Buckle desperate for win over old mates

STEVE Buckle leads his Ipswich Wanderers team into action against his former club Felixstowe and Walton United tomorrow desperate for some early success.

Elvin King

STEVE Buckle leads his Ipswich Wanderers team into action against his former club Felixstowe and Walton United tomorrow desperate for some early success.

His team are fighting a battle to avoid relegation from the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League and have not scored in the opening half of a home game since December 15.

“It is a vital match tomorrow whether we are playing my old mates at Felixstowe or not,” said Buckle.

“We have nine league games left, and we want five wins to be sure of being safe. I think 39 points will be enough to finish no lower than fourth from bottom.

“To find the net in the opening 45 minutes would certainly take some of the pressure off. It is a statistic that I am concerned about.”

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Following John Clarkson's departure last May, Wanderers have re-built twice in the last ten months.

Louis Newman took over from Clarkson, and had to build a fresh side after virtually the whole 2006/07 squad left, and since Buckle came in only two of Newman's side still remain.

Wanderers are keeping an eye on whether Needham Market or Soham get their wish and gain promotion to the Ryman League at the end of the season.

“This would mean less teams being relegated,” said Buckle. “But there is only possibly going to be one of those two going up, and if we finish third from bottom we could still go down as Wivenhoe are in danger of dropping down from the Ryman to the Ridgeons.”

Buckle was assistant manager to Steve Potts when Felixstowe gained promotion to the Premier Division. He is not expecting any favours tomorrow.

“There will be no love lost,” said Buckle. “Steve will want to win the three points as much as I do.

“We enjoyed some great times together at Dellwood Avenue and went over 20 matches unbeaten to clinch promotion.

“My squad is good enough to stay up, but it is a case of whether I can instil a belief in them.”

Buckle is a great admirer of the Premier Division's leading scorer Danny Phillips and he feels the Felixstowe striker can play at a higher level.

“He is not a one-man band, and needs help like all strikers,” added Buckle. “But if he keeps banging the goals in he will surely be spotted.

“But hopefully he will not find the net tomorrow.”

Buckle will have half an ear out for what is going on in Needham's FA Vase semi-final first leg at Kirkham and Wesham in Lancashire.

One of his sons Matt is a member of Danny Laws' Needham squad, bringing back memories of 1987/88 when Buckle senior was in the Sudbury Town team that lost 3-1 on aggregate to Lancashire-based club Colne Dynamoes in the semi-finals.

“I hope he has better luck then me,” said Buckle, who had left Sudbury by the time the Suffolk-based side reached the Vase final at Wembley the following season.

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