buxton fc match reports
Saturday 7th December BUXTON (0) 1 LANCASTER CITY (1) 1 ATT 326
Gary Hayward's highly eventful debut as Buxton's manager proved equally promising for the club's quest to climb away from the foot of the table. Buxton more than matched their 2nd-placed rivals and arguably should have won as a couple of good chances, one in each half, were denied by fine defending. Despite the early loss to injury of Callam Mendes-Jones (the curse on Buxton debutants striking yet again),the home defence was sound indeed and 'the 'Bucks', after an even first half, had the better of the 2nd,playing into a strong wind as they attacked the Railway End.
Yet unfortunately this thoroughly entertaining encounter will likely be recalled more for the contentious refereeing incidents that both marred it and probably shaped the result. As early as the 2nd minute referee Hussain ruled out what seemed a cleanly headed goal by the centre-back, Nico. Then just prior to the interval he inexplicably awarded 'the Dolly Blues' a penalty for handball as a 20-yard free-kick was blasted into the defensive wall. Unerringly, midfielder Rob Wilson found a corner of the net from 'the spot'.
Feelings were still running high as the second half began and home assistant-manager Mark Ward was dismissed after an exchange of words with an assistant. Yet within a minute it was Buxton's turn for a penalty award for handball and Liam Hardy netted via diving 'keeper Ashton's outstretched arm. Diego's shot had seemed to strike a defender's shoulder as he turned.
After that early disallowed goal, play was even with 'the Bucks' showing plenty of promise through the pace of winger Jude Oyibo and the inventiveness of 2nd debutant, Tom Elliott, while the on-form defence coped well as the confident visitors, prompted by midfielder Cowperthwaite, attacked in numbers. Both Aaron Chalmers and Nico were prepared to head over their own crossbar to relieve the pressure of dangerous crosses. The first clear scoring chances, however, fell to 'the Bucks' as Elliott neatly played in Diego but 'keeper Ashton saved with his legs, then from the follow-up Liam Hardy headed wide at the far post. For City veteran midfielder Norris fired in a fierce shot directly at Grant Shenton.
Following the penalty incidents Buxton shaded both possession and scoring chances as they passed the ball well, enjoying a prolonged spell of pressure as the match entered its final quarter. A penetrating Chalmers cross close to goal evaded all in the 74th minute, then 4 minutes later visiting right-back Fensome made a brilliant, point-saving intervention. Diego had robbed Ashton close to a corner of the penalty area and set himself for a decisive finishing shot only for Fensome to clear athletically close to the goal-line.
So Buxton produced a spirited performance that pleased the club's new management and gave supporters hope for a brighter immediate future, with the prospect also of further early additions to the playing staff.
Team: Shenton, Mendez-Jones (Nicolaou), Brown, Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Oyibo, Chalmers (Howarth), D De Girolamo, Elliott, Hardy (Kilner). Unused Subs: Jennings & Handley.
Saturday 30th November BUXTON (0) 0 MICKLEOVER SPORTS (1) 1 ATT 335
Visiting Mickleover shaded this Derbyshire 'derby' by virtue of a well-struck 8th-minute effort by ex-Burton and Coventry forward, Stuart Beavon. Try as they might, Buxton struggled to create clear openings and with the victors well-served in central defence by the physically imposing Pablo Mills plus captain and ex-Silverlander, Greg Young, but 'the Bucks' were equally sound at the back, with back-to-form Alex Brown named 'Man-of-the-Match'. Even so, Sports were able to complete their first-ever 'double' versus Buxton to leave the managerless home team worryingly close to the foot of the table.
Sports started well and a precise passing move on the right earned a corner from which a firm Mills header forced a tip-over save by 'keeper Grant Shenton at the expense of another flag-kick. From that the ball was only half-cleared to Beavon,18 yards out, and his fine finish found the top corner of the net. 'The Bucks' responded immediately and Jude Oyibo made progress through the midfield to set up advancing right-back Kyle Harrison for a neatly-worked one-two that took him into the penalty area. When he went down under challenge an 11th-minute penalty award seemed certain but referee Rogers didn't oblige.
Lady Luck continued to frown on Buxton after the interval as home debutant winger, Rod Orlando-Young, was stretchered away after a thunderous collision with an opponent, while the referee denied Buxton another penalty award as Diego was felled only for the free-kick to be placed inches outside the penalty area at the by-line. Sports also had their moments in attack and home skipper Connor O'Grady had to make a vital, expert tackle on Warren in the first half, while late on veteran, much-travelled striker, Lee Hughes, had a close-range shot blocked and he sent the rebound wide of a post.
Team: Shenton, Harrison, Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Oyibo (Howarth), Chalmers, D De Girolamo, Hardy. Orlando-Young (Jennings). Subs Not Used: Kilner, Handley & Nicolaou.
Saturday 23rd November STALYBRIDGE CELTIC (1) 2 BUXTON (0) 0 ATT 423
There had been 4 draws in the 5 meetings between the clubs in the previous 13 months but at no time on Saturday did 'the Bucks' look likely to win the latest encounter as Celtic was the better team throughout. It was a Jekyll and Hyde performance by Buxton in that there were excellent performances in defence by skipper Connor O'Grady and Nico, assisted by Alex Brown and Grant Shenton, but in possession 'the Bucks' showed neither confidence nor conviction and therefore rarely troubled 'Man Utd' loanee custodian, Fojticek.
The visitors had an early warning as Hobson was allowed time to turn and shoot but there was no escape in the 10th minute as Mantack fed Ustabasi on the left and from his accurate pull-back midfielder Dent shot firmly home from 18 yards. Midway through the half there was some temporary hope of a revival as a defender's slip let in Liam Hardy but only a corner resulted, before Fojticek dropped the ball for a dubious free-kick to be awarded. Then a Shenton long kick for an Aaron Chalmers header on all but played Hardy in, while Brown, ghosting in, couldn't direct his 15-yard header on target as he met a lofted cross by debutant, Rod Orlando-Young, whose presence was particularly welcome after Jude Oyibo declared himself injured. However, 'Bridge soon resumed control and 'the Bucks' were fortunate to see Bakkor's drive find the bar rather than the net just prior to half-time.
When Celtic did double their advantage in the 48th minute it was a Brad Roscoe passing error 25 yards from his own goal that set them up, with the other visiting defenders understandably caught out and powerful ex-Oldham striker Osei fired fiercely into the net roof. His team continued to dominate with Shenton frequently called into significant action, including a couple of hair-raising moments as he raced from goal, and the central defenders heroic in preventing further strikes. All 3 Buxton substitutes were deployed but Celtic's composure was undisturbed in adding to last Saturday's deserved victory at Matlock.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe (Harrison), Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Wilson, Howarth (Jennings), Chalmers, N De Girolamo, Hardy (Kilner), Orlando-Young. Unused Subs: Nicolaou & Campbell
Saturday 16th November ATHERTON COLLIERIES (0) 1 BUXTON (1) 1 ATT. 332
25 years has elapsed since Buxton's only previous visit to Alder Street when an infamous F.A. Cup defeat, versus a side then 3 levels lower, provided arguably the club's worst result in the competition. The pain of Saturday's outcome nowhere near matched that feeling but nonetheless the draw felt something like a defeat as for the 3rd time this season 'the Bucks' conceded a very late equaliser (as had happened versus Scarborough and Bamber Bridge) and therefore 2 more important points. In the 6th of an exaggerated 8 minutes of added time, referee Corrigan awarded Colls a penalty for a foul on left-back Peet and Bentham comfortably beat Grant Shenton.
The gutsy if limited home side had battled to the last but the resilient,sound,5-man visiting defence looked to have secured the victory after being under pressure for much of the second half. That situation was self-inflicted as only 2 minutes after Buxton had taken the lead Jude Oyibo had a golden chance to make the score 2-0 but spurned it. From a Connor O'Grady headed pass near half-way, Aaron Chalmers played a superb through ball and Jude's pace took him 2 yards clear of the central defenders in the inside-right channel with only the 'keeper to beat, but his 18-yard shot missed the far post by a yard. The miss looked potentially decisive even then, during a spell of Buxton pressure while playing up the slope, but more so after the interval when the visitors almost totally lost their way as an attacking force, at least until the closing minutes when again the victory could have been sealed. As a result, Colls were allowed to gain a grip on play that their general lack of quality barely warranted.
Buxton retained the successful 5-3-2 set-up of Tuesday but there was a pre-match set-back when the referee wouldn't allow leading scorer Liam Hardy to play with the new guard for his damaged hand. Both sides looked capable of first-half goals but it was 'the Bucks' who went closest. Indeed in the 21st minute they probably did score but the blameless assistant's view was obstructed by a mass of bodies ! From a typically well-placed Diego free-kick, a Chalmers downward header caused chaos with several shots raining in, including one by Jude that nearby observers of both camps claimed to have passed over the line. Nonetheless, just 3 minutes later, a goal did come following a free-kick and several headers along the 6-yard line before Nico's went in.
Atherton also made chances. Early on striker Bentham stabbed at winger Hardcastle's low cross, with the ball hitting Shenton rather than being saved by him. Then after the goal the winger fired low across goal before he and Bentham set up Smith for a raking, angled drive that clipped the top of the bar, while Kyle Harrison (later injured and substituted by loanee Yianni Nicolaou) booted giant centre-back Thompson's header off the line.
After a first period in which Buxton had looked the superior side, the 2nd half was distinctly disappointing as the lack of a 2nd goal was all too apparent. When in possession 'the Bucks' were devoid of forward thrust, seeming to lack the self-belief to take the match by the scruff of the neck. Yet by contrast Buxton's defending was superb and further late opportunities to double the lead appeared. In one attack defender Thompson suffered a sudden injury at the by-line, allowing Diego to shoot but 'keeper Hartley saved, then in the 88th minute a 19-yard free-kick was blasted high over the bar, while 2 minutes before the equaliser a Diego shot from a narrow angle hit the outside of a post.
Team: Shenton, Harrison (Nicolaou), Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Roscoe, Howarth, Chambers, D De Girolamo, Oyibo (Jennings), Wilson. Unused Subs: Handley, Kilner & Campbell.
Tuesday 12th November BUXTON (2) 3 ILKESTON TOWN (0) 0 ATT 91 INTEGRO ( LEAGUE CUP) ROUND 1
After exiting 2 cup competitions in the past week, on Tuesday evening 'the Bucks' made sure it wasn't 3rd time unlucky with a positive performance that earned a comfortable passage into the next round of the league cup by 3 clear goals. What's more, the win could have been still more convincing as 'the Bucks' struck the goal frame 3 times without reward ! Both clubs fielded strong teams, with only Kyle Harrison and Jude Oyibo rested but named on the Buxton substitutes' bench as Salford loanee, Yianni Nicolaou, was given his debut at right wing-back and Alex Brown was restored to the left flank to produce an improved personal display in prompting attacks as the 3 centre-backs did most of what defending was necessary. Mark Howarth made a successful home debut in midfield
Buxton developed a good tempo from the outset, also clearly showed a resolve to make up for Saturday's disappointment and took a 4th-minute lead. Diego, who all evening proved too much of a handful for the visiting defence, forced a corner and then delivered the ball onto the head of Aaron Chalmers for a powerful effort that was parried by the 'keeper back to the midfielder with Aaron then blasting the ball home. Buxton continued to penetrate in attack and a fine Brad Roscoe pass and a fortunate bounce freed Nicolaou on the right but he fired wide from 7 yards. Versus Witton Diego had struck the Railway End crossbar 3 times in 3 minutes and just before the half-hour, in the same time span, he sent in 2 shots that rebounded first from the post, then from the bar's underside as time and again he made space for himself. However, it was Liam Hardy, in true predator style, who doubled his team's advantage in the 33rd minute. He robbed ex-Coalville centre-back Freeman 20 yards out, expertly rounded the 'keeper and slotted home for his 11th goal of the season.
Half-time marked the introduction of substitute Jude but provided no permanent respite for the visitors as 'the Bucks' thereafter maintained their positive approach and within 5 minutes had put the outcome beyond doubt. Jude escaped markers on the left but his somewhat inaccurate square pass forced Diego back to collect it, yet the in-form striker still managed to turn and find the net for his 10th goal in 9 games. Though no more goals followed, there were further notable home attacks, with Brown frequently involved and from one such Diego fired high and wide and from another Sam Kilner had a goal-bound shot blocked, while in the 73rd minute it was Jude's turn to see a penalty-area drive strike the underside of the bar.
Late on, Ilkeston, standing 2nd in Division One (South-East) and throughout enjoying ample possession, at last looked more like piercing a sound home rearguard as substitute Rod Orlando Young fired a speculative 25-yard effort over the bar and Grant Shenton rushed out to thwart Fyfe but the home side's 'clean sheet' was preserved.
Team: Shenton, Nicolaou, Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Roscoe, Howarth, Chalmers (Kilner), D De Girolamo (Dwyer), Hardy (Oyibo), Wilson. Unused Subs: Harrison & Jennings.
Saturday 9th November COLNE FC (1) 3 BUXTON (1) 1 ATT 191 F.A.TROPHY, 2ND QUALIFYING ROUND
Two decisive goals within 5 minutes in the last quarter-hour eliminated Buxton from the 'Trophy' in east Lancs. on Saturday. There was little to choose between the teams until that late Colne surge as any of all 3 results seemed possible. Indeed it was 'the Bucks' who looked the more likely to snatch victory as twice within 3 minutes the home side had vital slices of luck to keep level. In the 78th minute Brad Roscoe's lofted free-kick was met with a punch by ex-Curzon 'keeper Burton but the ball rebounded from a defender's back towards goal to be cleared by the only but conveniently-placed defender. Two minutes later another penetrating visiting attack produced a shot deflected into the 'keeper's hands. However, from there Colne broke swiftly to take a 2-1 lead. Those closing minutes were laced with ample irony as firstly it was substitute Billy Hasler-Cregg, the ex-Buxton winger, who delivered a superb curling cross from the right for Hughes to net virtually at the near post. The shell-shocked 'Bucks' then conceded the 'coup de grace' 4 minutes later from another well-constructed Colne attack. Started with a fine pass by experienced left-back Pugh, who was fortunate still to be on the field following an earlier undetected stamp on Diego, striker Harris played in Callum Chippendale's elder brother, Aidan, for a firm,16-yard finishing shot off diving 'keeper Grant Shenton's glove after rounding Colne-based Brad Roscoe. To their credit the visitors pressed hard for an unlikely recovery but all they could muster versus a resolute home rearguard were 2 corners and a wayward Diego shot.
For their first visit to Colne in 30 years, Buxton made just one enforced change from the team that faced Ashton a week ago as new loan signing, Mark Howarth (20) from Salford City, replaced the departed Dale Whitham in midfield. Playing on Holt House's 2-way slope is nowadays a unique experience (with the long-since demise of Horwich R.M.I.'s infamous Grundy Hill) but there was little goalmouth action in the first half-hour as Buxton played up the pronounced slope, the only goal-bound attempts by Colne's Hughes and visiting midfielder, Brian Wilson, comfortably clearing the bar. However, showing the confidence of a team which had ousted South Shields from the F.A. Cup, Colne displayed promise with purposeful, rapid movements around target-man Harris and went ahead in the 33rd minute. From a cross by Southport loanee winger, Homson-Smith, Hazeldine's shot was blocked but the ball fell perfectly for the lurking Pugh to volley well beyond the rooted Shenton's reach. In response, Liam Hardy worked a neat 1-2 with the by-now settled newcomer, Howarth, but dragged his shot wide of the far post, yet Colne went close to doubling their lead as Azam's right cross skimmed the head of the well-placed, leaping Hughes. Nonetheless Buxton created a dramatic equaliser just prior to the interval. Jude Oyibo's scintillating, trademark run through midfield past 3 defenders set up Diego and, after rounding the 'keeper, he slotted home from the narrowest of angles for his 9th goal in 8 games.
In the second half the visiting 'faithful' had hopes that their favourites would dominate down the slope but exchanges continued to be even. Diego had a 21-yard effort deflected just wide and similarly Connor O'Grady's header from an Aaron Chalmers' lofted free-kick went close. Then Colne had a near-miss as a Harris shot was deflected and sent spinning into the air to land on the bar, while Hasler-Cregg's pace up the right produced a shot saved by Shenton with his legs. And so to that most deflating finale which brought Buxton's second exit from a cup competition in the week.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Harrison, N de Girolamo, O'Grady, Wilson, Howarth (Brown), Chalmers, D De Girolamo, Hardy, Oyibo. Unused Subs: Jennings, Dwyer, Kilner, Nicolaou
Tuesday 5th November BUXTON (0) 0 BELPER TOWN (2) 2 DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP, ROUND 3 ATT 106
The simple truth of Buxton's Tuesday evening county cup exit is that the home side, starting without 6 of the players who began the previous game, didn't have enough quality overall to match Grant Black's successful Division One (S/E) outfit. As in the Ashton fixture last Saturday, the visitors were clearly superior in the first half, scoring twice in the opening 19 minutes and looking capable of more as ex-Silverlanders Steve Ridley, now 36 but directing play from centre midfield, and lively, mobile forward George Milner caught the eye.
With a view to next Saturday's tricky 'Trophy' tie at Colne, who saw off South Shields in the F.A. Cup, manager Paul Phillips rested key players but gave debuts to defender Zac Corbett (23),signed from Warrington Town, and winger Luca Navarro (19),a former Bolton Wanderers scholar, while forward Aaron Dwyer played a full match for the first time. Though second-best and struggling to cope defensively, 'the Bucks' nonetheless created several clear openings, particularly early on, yet their shooting was collectively off-target, but not by much !
A defensive error allowed ex-Matlock midfielder, Charlie Dawes, the chance to fire an accurate,19-yard,low drive beyond the reach of 'keeper Grant Shenton for a 7th-minute lead but 'the Bucks' responded effectively. An Aaron Chalmers,22-yard free-kick curled wide, then Ryan Jennings set up Sam Kilner for a 20-yard effort across the face of goal. Jennings himself was narrowly wide and so was Navarro from similar range with a free-kick, but in between, ex-Frickley man, Danny South, had made it 2-0,prodding home close in following a throw-in. The visitors continued to threaten with Milner's goal-bound shot deflected wide and a team-mate's shot hitting the bar, but Kilner and Jennings had good shots blocked as half-time approached.
Brian Wilson was introduced at the interval but the addition of his experience and accurate passing from deep in midfield was soon cancelled out by the loss to injury of Chalmers. The first half's pattern continued as both sides looked capable of scoring. Ridley's free-kick evaded all close to goal and Milner worked an opening but shot over the top, while both Jennings and Dwyer had free-kick opportunities just outside the penalty area but couldn't narrow the deficit.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Corbett, Kilner, Navarro (Handley), Chalmers (Campbell), Hopkins (Wilson, Jennings, Dwyer. Unused Subs: Bevan & Samba.
Saturday 2nd November BUXTON (1) 1 ASHTON UTD (2) 2 ATT 402
Victory on Saturday would have seen 'the Bucks' leapfrog neighbours Ashton but it was the visitors who took the points to further their recent revival by virtue of a superior first-half display and a brace of penalties fired home by striker Wilson inside 12 minutes. The home side had more of the game after half-time but the nearest to an equaliser was hitting the bar twice without reward.
Unchanged from the 11 which had completed the Hyde victory, the full-backs however swopped flanks for the first hour, while Dale Whitham in midfield made his last appearance before the expiry of his month's loan from Alfreton Town. 'The Bucks' got off to a flying start, scoring in the 4th minute from a Diego 19-yard free-kick at the corner of the penalty area. Perhaps distracted by the nearby presence of 2 home forwards, 'keeper Worsnop saw the curling effort find the far side netting. Ashton responded positively and within a quarter-hour were ahead after undeniable fouls by Jude Oyibo and Brad Roscoe were punished from 12 yards as each time Wilson comfortably beat 'keeper Grant Shenton. The visiting midfield trio of Rowney, Tomsett and Field was dictating play but it was the left flank duo of veteran left-back Nicky Clee and former £1 million striker, Jordan Slew, who created a string of openings. Clee's pull-back from the by-line set up Casian Anghel for a shot that was blocked while from the right Lufudu's curling cross evaded all in front of goal. For Buxton first Jude then Liam Hardy provided a threat from the flanks without being able to create clear openings but the half closed with unproductive power drives by the visiting attacking full-backs.
Despite the loss to injury of Liam Hardy at the interval, 'the Bucks' came more into the game after half-time but the absence of the leading scorer deprived them of sharpness in attack and the nearest they came to an equaliser was twice to hit the bar. Firstly just past the hour an Aaron Chalmers free-kick set up skipper Connor O'Grady for a flicked back-header but when the ball rebounded from the frame, Nico drove it high over the top. Then in the last minute of added time, following a spell of sustained home pressure, Brian Wilson drove Buxton's last chance of an equaliser against the top of the bar from 20 yards.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Harrison, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Wilson, Whitham (Dwyer), Chalmers, D De Girolamo, Hardy (Jennings), Oyibo. Unused Subs: Kilner, Brown & Hopkins.
Saturday 26th October BUXTON (1) 3 HYDE UNITED (2) 2 ATT 360 Buildbase F.A. TROPHY,1ST QUALIFYING ROUND
A 96th-minute goal by leading scorer Liam Hardy shaded the 'Trophy' tie in Buxton's favour as the home team battled back from 1-2 with just 5 minutes of normal time left. It was cruel on Hyde, with only 5 of the team that had started the August meeting between the clubs but including ex-Silverlander Luis Morrison and summer trialist Cyril Owolabi, that the winning goal put 'the Bucks' ahead for the only time as the visitors had the better of the second half after an evenly-contested first period. United had scored early and late in the opening 45 minutes with the De Girolamo brothers in each half providing the equalisers to set up the dramatic conclusion.
Despite being unchanged, only rarely did 'the Bucks' find the drive and fluency in their attacking play that had marked last Saturday's impressive defeat of Witton, with several players below their best, though never lacking in effort. The teams traded early goals with Hyde's opener in the 11th minute simply fashioned. Ex-Port Vale striker Dan Turner made space on the right for a curling low cross and the centrally-placed Tom Pratt stabbed the ball home. Seven minutes later Nico equalised. A wayward defensive header saw 'keeper Mewitt just beating Jude Oyibo to it, but from the resulting Diego corner-kick an outrageously 'free' header by Aaron Chalmers was driven home at close range. With little to choose between the sides, 'the Bucks' went close to another goal as Mewitt again had to be alert to similarly deprive Diego after an Owolabi error, but in the quarter-hour prior to the interval the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the tie. Tongue unleashed a 22-yard power-drive that was saved low by Grant Shenton at the expense of a corner, then Benns fired in a ground shot caught and held by the 'keeper. Buxton responded and again went close to scoring following a corner. With the ball not cleared, Diego crossed for home skipper, Connor O'Grady, to power a header less than a yard wide of a post. Next Jude went down in the box under pressure from behind but was penalised for handball as he fell. However, a penalty was awarded at the other end for a similar offence committed by O'Grady and Paddy Lane comfortably netted for a 2-1 lead. At this point home fans could be excused for a feeling of déjà-vu as a similar scenario had unfolded in the club's August encounter.
After the interval, with Hyde enjoying a majority of possession, the visitors forced a series of unproductive corner-kicks, though Tongue's third landed on the bar and passed behind. Only an early Buxton attack threatened an equaliser as Liam Hardy cut in from the left to fire a delightful, curling shot narrowly beyond the far post, but in general forward progression was pedestrian though not helped by frequent stoppages and some visitors' time-wasting. Then, rather surprisingly, Diego netted his team's second equaliser. A free-kick 21 yards out was taken short and the striker's shot found the net inside the far post but the assistant's flag was raised. A brief consultation resulted in referee Ball over-ruling him on the grounds that the offside Hardy had not obscured the 'keeper's view. Buxton now pressed hard yet a replay seemed favourite until the last minute of added time when Diego played in debutant forward, Aaron Dwyer. He delayed his shot but from the resulting corner Liam somehow squeezed home his shot through a forest of legs.
Team: Shenton, Harrison, Brown (Roscoe), N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Wilson, Whitham (Dwyer), Chalmers, D De Girolamo, Hardy, Oyibo. Unused Subs: Jennings, Kilner & Phillips
Saturday 19th October BUXTON (0) 2 WITTON ALBION (0) 0 ATT 417
A brace of very well-taken,2nd-half goals inside 10 minutes by the excellent Diego De Girolamo earned Buxton a much-deserved victory versus 9th-placed Witton, who had won twice in the past week including an impressive defeat of runaway league-leaders, South Shields. What may be remembered most from this entertaining encounter ,however, was Diego striking the bar 3 times in as many minutes without scoring at the climax of a first half of increasing Buxton dominance.
Albion included a clutch of recent signings but, though enjoying a decent share of possession, in defence struggled to contain Buxton's potent attackers, particularly in that exciting opening period which offered so much hope for the club's future prospects. From start to finish in the 45 minutes, 'the Bucks' mounted one fluent passing move after another, lacking only a goal.
In the very first minute such an attack set up Diego for a narrow-angled drive that cleared the junction of post and bar. There followed a 19-yard free-kick and ensuing corner before Jude Oyibo, fed by Brian Wilson's pass, sent a low cross-shot inches wide of the far post. Diego had a 25-yard effort saved low by Renshaw, who, midway through the half, tipped over a goal-bound Dale Whitham flick. From the resulting corner, Aaron Chalmers planted a header onto the net roof. And so it went on; with home pressure mounting, Jude dragged a low shot wide before the half's breath-taking conclusion. Firstly Diego, in behind Renshaw, hit the bar with his shot as he tried to clear the 2 defenders on the goal-line, then did it again as the corner-kick wasn't dealt with and even a third time with a fierce strike from 20 yards !
Witton in the first half had passed the ball about accurately but the home defence, pleasingly sound to achieve a 3rd 'clean sheet' in 4 games and driving away the F.C. Utd demons, limited the visitors' threat mostly to the long throws of loanee left-back Baldwin. With Chippendale and Roscoe absent, skipper for the day and centre-back, Connor O'Grady was outstanding. The visitors had a better start to the second half but soon had a warning of Buxton's continuing intent as Chalmers went close from fully 35 yards. Then at the hour Albion survived again as a succession of shots rained in on goal and Baldwin had to clear from close to the line.However,4 minutes later Diego scored the first of his brace that his own and his team's play so richly deserved. Both were set up by the much-improved Dale Whitham. The first featured the striker beating Renshaw with a deft,angled,12-yard shot to find the far top corner, while the second, from similar range but more central, saw him wrong-foot the 'keeper before placing his shot inside a post. Thereafter 'the Bucks' ensured victory by calm, sensible play to see out time and prevent any semblance of a Witton recovery. A rise of 3 places from the foot of the table was their reward for another impressive home performance that truly belied their lowly league position.
Team: Shenton, Harrison, Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Whithan (Kilner), Chalmers, D De Girolamo, Hardy, Oyibo. Unused Subs: Jennings, Bevan & Hopkins.
Tuesday 15th October GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 0-0 BUXTON ATT. 347
After a roller-coaster of a week with a 7-0 defeat following a 7-0 victory, Tuesday saw a far more predictable result for teams which had failed to score last Saturday. Though failing to find the goal to earn the full points that would have seen 'the Bucks' overtake Trinity in the table, they at least had the confidence-booster of a 'clean sheet' and arguably were better pleased with a point than their rivals.
Six months ago these teams were battling for the final play-off place but, totally unexpectedly, they both now need points to escape from the division's basement. Trinity had ample possession without creating much and the renewed resilience of the visiting defence was enough to thwart the home team. 'The Bucks' made a few chances in each half but their best period was the game's last quarter immediately after Diego, injured on Saturday, had joined the action. His hold-up play allowed the visitors to develop more fluent attacks, such as the one in the 76th minute which could have brought a winner. Kyle Harrison, returning at left-back in place of Alex Brown, worked a neat one-two only to drag his 18-yard shot wide of the far post. In the first half he had tried his luck with a firm,28-yard effort that was not far wide, but there was little else for visiting fans to remember in the opening period as there was too much aerial long ball that was easily cut out by the trio of home centre-backs. Another exception to the otherwise disappointing half in attack was the 44th-minute chance created by Martin Pilkington's curling,22-yard shot, pawed away by 'keeper Willis but only to Aaron Chalmers, whose first-time effort from the edge of the penalty box flew high and wide.
Trinity, with 4 ex-Silverlanders in their ranks (Jamie Green, an unused substitute, Joe Maguire and Ash Worsfold) passed the ball about accurately enough but only the pacy Curtis Morrison, the 4th of the 4,threatened to carve out a clear opening. Early in the second half, after Nico's fine tackle robbed ex-Frickley striker, Gavin Allott, Morrison won the corner from which Grant Shenton had to save a close-range shot with his legs but otherwise the Buxton 'keeper wasn't seriously troubled. Indeed it was his team late in the evening that looked the more likely to score the vital goal as newcomer Jacob Bevan, a 6-feet tall, rangy forward and aged 25,made his debut as substitute in the closing minutes. However, the points were shared and now 'the Bucks' have lost just once in 14 visits to the Northolme since the mid-1980's but more to the point recovered the defensive stability that was developing prior to the F.C. Utd disaster.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Harrison, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Wilson, Whitham (Kilner), Chalmers, Pilkington (D De Girolamo), Hardy, Oyibo (Bevan). Unused Subs: Brown & Jennings
Saturday 12th October F.C.UNITED (5) 7 BUXTON (0) 0 ATT 1888
The past 8 days' results must rate as one of the strangest weeks in the long history of BFC ! From excellent performances in the narrow F.A.Cup defeat to unbeaten York City and the 7-0 drubbing of 9th-placed Grantham Town last Tuesday, 'the Bucks' suffered a totally unexpected thrashing at 11th-placed F.C. Utd on Saturday. What's more, this was Buxton's first league defeat away to the 'Red Rebels' after 5 wins and 2 draws previously !
After a corner seemed to have been turned with recent displays, a rapid recovery will now be needed before Tuesday's visit to fellow strugglers, Trinity. A few players could be excused from blame for the club's worst defeat since a 2-7 reverse at NCEL Glasshoughton in the 2002/3 campaign, but this was a collective failure as Utd ran amok with 5 goals in 19 first-half minutes between the 13th and 31st.The home side had a day such as 'the Bucks' enjoyed on Tuesday, yet there were goals to make Buxton supporters wince as pacy attacks regularly caused havoc. None of this was apparent early on as the teams traded shots at goal. A misplaced pass allowed Potts a 25-yard shot at 'keeper Grant Shenton, while loanee Dale Whitham's effort from a low Alex Brown pull-back had a similar outcome. Then in the 13th minute Jones's defensive ball-winning challenge set up a rapid counter and Buckley was well-placed for an 8-yard,far-post finish. Three minutes later, after Brian Wilson had played in Liam Hardy to force a good save from Belford, below-par referee Raper gave Utd the opportunity to double their lead from the penalty spot and Owolabi duly obliged but even home fans agreed Nico's challenge on the striker should not have been penalised. Another 3 minutes on and the by now rampant 'Rebels' made it 3-0 as seemingly leaden-footed defending after a corner-kick allowed Owolabi to net a loose ball. The withdrawal of the injured Diego permitted a switch to a back 5 but Owolabi soon completed a 14-minute hat-trick with a well-struck,18-yard diagonal ground shot into the net's far corner. A mere 5 minutes on saw F.C. Utd's pace produce a 5th goal, netted by Stockport loanee, Curran. Liam won a corner then saw a shot blocked and cleared with such devastating effect that a lone defender faced 3 attackers at half-way! Before the interval referee Raper added to Buxton's shell-shocked misery. A home forward's seeming simulation earned an undeserved free-kick in a dangerous position, then a home penalty-area challenge on Hardy, more dubious than Nico's earlier, was ignored despite a concerted appeal.
In the 48th minute a Buxton error on the ball in defence allowed substitute and ex-Silverlander, Ennis, to fire home his team's 6th and 25 minutes later it was fitting that Owolabi completed the scoring with a tap-in after Shenton had made a good save following a right-flank cross. Jude Oyibo on several occasions, by beating opponents in midfield, had originated promising attacks but, after the loss of Diego, Liam generally lacked sufficient support in the final third as 'the Bucks' failed to score for only the 2nd time this season.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Wilson, Whitham (Young), Chalmers, D De Girolamo (Harrison), Hardy (Pilkington), Oyibo. Unused Subs: Jennings & Kilner
Tuesday 8th October BUXTON (3) 7 GRANTHAM TOWN (0) 0 ATT 180
What a way to win in the league for the first time-and at the 10th attempt ! Grantham arrived in 9th place but suffered the division's biggest defeat of the season to date that was also Buxton's best home result in the league since a Boxing Day,7-0 demolition of Stocksbridge in 2012.The visitors were depleted with a handful of front-line players unavailable so that regular striker, Greg Smith, figured in central defence but so too were 'the Bucks' as Clarke (knee),Harrison (back) and Wilson, all starters on Saturday, joined an injury list already featuring skipper, Callum Chippendale. As a result Ash Young returned to the hard-hit midfield department alongside new recruit, Dale Whitham (ex-Chorley),on a month's loan from Alfreton Town, and Jude Oyibo, back after injury.
This was a bizarre evening in several ways. Despite 'the Bucks' receiving many plaudits for their displays in recent narrow defeats to classy, full-time outfits, South Shields and York City, only 1/5th of Saturday's crowd turned out on a dry evening, the lowest home league 'gate' for 17 months. Then at half-time referee Watson had to retire with a calf injury so onto the line went the fully-qualified Pam Leaning, who had acted likewise last February in a Curzon v. Alfreton fixture. Also at the interval the visitors made one substitution but still re-started with only 10 men, though player-coach Zoko soon replaced withdrawn midfielder Smith. Another unusual feature of this memorable evening was that 'the Gingerbreads' throughout enjoyed some 50% possession yet were destroyed by ruthless Buxton finishing. Even so the score could have reached double figures but for misses in front of goal by Whitham, who was otherwise a success, following a gloriously incisive left-flank move at 2-0,then by Diego at 3-0 and by Liam Hardy late on.
None of this should be allowed to detract from 2 special goals, both netted by the in-form Diego and indicative of his undoubted ability. In the 40th minute at the Railway End he collected a Brad Roscoe long pass and unleashed a 25-yard 'screamer' that found the net off the underside of the bar to make the score 3-0,but in making it 6-0 in the 64th minute he was simply audacious ! On the left by-line,16 yards from goal, he thundered a drive over 'keeper Andrew and inside the far post-a seemingly impossible angle !
If the evening was memorable for the home contingent, it certainly wasn't for the 3 ex-Buxton 'B's' in Town's line-up ! James Baxendale, a teenaged loanee in the Scott Maxfield era, made little impact but last season's trialist, Karl Byrne ,on his debut, was fortunate to escape with a yellow card after a late, high challenge which injured another home midfielder, the influential Aaron Chalmers. Most damaging for Grantham, however, were 2 early errors by centre-back, Jack Broadhead. In just the 4th minute his under-powered header back towards Andrew at a corner of the penalty area allowed the opportunist Diego to intercept and lift the ball first-time into the unguarded net. It was 2-0 only 4 minutes on, courtesy of an assured Hardy 'spot-kick' after Jack had clearly fouled Diego. Then, on 20 minutes with Grantham responding effectively, he planted a header wide at a corner.
With a 3-goal lead Buxton profited from the visitors' temporary interval disarray to score again in the 47th minute as Jude ghosted unmarked into space to prod home, off the near post, an Alex Brown cross. Nonetheless Grantham still maintained a threat and, after Grant Shenton had made a superb double save at 3-0,substitute Zoko, Yeovil's top scorer 18 months ago, forced another good, low save from the home 'keeper. However, 'the Bucks' made it 5-0 just before the hour as Jude rounded off a trademark, mazy penalty-area run with a lofted shot that Andrew could only help on its way. After Diego had completed his hat-trick a 7th goal arrived in the 77th minute following a free-kick. Liam's shot was going in but Connor O'Grady touched the ball over the line to open his Silverlands account. Even then there was no 'show-boating' but a vain search for more goals.
So Buxton climbed off the bottom in fine style and lifted their goal difference from -8 to -1!
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Young, Whitham, Chalmers (Pilkington), D De Girolamo (Grayson), Hardy, Oyibo (Jennings). Unused Subs: Wilson & Kilner.
Saturday 5th October BUXTON (1) 1 YORK CITY (0) 2 EMIRATES F.A. CUP , 3RD QUALIFYING ROUND ATT. 901
An exciting afternoon of cup soccer saw 'the Bucks' give a splendid account of themselves only to miss out on a deserved and lucrative replay by less than the width of a goal-post! It was the 2nd minute of added time when Buxton had a last sight of goal but the excellent Aaron Chalmers curled a 20-yard free-kick onto the far post to be cleared by a doubtless much relieved defender.
'The Bucks' had faced a massive task in tackling the leaders of the league above, some 43 places above bottom-of-NPL Premier Buxton, with York remarkably the only team in the top 7 divisions of English soccer not to have lost a league or Cup match ! Nonetheless Paul Phillips's side ran 'the Minstermen' close, even taking an 11th-minute lead, holding it into the 2nd half and only succumbing to an 81st-minute winner.
Despite showing 4 changes from the previous week's winning team, York were soon offering a threat, with ex-'Macc' play-maker and newcomer, Elliott Durrell, prominent, but it was 'the Bucks' who scored early. The decisive feature of a fluent passing move was Brian Wilson's lofted chip forward and Diego forced the ball home off 'keeper Whitley's hand. Seven minutes later the striker was close to profiting from Liam Hardy's headed flick, while York threatened regularly and only fully committed defending, particularly by the sound trio of home centre-backs, maintained the slender lead, with Connor O'Grady, for example, executing perfectly a penalty area slide tackle on rampaging ex-Alfreton loanee, Tom Allan. Yet Buxton, attacking the Railway End, continued to probe for another goal and twice inside 4 minutes went close. Alex Brown and Hardy set up midfielder Warren Clarke but he shot into Whitley's midriff, then came what even at the time seemed a likely major turning-point. Liam timed his run perfectly behind the defence to latch onto a long, lofted forward ball. Unfortunately for 'the Bucks',the advancing Whitley deflected his effort and the chance was gone, along with the tantalising prospect of a 2-goal interval lead.
The importance of that event was shown 4 minutes into the second half when a cross from the left opened the home defence, with the ball finding the net off Brown who was under pressure from wing-back Dyer. Even so 'the Bucks' responded in determined fashion as Wilson's power drive was blocked and then Diego, after a fine run through the centre, fired too high but York threatened so much as to force 5 corners in quick-time. There followed spectacular action at either end with shots by Liam and Diego close to netting before the visitors countered rapidly for Grant Shenton to save point-blank a Burrow header. However, the fateful 81st minute brought a York winner as the home defence couldn't ward off a concerted attack that was ended by Dyer's shot into the net roof from close range. To their great credit, 'the Bucks' were far from finished, with a Nico header going close and Chalmers so near to scoring with his intelligent free-kick. No wonder York's manager, Steve Watson, commented, ''Buxton gave us as hard a game as we have had this season''!
So after the glamour and excitement of the F.A. Cup now come the 'hard yards' of the task of driving away from the division's basement, starting on Tuesday evening with the visit of mid-table Grantham Town.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Harrison, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Wilson (Oyibo), Clarke (Pilkington), Chalmers, D De Girolamo (Jennings), Hardy, Brown. Unused Subs: Young, Kilner, Hopkins & Phillips.
Saturday 28th September BUXTON (1) 1 SOUTH SHIELDS (1) 2 ATT 515
Very late goals in each half secured full points for South Shields at lowly Buxton who had shocked the league leaders with a 38th-minute goal very much against the run of play. With forward Jude Oyibo fit enough only for the bench, Alex Brown returned to a 5-man defence in which recent recruit Connor O'Grady was outstanding, while new signing Brian Wilson, a veteran of 446 Football League games, made his debut as a defensive midfielder and soon caught the eye with accurate passing. Buxton's twin strikers, Liam Hardy and Diego, proved a real but only an occasional threat as 'the Mariners' ,with the wind at their backs, dominated first-half possession. Nonetheless Buxton's defence coped well, though home players contributed to their own difficulties by too often conceding possession to a side which passed the ball about impressively. The first example came as early as the 6th minute when Grant Shenton's intercepted pass gave Annear a sight of the open goal but he missed the target from 30 yards. However, the home 'keeper produced a good low save and hold from a Gillies free-kick from similar range and Wilson blocked a Thurston effort close to the goal-line. Then out of the blue came a well-taken Buxton goal .The outnumbered Diego's very good work and shot forced a rebound off Blackpool loanee 'keeper, Myles Boney, for Liam to tuck away neatly. Clearly encouraged, Alex Brown next fired a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal, but in the closing seconds of added time a 'Mariners' 5-man passing move allowed skipper Shaw to fire home an equaliser from 15 yards. It was a cruel and potentially decisive blow for 'the Bucks'. Nonetheless it was Buxton who created the first clear opening, in the 53rd minute, of an evenly-fought second half. Liam fed Diego for a shot that made Boney produce a flying leap and catch, then just short of the hour only the visiting 'keeper's heel denied a goal-bound Hardy drive. However, Shields continued to pose danger, especially after lively, experienced attacking substitutes Foley and Mason were introduced, with Shenton using his legs to thwart the latter's shot, but in the 88th minute Mason broke Buxton hearts by prodding home a far-post winner from a fierce, low diagonal ball from the left. Despite the late setback there was plenty here to indicate hope of an improved league situation in the near future.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Wilson, Young (Clarke), Chalmers, D De Girolamo (Oyibo), Hardy (Pilkington), Harrison. Unused Subs: Kilner & Jennings.
Saturday 21st September BUXTON (2) 5 CORBY TOWN (0) 0 EMIRATES F.A.CUP 2ND QUALIFYING ROUND ATT 264
Despite still lacking 4 front-line players, Buxton stepped convincingly over the potential 'banana-skin' of the visit of previously unbeaten Step 4 side, Corby Town of the Southern League Central, Division One. On frequent occasions, Buxton's attacking play was too potent for the visitors' defence as 4 different scorers displayed the skill of clinical finishing, while Corby made chances, notably in the second half, but striker Sandy was wasteful.
Attacking the Railway End with the breeze behind them, 'the Bucks' made a positive start with a fine Kyle Harrison long pass which set the returning Liam Hardy away up the left and following his pull-back, home debutant midfielder, Aaron Chalmers, headed narrowly over the angle. Corby's first serious attack came in the 12th minute but a double Hardy salvo inside 4 minutes at quarter-time put 'the Bucks' well on top. A penetrating diagonal ball and a defender's error gave Liam the opening he took in style from 15 yards. His second, merely a tap-in, made sure that Diego's shot went in after good work by a trio of home players. Firmly in control, a third goal was close in the 38th minute and again Liam was a key figure. A fine diagonal ball by Ash Young picked him out on the left and from his low pull-back, Diego's firm shot was superbly saved by 'keeper George. Two minutes later Corby's vehement appeals for a hand-ball penalty were turned down by well-placed referee Wyatt.
At the start of the 2nd half Corby seized the initiative without mounting a threat, but the tie was virtually settled in the 53rd minute when a fortunate touch freed Jude Oyibo to benefit with a composed finish wide of the 'keeper. To their credit, Corby continued to press forward and Grant Shenton was forced into a tip-over save from a fine rising shot on the turn by the visitors' best player, Jordon Crawford, the only survivor from Town's last game here 3 years ago. 'The Bucks' meanwhile and likewise looked for goals and the 4th arrived in the 70th minute as substitute Warren Clarke marked his home debut by netting close in following more good work by the excellent Diego.
Even then the excitement wasn't over in this consistently entertaining tie. Unusually careless home defending in the 77th minute gave Sandy an open goal with the ball at his feet but he hit a post from 15 yards, then almost immediately at the other end Clarke fed Hardy for yet another pull-back that narrowly evaded the onrushing Martin Pilkington, but the substitute did net his team's 5th goal in the 86th minute with a deft back-header from Ash's lofted, curling free-kick. The tie's last meaningful action, however, fell to Corby's Sandy who, following a corner, planted a free header off target.
So Buxton's 'faithful' could go home happy but the opportunity for the team to maintain its momentum on Tuesday at Stafford is off as Rangers will be replaying against Kidderminster.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Harrison, N De Girolamo, O'Grady, Young, Wallen (Clarke), Chalmers (Kilner), D De Girolamo, Hardy, Oyibo (Pilkington). Unused Subs: Jennings, Priestley, Hopkins & Phillips
Saturday 14th September MORPETH TOWN (0) 2 BUXTON (0) 1 ATT 635
For their first visit to Craik Park Buxton could hardly have faced a more challenging situation. With just 3 points earned and no wins in the first 7 league fixtures, the visitors had to take on recently-promoted Town (twice as many points from just 4 games) with as many as 7 (!) front-line players absent. To the injured trio of Jude, Nico and 'Chippy' were added Liam Hardy (at a wedding), Ash Young (at work), Billy Priestley (suspended) and Jake Hibbs (recalled by Spennymoor).Therefore the entire 'engine room' that started last Tuesday's match was absent and the midfield gaps were filled by the week's 3 late signings, the trio contributing substantially to a pleasing first half in which 'the Bucks' were comfortably the better side and enjoyed perhaps 60% possession. The team's failing lay in not threatening the goal sufficiently when neat approach play took them within range. Diego was prominent in most of the passing moves and in only the 3rd minute he set up debutant Warren Clarke for a shot at goal. Another passing move 5 minutes later, built by Kyle Harrison and Josh Wallen, saw Diego shoot over, then from a Brad Grayson curling free-kick Connor O'Grady sent an angled, looping header onto the net's roof.
Morpeth's chief threat in the first half looked likely to be posed in the air by their tall twin strikers but Grant Shenton didn't have a save to make, though a 34th-minute Phillips thunderbolt of a 25-yard shot passed narrowly wide. However, the home side showed significant improvement in the 5 minutes prior to the interval as 2 corners were forced and from a right cross striker Reid thudded a header against the underside of the bar.
In the difficult prevailing circumstances the goal-less first period was therefore something of an achievement but your correspondent had the feeling that Buxton should have been in front and that the previously lacklustre Morpeth must improve and so it proved. Town seized the initiative immediately and dominated until the closing minutes with some of the visitors' recent recruits, lacking match time previously, somewhat 'running out of steam'. A short back-pass by O'Grady gave Morpeth an early opening but the combined efforts of the defender and 'keeper saved a goal before another giant, centre-back Thackray, headed wide at a corner. It took 'the Bucks' to the hour to mount an attack but nonetheless stoically held out until the 75th minute when substitute Walton's final touch pushed the ball over the line at a trickle. As previously, Town's threat had been mounted on the right and 7 minutes later in that area O'Grady was penalised for what, at distance, seemed to be a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge. Walton doubled his tally by sending his penalty-kick down the middle to double the lead. The spirited 'Bucks' mounted a late rally and when lively substitute Ryan Jennings was fouled Brad Grayson netted stylishly from the spot' but sadly it was 'too little, too late'. However, it was a brave and gritty display and with 5 of the absent players likely to be available for the F.A. Cup tie next Saturday, there is certainly hope of improved results to come.
Team: Shenton, Harrison, Brown (Kilner), O'Grady, Roscoe, Chalmers, Grayson, Clarke, Pilkington (Jennings), D De Girolamo, Wallen (Walters). Unused Subs: Davies & Hopkins
Tuesday 10th September BUXTON (1) 1 BAMBER BRIDGE (0) 1 ATT. 235
Who says lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place ? Well, many Buxton supporters may disagree with the old saying ! On the season's opening day 'the Bucks' conceded an 88th-minute equaliser and 2 points at Scarborough by lax defending and the resulting free header at a corner-kick. On Tuesday evening it was exactly the same again, only in the 89th minute when unmarked 'Brig' substitute Chris Marlow headed home a corner-kick ! Not that the visitors were undeserving as they had dominated possession in the second half but the re-shaped home defence had stood firm, with both loanee right-back Kyle Harrison and recently-recruited centre-back Connor O'Grady creating good impressions. The outcome was also tough on lively marksman Liam Hardy, whose 34th-minute strike will be a leading contender for 'Goal of the Season'. Out on the right at the Railway End he received a pass from substitute Diego and cut inside to drive high and fiercely under the far angle. That was enough to give Buxton an interval lead despite having lost captain and midfielder Callum Chippendale on a stretcher at the half-hour mark with a leg injury which unfortunately will sideline him for weeks to come.
The momentum provided by Liam's goal took 'the Bucks' through to half-time but the loss of 'Chippy' hit them hard, with the visitors gradually taking control then pressing hard for an equaliser towards the end. Such a situation had seemed unlikely as the home side had started the match well, with Liam prominent in attack. Jake Hibbs shot over from 20 yards, then 'the Bucks' went close in the 11th minute as, from an Ash Young free-kick, Callum's looping header landed on top of the bar. Only 3 minutes later 'Brig' showed their attacking capability with a right cross allowing Dudley's header which struck the outside of a post. There was much more of such intent after the interval as Grant Shenton was forced into a fine save from what was deemed an offside header. Winger Waddecar shot into the side netting then within a minute laid on a good chance for Booth after beating Alex Brown at the right byline but the midfielder fired his low pull-back over the bar from 20 yards. Left-winger Ryan White ran through the centre only for his effort from similar range also to miss the target. 'The Bucks' were reduced to mostly isolated, unconvincing attacks, even when a decisive O'Grady tackle set up a 4-on-4 counter that fizzled out early. However, the forwards did come close to a clinching 2nd goal as 'keeper Rigby made a double save from close-range shots, firstly by Diego then by Brad Grayson.
So Buxton have now gone 7 league games without a win whereas the visitors averted defeat for the first time in 5 away league and cup fixtures and nobody could deny their value for a point.
Team: Shenton, Harrison, Brown, O'Grady, Roscoe, Young, Chippendale D De Girolamo), Hibbs, Grayson (Kilner), Hardy, Jennings (Pilkington). Unused Subs: Wallen & Walters
Tuesday 3rd September Mickleover Sports (1) 4 Buxton (1) 2 Att 222
Two second half penalties conceded in three minutes cost the Bucks dearly at Mickleover on Tuesday night as Buxton's poor start to the season continued. There was a debut for Altrincham loanee Lewis Walters in the starting line up with another new signing, Josh Wallen also on the bench as manager Paul Phillips freshened the squad up but once again defence frailties proved costly.
The Bucks started the match brightly with Ryan Jennings strong run and shot in just the second minute needing saving low down by Fairbrother in the Sports goal. On five minutes the hosts created a double opportunity to score with the impressive Mason Warren's shot being tipped over by Grant Shenton and from the resulting corner, experienced defender Pablo Mills saw his header clear the bar. It was a very open first ten minutes with Buxton creating the better opportunities. New signing Walters saw his shot go wide from the edge of the area and 3 minutes later Jude Oyibo set off on one of his trademark runs but having 'danced' through the Mickleover defence he couldn't get a clear shot away to trouble Fairbrother. Mickleover forced a number of corners and one from one of them Mills again saw his header off target and on 25 minutes it was Warren again going close with a free-kick. Oyibo had another run at the Sports defence and has the ball broke Walters saw his header go over the bar. The Bucks were beginning to dominate as the half wore on and captain Chippendale saw his strong shot from 20 yards fumbled by Fairbrother but he managed to draw the ball in with Liam hardy ready to pounce. The Bucks took the lead on 35 minutes with good work from Walters who cut in from the right and his squared ball was shot low into goal by Ash Young for his second of the season. James Cadman shot wide for the hosts with a quick break down the left and on half time the Bucks were made to pay for giving away free-kicks around the area when Warren's set piece was saved by Shenton but Declan Bacon netted when the ball came back in to the area.
The Bucks lost winger Jude Oyibo to a suspected broken toe and was replaced at half time by Australian debutant Josh Wallen. The second period started quieter than the first with Brad Roscoe's effort from distance being the Bucks only notable chance but that flew well wide. But proceedings turned drastically away from the Bucks just after the hour mark, conceding two penalties in 3 minutes, both of which were converted with aplomb by Mason Warren. The Bucks applied pressure to try and get back in to the match but after a scramble in the Sports area the hosts broke away quickly and Bacon broke away from the Bucks defence to slot the ball passed Shenton to make it 4-1. There was a late consolation as Hardy netted a penalty to make it 4-2 after a quickly taken free-kick struck a hand in the Sports penalty area. So defensive indiscipline again proved costly for Buxton which needs addressing with the trip to Romulus in the lucrative FA Cup looming on Saturday.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Priestley (D De Girolamo), Young, Oyibo (Wallen), Chippendale, Walters, Hardy, Jennings (O'Grady). Unused Subs: Hibbs and Grayson.
Saturday 31st August Buxton (0) 0 Stalybridge Celtic (0) 0 Att 400
A game of disappointing quality, especially in the second half, was goal-less because both sets of forwards couldn’t convert several clear openings. Liam Hardy had the first for the Bucks when he got away from the visiting defence but shanked his shot wide and soon afterwards Jude Oyibo, who was Buxton’s most creative player all afternoon, chipped a cross come shot onto the bar. The visitors defence was struggling to contain the Buxton forwards who nevertheless couldn’t make their superiority count. The 1st half ended on a sour note as Buxton’s Billy Priestley and Celtic’s Craig Hobson were both sent off after an altercation.
More chances went begging in the second half. Oyibo was through but shot wide and colleague Brad Roscoe had a shot blocked close to the line. Then Celtic, on the hour, created their best opening with Neil Kengni and Nathan Valentine doing the spadework but Scott Bakkor screwed his shot wide, before home left-back Alex Brown cleared from the line following a defensive error. Oyibo continued to pose the greatest threat for the Bucks, forcing Celtic loanee ‘keeper Alex Fojticek into the save of the game, but in added time missed a great chance of a winner by passing instead of shooting.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Priestley, Young, Chippendale, Grayson (O’Grady), Jennings (Hibbs), Hardy (Pilkington), Oyibo. Unused Subs: Kilner & D De Girolamo.
Monday 26th August HYDE UTD (2) 3 BUXTON (1) 1 ATT 494
Buxton's disappointing start to the new season extended to a third consecutive defeat at Ewen Fields on Monday but a marked improvement in the second half renews hope for better results and there is no doubt 'the Bucks' were unfortunate with 2 penalty decisions, both controversial, going against them, condemning them to defeat when a recovery was likely. However, 'the Tigers' were the better side for most of the first half despite the visitors having the advantage of scoring first. Buxton couldn't add to their lead and a poor spell prior to half-time allowed Hyde to net twice in 11 minutes for an interval lead.
Eight goals have been conceded in those 3 defeats and there was early evidence of defensive insecurity as Nico's first-minute error set up Dyche at the edge of the penalty area but he wastefully shot over the bar. Then Tongue planted a far-post, free header wide of goal before Grant Shenton dived and held Noble's low,25-yard effort. Yet it was 'the Bucks' who took a 17th-minute lead with a first serious attack. Reece Fishwick, making his full debut, delivered a well-directed, lofted cross to win a corner, taken by Ash Young, with Nico heading home firmly at the far post. There were 2 further opportunities in quick succession. Firstly Brad Roscoe's header at another Ash corner went too high, then a second good-quality Fishwick lofted cross saw the onrushing Alex Brown volley off target. Accordingly the one-goal lead looked brittle, particularly when Pratt on the right got the better of Billy Priestley to fire in a low cross that narrowly eluded O'Brien in front of goal. Nonetheless the lead was erased in the 34th minute as Pratt cut in from the left to net with an 18-yard deflected shot. Hyde then went very close as Pratt again got a shot away, Shenton saved well and ex-Port Vale striker, Dan Turner, fired into the side-netting. Just before half-time, Utd's perseverance paid off. Left-back Brownhill made an incisive run to cross low, Shenton parried but Dyche netted at the 2nd attempt.
Ryan Jennings replaced the ineffective Diego at half-time and played a significant role on the ball as 'the Bucks' showed at their most convincing and threatened on several occasions. Hardy's pass released Fishwick on the right to fire into the side netting from 19 yards before a trio of free-kicks from promising positions by Young and substitute Brad Grayson forced 'keeper Mewitt to save at full stretch. However,a crucial refereeing decision at either end decided the match's outcome. A Jennings shot clearly struck a Hyde defender's arm but the poorly-positioned and therefore probably unsighted referee Porter made no award, yet in the 75th minute he penalised Buxton for a challenge on Dyche when there was obvious doubt whether man or ball was contacted first. Turner netted from the penalty spot. The visitors continued to press forward with Jennings evading challenges on the right to fire low across the face of goal but Priestley couldn't force the ball home, then both Hardy and Callum Chippendale had telling shots blocked as time ran out.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Priestley, Young, Chippendale, Hibbs (Grayson), N De Girolamo (Jennings), Hardy (Kilner), Fishwick. Unused Subs: McQuade, Hickman.
Saturday 24th August BUXTON (2) 3 WHITBY TOWN (2) 4 ATT 335
For a second time in 5 days Buxton lost at home, not on this occasion to a superior outfit but rather as a result of inadequate defending at crucial points. Scoring 3 goals at home should have been enough to secure full points but the visitors' twin strikers, Fewster and old adversary, Tymon, couldn't be contained by a defence that rarely looked secure.
In the 3rd round of fixtures both sides were seeking a first victory and early on 'the Bucks' seemed favourites to achieve it as Brad Grayson was close to profiting from a first-minute through ball but Liam Hardy did net in the 8th minute as a close-range Alex Brown shot rebounded to him off 'keeper Bland. However, by the 21st minute Whitby led, courtesy of a Fewster brace, on each occasion getting the better of a home centre-back (Nico for the first, Billy the second) to produce scoring shots. Buxton soon responded with a superb, lofted, 25-yard Grayson curling effort that brought a good tip-over save from Bland and from the resulting Brown corner-kick, Brad Roscoe headed home firmly; 28 minutes gone and 4 goals scored!
The action subsided somewhat before half-time but only 4 minutes after the interval Whitby led for a second time as Fewster this time provided the assist. He reached the left by-line at the Railway End and Tymon at the near post stabbed home his low pull-back. For a spell Town looked comfortable in their lead but on the hour Hardy was close to erasing it. Beyond the far post he controlled a long, curling Brown cross and fired back low across the face of the goal without a further touch. Ten minutes on and Ash Young did find the net with a sumptuous, curling 20 yard free-kick under the angle.
There was justifiable hope now that 'the Bucks', much encouraged by this superb strike, would press on to victory. Martin Pilkington junked his way to 19 yards out, firing narrowly wide. However, his 75th minute injury reduced him to passenger status, just two minutes after the final substitution had been made. Such bad luck restored the initiative to Whitby but poor defending at an 81st minute corner allowed midfielder Rowe to knock home the winner from 6 yards, Whitby taking the lead for the 3rd and final time. That was tough on Alex Brown who had conceded the flag kick by athletically clearing from the line an otherwise certain goal after Grant Shenton had been unable to gather a ball into the penalty area. As against Nantwich, Priestley was thrust forward to compensate for the incapacitated Pilkington, but in vain.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Priestley, Young, Chippendale, Grayson (Jennings), Pilkington, Hardy (D De Girolamo), Hibbs (Fishwick). Unused Subs: McQuade, Hickman
Tuesday 20th August BUXTON (0) 1 NANTWICH TOWN (1) 2 ATT. 353
After conceding an equaliser to a late Scarborough revival on Saturday it was Buxton's turn to strive for a point late on in Tuesday's evening's first home fixture but their considerable efforts proved in vain versus an impressive Nantwich side which looks destined for a successful season. For 3/4 of the match 'the Dabbers' were clearly the better team and established a 2-0 with a well-made goal in each half. The visitors were strong in defence with a trio of experienced centre-backs, while in midfield were again directed by 2 of the division's best players in Cooke and Hughes who created openings for Malkin, a striker who attracted a posse of scouts to the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium. However, he missed a 10th-minute chance with a too-high diving header from Mwasile's left-flank cross but by then home debutant 'keeper, Grant Shenton, had been forced into flying action by Lawrie's goal-bound power-drive. There followed a brief spell of Buxton supremacy in which a well-constructed move saw Alex Brown's header land on top of the bar and Diego's own power-drive blocked.
Nantwich, however, responded to take a 24th-minute lead. Ex-Witton wing-back Devine produced a low pull-back from the left to find his skipper, Caspar Hughes (ex-Crewe and Fylde) who had the space to be able from 12 yards to pick his spot well beyond Shenton's reach. With the visitors continuing to threaten by accurate passing moves, a second goal looked inevitable 12 minutes later as a through ball enabled Mwasile to defeat the offside trap only for Shenton to rob him expertly and cleanly close to goal.
Perhaps encouraged by this escape, 'the Bucks' mounted promising attacks but, fed by Diego, Brown's low pull-back eluded his colleagues before Brad Roscoe's shot forced 'keeper Hall into a good save. Maintaining the pressure, Alex's corner-kick was scrambled clear with difficulty but after the interval 'the Dabbers' regained the initiative and doubled their lead in the 52nd minute as play-maker Cooke swept home a low cross from the right.
Beginning at half-time, Buxton made a trio of substitutions and in the game's final quarter at last got on top and stayed there. It started with a surging Jude Oyibo run that won a corner and climaxed in Callum Chippendale's firm,80th- minute header that halved the deficit. The home captain then had a 20-yard drive tipped over and a Billy Priestley header met with the same outcome, but Nantwich had the quality to be dangerous on the break. In the 84th minute a moment of drama resulted. The ever-alert Shenton, patrolling far out of his Railway End goal, opted to charge towards the advancing Cooke whose 45-yard effort past him drifted off target. A last desperate Buxton manoeuvre saw Priestley moved forward but his header from Nico's pass was saved, while a clever Jude back-heel narrowly evaded sub. Liam Hardy, who was making his 200th BFC appearance but couldn't add to his tally of 126 goals.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Priestley, Young (Hickman), Chippendale, Hibbs, D De Girolamo (Jennings), Pilkington (Hardy), Oyibo. Unused Subs: Grayson and McQuade
Saturday 17th August SCARBOROUGH ATHLETIC (0) 1 BUXTON (0) 1 ATT 1157
The players' faces as they left the field on Saturday said it all-'Boro' delight as they had 'got out of jail' with an 88th-minute equaliser, whereas 'the Bucks' bore looks of disappointment and frustration as they had been in control both before and after their 81st-minute strike. Despite the usual pre-season hype, for much of the second half in particular Buxton's solid, workmanlike display seemed the more likely to reap the maximum reward. After the interval, with the wind behind them, the visitors enjoyed a majority of possession, though forwards found it difficult to get past the youthful home centre-backs,even after debutant subs. Martin Pilkington (for Bradley Grayson) and Ryan Jennings (for Liam Hardy) had been deployed. Nonetheless there were chances to mark the score-sheet before the late stages. Following a 14th-minute Buxton corner, Callum Chippendale had a shot blocked close to goal by defender Lowe, while 5 minutes later Liam headed wide from a free-kick. He had another chance 2 minutes into the second half after a corner-kick but shot wide from a few yards' range. On occasions the most penetrative visiting attacker was pacy winger, Jude Oyibo, whose mazy,64th-minute dribble past 3 defenders close to goal unfortunately didn't produce a decisive finish, then immediately after the Buxton goal he repeated his skill to force a save from 'keeper Taylor. A second goal at that point would surely have sealed the victory made possible by Pilkington's close-range,81st-minute strike. Even so, Buxton's sound rearguard looked in little danger from a previously toothless home side lacking marksman Walshaw but debutant centre-back Billy Priestley late on was forced into a superb interception at the expense of a corner. When the ball was delivered, his counterpart Johnson netted with a glancing header. For the first time in the entire match 'Boro' had offered an aerial threat ! With 6 minutes' play left 'the Bucks' might still have earned full points as Jennings's fine pass sent Chippy away in the inside-left channel but he blazed his 20-yard effort high and wide.
In the first half, facing a stiff breeze, Buxton's task had been to establish a foothold in the game and the team, with 3 debutants in the starting eleven, did this most efficiently. Grant Shenton's long-kicking into the wind was a considerable asset as an even contest developed. Both sides sought to advance through passing movements but the exaggerated bounce proved troublesome and goalmouth incidents were few. Buxton couldn't profit from a number of free-kicks and corners, while it took until the 45th minute for 'Boro' to create a serious threat but Shenton made a low save and hold from Coulson's 20-yard drive at a central free-kick, though earlier he had advanced for a spectacular diving header to clear his lines.So in front of the day's biggest crowd 'the Bucks' came away with a well-deserved point and also the confidence to believe that they will win far more games than they will lose despite the highly competitive nature of the division, though they will need to 'kill off ' opponents when opportunities offer.
Team: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Priestley, Young, Chippendale, Hibbs. Grayson (Pilkington), Hardy (Jennings), Oyibo. Unused Subs: D De Girolamo, Hickman, McQuade