Long Crendon progressed to the third round of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup with an ultimately convincing 5–1 win over Buckingham United, although for much of the first half the game was a lot closer than the eventual scoreline.
Crendon were hit by a late blow before kick off when Tom Sykes had to miss out through illness but this allowed Archie Pettingell to make his first start since suffering a shoulder injury in the previous round. Buckingham came out of the blocks fast and really should have taken the lead when George Collingwood could only parry a shot but the rebound was steered wide by the opposition striker.
The game was open one but the gusting wind made conditions tricky and moments of quality in the final third were scarce. Harry Pettingell, however, was a constant threat and after escaping down the right, he squared for James Hawkes but the keeper diverted his shot wide. Crendon then suffered another injury blow when Dino Bonwick suffered a blow to the face and was forced off, to be replaced by Joe Russell.
Just as it looked like Crendon would be happy to see the half time whistle, they struck twice in three minutes to completely change the complexion of the game. First Harry Pettingell again supplied a cross from the right and Eliot Farley finished well into the roof of the net, then Pettingell himself latched on to a loose ball and stroked home to make it 2-0.
In truth that knocked the stuffing out of Buckingham and Crendon dominated the second half. Hawkes’ frustrating afternoon continued as he was unable to score with a close range header, while Oli Lethbridge hit the outside of the post from an acute angle.
On 74 minutes, though, Crendon got the clincher. Hawkes wrongfooted a couple of players in midfield and slotted through to Harry Pettingell, who finished clinically for his second. Then minutes later he completed his second successive hat-trick with a tidy finish after a flowing team move. The icing was then put on the cake with two minutes remaining, as Buckingham failed to clear a corner and one centre back, Tom Lethbridge, crossed for the other, Nathan Brownsword, to turn in his fifth of the season. There was still time for Buckingham to win and convert a consolation penalty but Crendon progressed comfortably to the next round to play Wingrave.
Team: Collingwood, B Sykes, Bonwick (Russell), T Lethbridge, A Farley (c), Brownsword, E Farley, H Pettingell, Hawkes, A Pettingell (Hawthorne), O Lethbridge.
This week Crendon host Chalfont Wasps in the first round of the Chairman’s Challenge Cup as the first game of their new groundshare at Oxford City FC.
Photo credit – Wings Media