute Dom McHale. The midfielder was a standout performer last season, but fitness issues saw him side-lined under former boss Gavin Cowan. On 69 minutes he delivered a riposte to any doubts, cutting along the edge of the box from the right and planting a sumptuous finish across Wright and into the far corner.
Delight and relief spilt out from the crowd, but their afternoon was to get better. Four minutes later, Durrell at last found the net; his darting run into the box onto a through ball after Antwi’s run put just Wright between him and goal, and he coolly beat the advancing keeper to double the lead.
Celtic made some efforts to try and haul themselves back into the game, with Hanson heading one opportunity over the crossbar before then having a shot deflected wide for a corner. From the flag-kick, Celtic skipper Dave Syers’ header rebounded off the crossbar, but the visitors were to come no closer to spoiling Griffiths’ third clean sheet of the season.
At the final whistle, both fans and players alike enjoyed the taste of victory, one that had been a long time coming but probably tasted all the sweeter for it. Whilst one win doesn’t fix everything, there was plenty of evidence that whoever eventually takes over as the club’s manager has the basis of something to work with.
Author: Richard Worton.
Match Date: October 16th, 2021 3:00 pm
Competition: National League North
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: New Bucks Head
- Kyle Bennett (replaced Elliott Durrell, 86 minutes)
- Dominic McHale (replaced Kai Williams, 61 minutes)
Referee: Kristian Silcock
Assistant 1: Declan Brown
Assistant 2: David Brown
Official 4: n/a