Late goals make it a losing return to action

Toolstation League premier division: Buckland Athletic 3, Wellington 2

Our long-awaited return to action saw a pair of late goals consign the Tangerines to an agonising Boxing Day defeat away to Buckland Athletic.

The dramatic end to the game meant we were left bitterly disappointed after leading twice against the side lying in fifth place in the table.

Having not played since mid-November, we looked anything but rusty as we went ahead after only two minutes.

The ball broke kindly to Jake Quick in the home box and he skipped round keeper Andy Collings to slot home.

We had a great chance to extend our lead after 28 minutes when recent signing Ryan Brereton raced clear and poked the ball past Collings but it rolled the wrong side of the post.

And it was Buckland who struck just before the break, Cieran Bridger being given too much time and space to beat keeper Harley Wilkinson from distance.

The lads’ heads could have dropped after that setback but instead we came out for the second half with another quick goal.

Harvey Dorothy played the ball forward to Jake Quick who coolly lobbed Collings for his and the visitors’ second of the match.

That was the signal for Buckland to take the game to the Tangerines who used three of their four substitutes in a bid to retain the lead.

Although we were on the back foot for most of the second half, it looked like we might hold out until it all went wrong in the final nine minutes of normal time.

First, home striker Ryan Bush was clipped in the box and Owen Stockton made it 2-2 from the penalty spot.

Then, with just two minutes of the 90 remaining, Buckland’s Scott Crocker was sent racing clear only to be pulled back by Miles Quick who was shown a red card.

And the visitors suffered double punishment as the resulting free kick by Sam Morcom was deflected off the wall and into the net for the winning goal.

We stay second from bottom of the table – with games in hand on the four sides immediately above us – and must now pick ourselves up for the home game against Millbrook next Monday, ko 1pm.

Squad: Harley Wilkinson, Mark Cornish, Jason Quick, Tom Stone, Jack Bown-Porter, Jamie Nicholson, Ryan Brereton, Eli Collins, Miles Quick, Harvey Dorothy, Jake Quick. Substitutes: Glen Wright, Alex Cherry and Kelson Pollard (used); Nathan Byrne (not used). Attendance: 171.