BUCKLAND Athletic’s winning start to their Western League Premier Division season has ended after two consecutive defeats.
On Wednesday night, Buckland lost 2-1 at home to Sherborne Town, and that was followed on Saturday by a 2-0 defeat at Bitton.
But manager Adam Castle was positive when he spoke to Herald Express Sport, saying: “There is nothing wrong and we are playing okay.”
Marc Revell returned to the line-up for the game against Bitton but his brother Si Revell remained sidelined alongside long-term injured members Christian Pople and Jared Lewington.
A goal in each half sealed Buckland's fate but the opening exchanges favoured the home side. John Rendell prevented Jordan Havlin’s close range volley from putting the hosts in front early on and on the half hour mark, Dave Pollinger put his side in front against the run of play.
The Bucks started brightly in the second half and only a diving save from Rendell denied the hosts of an equaliser early on. Kieran Parkin caused further trouble for the visitors with a low driving effort going just wide before Gavin Hammon fired over the bar. Buckler was then called into action to keep his side in the game with two good saves.
However, with three minutes to go, the Buckland goalkeeper was unable to stop Bitton grabbing a second with Keary shooting low after driving into the box.
“You are never happy when you lose a game but it was difficult to take because we dominated possession until the final third,” said Castle. “It should have been a 0-0 to be honest but they created some chances and we were a bit kamikaze in our tactics.
“I will never use injuries as excuses but we are missing some important creative players like Si Revell and Jared Lewington. When you have all of your creative players on the pitch at the start of the game there isn’t anywhere to go.
“We are down to bare bones as far as creative players are concerned and we need some of the lads who played well in pre-season to step up and be counted.”
Buckland have now dropped off the top of the table - with nine points from three games to fifth with nine from five. But the new leaders, Bitton, are only two points ahead having played one more game.
Buckland were due to play Shepton Mallet tomorrow (Tuesday) but that game has been postponed because the Somerset club now have an FA Cup replay to play. So next for the Bucks is Saturday’s FA Vase first round qualifying game against Cullompton Rangers.
Castle said: “We have had a bit of luck with Tuesday’s game against Shepton Mallet being postponed. That will give us a bit of extra time and Mike Booth and Si Revel could be back for the game against Cullompton. And Shane Gill will be back from his holiday.”
Castle has also signed defender Simon Laughton from Exmouth Town.