BUCKLAND Athletic head into their final pre-season friendly of the 2013-14 campaign full of confidence following a 4-2 win over Southern League outfit, Mangotsfield United.
Adam Castle's side got off to a slow start with the higher league opposition grabbing a 2-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes.
Following a collision between Bucks' Danny Gaze and Alex Jeannin on 10 minutes, the ball ran freely to United's Kayl Tooze who made no mistake in rolling the ball past Kenny Griffiths and into the bottom corner.
Four minutes later, Ryan Bath doubled Mangotsfield's lead with Buckland making another defensive error. Mike Booth failed to clear the ball away fully as his misplaced header fell to the feet of Bath. He also had the simple task of rolling the ball past Griffiths from close range.
A further ten minutes passed before the hosts got going and the goals started to come.
Ben Carter looped in a free kick towards the far post where Mike Booth leapt up heading the ball past United's Dave Stone.
This took the visitors into half-time 2-1 ahead and Bucks still with a tough job on their hands.
As play got back underway Buckland looked brighter and were eagerly trying to push forward at any given opportunity.
In the 75th minute Marc Revell struck a superb cross-field ball to Gavin Hammon, who controlled the ball well inside the box before slotting it home past the oncoming goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, following the introduction of Jamie Micklewright, the hosts were attacking the goal once more with the substitute making an immediate impact.
After Booth rounded the 'keeper he squared it back across the box for Micklewright to finish tidily from close range. At this point the heads of the Mangotsfield players began to drop, and Castle's men took full advantage.
With eight minutes remaining, a clever flick from Micklewright put in Hammon once more and a thundering right-footed strike bombed into the top-left corner to give him his second.
Confidence surrounded the Buckland players and anger was evident from the visiting management, who were soon made a man quieter after their manager was asked to leave the technical area.
This performance left the management trio of Buckland much happier, and they will be hoping to continue this form into the beginning of the season.
Athletic faced South West Peninsula side Alphington in their seventh and final friendly last night after the Herald Express had gone to print.
On Saturday the Western League side begin their second season at Step Five level with Bitton travelling down to Homers Heath (3pm).
By AMY ALFORD