Alisha Buckingham is a week shy of turning 24 and is hoping her performance against Bridgwater in the cup can be replicated in seven days time, when the two teams meet for the first time in the league.
The striker will be looking to make it three in three, after coming off the bench to net the opener in an impressive 2-0 victory against the Somerset based outfit at Ringwood Town.
Linking up with fellow substitute Katie James, who went on to get the second of the game, Buckingham rifled a shot home from the right-hand side to give her team a much deserved lead late in the game.
Speaking afterwards, the England beach soccer player discussed her role in the victory and explained how a role off the bench can be equally as important as one in the starting line up.
“I was buzzing to score. When you’re on the bench, you’ve got to come on and try to make an impact. Coming on at 0-0 means there’s a lot of pressure, but getting the goal felt amazing and it meant we could settle down a bit more.
“I was really pleased to come on and make an impact like that. When myself and KJ [Katie James] were on the side of the pitch waiting to come on, we said we wanted lots of passing and we wanted to try and connect. We didn’t want too many long balls.
“Everything that we spoke about paid off for my goal, so it was good to have a plan and to execute it as well as we did.”
Despite it still being early in the season, Buckingham admitted how important the competition within the squad is, with players already fighting for places week after week.
“We’ve got a massive squad this year. I love it because it means there’s so much competition for places. I’ve loved every second of it and the competition really pushes you.
“Days when you aren’t in the starting line up mean that you have to come on to try and show what you can do. It makes you enjoy it that bit extra because it wouldn’t be the same if we had a smaller squad.”
Ahead of the rematch next weekend, Buckingham believes her side can go into the game with confidence, having maintained their 100% start to the season with a professional performance.
“I think we can take confidence going into next week’s game against Bridgwater given how we played against them today.
“We know we were the better team and it’s actually my birthday when we play them again next Sunday, so hopefully I can score and get that birthday goal!
“We just need to try to execute what we did today and hopefully get a few more goals when we get back out there next week!”
WATCH AFC BOURNEMOUTH WOMEN IN NATIONAL LEAGUE ACTION AGAINST BRIDGWATER UNITED NEXT WEEKEND. KICK-OFF IS 2PM AT RINGWOOD TOWN AND ENTRY, AS EVER, IS FREE.