HIGHMOOR Ibis never looked in danger of losing their FA Cup tie against Buckingham Town on Sunday – even when reduced to 10 men, writes Dave Wright.

“We were the more effective team and always looked more likely to win the game,” said player-manager Marcus Richardson following their 3-1 victory in this extra preliminary round tie.

They hammered away at the visitors’ goal in the opening stages, twice hitting the woodwork before taking a ninth-minute lead through Mitchell Parker.

Highmoor were caught out at the back when a long ball enabled the visitors to equalise on 28 minutes, but a 30-yard rocket from Trevor Mutero saw them regain the lead three minutes before half-time.

The game faded in the second half with Highmoor unable to show their previous intensity but they still created scoring opportunities before substitute Anthony Alleyne netted their third goal just before the final whistle.

“I was pleased with the result, but we should have scored a lot more,” said Richardson.

“Last Tuesday at Burnham (3-3) we could have scored six in the first 15 minutes and today it could easily have been three or four.

“To score six goals in our first two games is not bad, as it shows we are creating chances, but we do need to start converting more.”

In addition to their finishing, Richardson would also like to see an improvement in the fitness of his players.

He commented: “We still have a lot of work to do.

“If we can get quicker, stronger and a lot fitter then I am sure we will get the results we want.

“I feel with the squad we’ve got, we will be a force for anyone in this league."

However, while being a side packed with outstanding individuals, their lack of discipline remains a problem, like it did last season.

Parker was sent off at Burnham following two yellow-card offences, and on Sunday there was a straight red for substitute Sanchez Commock for a challenge in the 83rd minute, having been on the field for only 10 minutes.

The incident sparked off a verbal and pushing confrontation among players from both sides, holding the game up for nearly five minutes. A number of yellow cards were also shown by referee Declan Brown.

“We can also be our own enemy,” admitted Richardson. “Teams we play against know it and that is what we are up against and we need to switch on to it.”

The Highmoor manager confirmed that the club had signed former Thatcham player-manager Gareth Thomas.

“He will bring much-needed experience to my team,” said Richardson.

“He is a good organiser of people and will make us even stronger.”

Highmoor will be home again in the next round of the FA Cup with Southern League side North Leigh their visitors on Saturday, August 19.

  • AFC Aldermaston begin their Division One East campaign with a home game against Wokingham & Emmbrook this coming Saturday.

The Atom Men visit Bicester Town the following week.