top of page
Buxton FC Grey (002).png

Buxton FC Match Reports
2023/24 season

Saturday 20th April FARSLEY CELTIC (1) 2 BUXTON (0) 0 ATT 936

What beforehand had promised to be a thrilling afternoon at Throstle Nest, very soon turned out to be a damp squib as far as Buxton and the travelling 'faithful' were concerned. A win would have brought 'the Bucks' a top-half finish, but survival in the NLN was Celtic's aim and it was the hosts who looked the hungrier team, thoroughly deserving full points as they were consistently superior with Buxton's only spell of pressure staged in the last few minutes. A 7th-minute goal set the hosts on their way and news that Blyth, level on points with Farsley at kick-off, trailed 0-4 to Brackley by the half-hour mark took all the tension away from the occasion.

The Buxton squad that won the county cup on Wednesday was hard hit. The influential Tommy Elliott and Sam Minihan were injured, adding to the already missing quartet, while Connor Kirby, on 14 yellow cards for the season, would have earned a 3-match ban at the start of next season with another caution. For his last Buxton match in charge, Craig Elliott opted for a 5-3-2 line-up.

So this last match of the season proved typical of what had often gone before : injury-hit again and also once more unable to overcome less well-placed opponents (yet capable of defeating 8 of the top 11 clubs).Accordingly, Celtic completed a 'double' as Buxton now have just 1 draw to show from their 5 visits to Throstle Nest.

Farsley, attacking down the slope, immediately got onto the front foot and unsurprisingly established an early lead. A Buxton defensive error conceded a throw-in from which midfielder Tom Allan (ex-Alfreton) fired into the roof of the net from 10 yards. Ten minutes on, only desperate defending thwarted Celtic as the veteran Clayton Donaldson, who had once played for ex-Buxton manager, John Reed, set up the opening. The hosts attacked regularly while the visitors' only move of note resulted from Max Brogan's diagonal pass to wing-back Sean Etaluku, whose dangerous cross was cut-out.

Manager Elliott did achieve a temporary improvement in the 36th minute by reverting to a back 4 and introducing the creative Adam Livingstone at left-back, so 'the Bucks' went in at half-time with only a 1-goal deficit, a scoreline that must have disappointed the hosts given their dominance. However, just 2 minutes after the re-start they had made amends by doubling their lead. through right-back Assenso who prodded the ball home from close range following a well-directed, lofted corner-kick. Despite averaging less than a goal a game, Celtic continued to attack regularly and just past the hour Donaldson's deflected shot rebounded from a post, then 2 minutes later it seemed the striker had earned a penalty but instead his reward was a caution for simulation. With neither Blyth nor Buxton able to mount a recovery, the remainder was something of an anti-climax with Buxton ending the season in 14th place with 17 NLN victories and 18 defeats.

Bucks: Young; Mottley-Henry, Hunt, Granite (Livingstone), Hull, Etaluku; McCourt, Weston, Brogan; Wright, McKeown. Unused Subs: Kirby, De Girolamo, Petrovic & Qualter.


Wednesday 17th April BUXTON (2) 5 HEANOR TOWN (0) 0 ATT 1459


For only the second time in the club's near-150-year history, Buxton retained the Derbyshire Senior Cup at Pride Park on Wednesday evening with just 4 players remaining from last year's final. Heanor had overcome 2 teams (Alfreton then Long Eaton) of higher status en route to the final but this third such challenge proved much too great for 'the Lions', as was to be expected from a mid-table, Step 5 club facing mid-table Buxton from Step 2,as long as 'the Bucks' fielded their strongest possible side (which they did) and approached the contest in the appropriate manner (which they also did).

Buxton could have led as early as the 3rd minute as a Jak McCourt corner-kick produced a bout of pinball close to goal before Heanor offered a rare threat as winger August cut in from the left without getting near enough to shoot. However, from about the quarter-hour mark 'the Bucks' took control as 'the Lions' were outclassed in midfield. It had soon become clear that if the Step 2 team made full use of the ground's pristine turf, rather than using an aerial approach, scoring chances would follow. So it was at quarter-time that Dylan Mottley-Henry crossed low, but from 20 yards, Diego fired over the bar, then 'keeper Kinnerley made a fine save to deny Tommy Elliott's well-directed drive. From the resulting, equally well-directed, Adam Livingstone, lofted corner-kick, Kinnerley totally missed contact, but no Buxton player could take advantage. Yet on the half-hour the 'keeper was given no chance by Diego from 15 yards out as he profited from Sam Minihan's low cross.

With Elliott's thoughtful play master-minding midfield operations, the situation now looked ominous for Heanor in their first DSC final in 45 years. The one-sided nature of proceedings made for a distinct lack of tempo but 'the Bucks' gave the scoreline a more realistic appearance by doubling their lead in the 43rd minute. McCourt's lofted free-kick gave Max Hunt the chance of a shot that, when blocked, fell nicely for Mottley-Henry to slot home. To their credit, Heanor pressed forward but skipper Josh Granite efficiently broke up the response.

Heanor’s half-time strategy was to adopt a more attacking line-up but it back-fired in the 53rd-minute as Buxton took a commanding 3-0 advantage. Elliott's midfield interception allowed him to run forward centrally, then to pick out Diego with an accurate through-pass just 6 yards out and the striker made no mistake. It could have been 4 just 2 minutes later but, for a 3rd time, the unselfish Elliott opted not to shoot by leaving Diego's pass for a colleague less well-placed than himself ! likewise, he hour McCourt's midfield error set up August for a run at the target but Granite's timely tackle preserved the 'clean sheet' & 19 minutes later referee Jones did likewise by correctly disallowing a 'goal' for an obvious foul on Joe Young.

In between, Buxton created more openings. Substitute Eoin McKeown started poorly with a weak shot across the face of goal but then forced Kinnerley into a half-save before the 'keeper recovered possession in the nick of time, while Elliott also fired across the face of goal. Heanor responded with a brief spell of pressure before a late flurry produced 2 more goals to turn victory from convincing into comprehensive. In the 84th minute 'the Bucks' mounted a counter with many players pushing forward, leaving Max Brogan with a tap-in and the substitute made it a 6-minute brace as Heanor's defence melted, probably through exhaustion.

On Saturday, for the season's last fixture, Buxton travel to Leeds to take on relegation-haunted Farsley Celtic (3pm).

Bucks: Young; Minihan (Brogan), Granite, Hunt, Livingstone; McCourt (Weston), Kirby, Ackroyd (McKeown); Mottley-Henry, De Girolamo (Etaluku), Elliott (Wright).


Saturday 13th April BUXTON (0) 2 BISHOP'S STORTFORD (0) 0 ATT. 558

'The Bucks' completed their home programme with victory over the already-relegated bottom club, who enjoyed ample possession but struggled to make chances, with home 'keeper, Joe Young, not having a save to make. Yet the hosts were lack-lustre and only came to life in the last half-hour when their 2 goals could have been 4 as the visitors wilted. The opener came just past the hour with a touch of fortune attached. A high, spinning ball fell nicely for Diego but it took a smart turn onto his left foot to create the scoring chance from 8 yards and he took it with a well-placed shot inside a post. The 2nd goal, in the 80th minute, came from substitute Jake Wright, who somehow squeezed in his header at the far post as he profited from Adam Livingstone's long, lofted cross. It was the left-back's 4th assist in just 2 games!

Thus began 'the Bucks' most convincing spell of attacking play as they created several chances in the closing minutes. Sean Etaluku's show of pace on the left preceded his low cross which was met imaginatively at the near post by substitute Eoin McKeown's flick but that was cleared from the line, as was Wright's attempt to find the net from 8 yards with 'keeper Giddens out of the picture, but centre-back Beadle headed powerfully from the line.

The first half was evenly but tepidly contested with the visitors looking marginally the better side. Manager Craig Elliott, for his last Buxton home fixture, had made 4 changes from the Chorley victory, perhaps with Wednesday's DSC final in mind. Players' Player-of-the-Season, Max Hunt, swopped places with Josh Granite in central defence, Max Brogan and Connor Kirby replaced Curtis Weston and Joe Ackroyd in centre midfield, while loanee left-winger, Sean Etaluku, replaced Tommy Elliott in attack. Another change had to be made after just 8 minutes as Luke Shiels dislocated a digit on landing after attempting a scissor-kick and therefore Josh Granite played virtually a full game after all. Attacking the Ashwood End, 'the Bucks' couldn't develop any fluency on the ball and at quarter-time it took a ricochet for Brogan to latch onto a loose ball, but 'keeper Giddens was equal to his near-post drive at the expense of a corner. Meanwhile, the visitors' front 3 constructed several passing moves but there was the obvious lack of a cutting edge. At the other end, Sam Minihan's through pass just evaded Brogan, then Etaluku won a tackle to advance on goal, but he narrowed his own angle and was robbed while seeking a shooting opportunity. Therefore, no goals resulted but both sides did go close to scoring as home midfielder Jak McCourt featured at either end. In the 39th minute his fine tackle robbed Foxley as he closed in on goal, then, in added time, from his fiercely-struck corner-kick, Brogan's flick was cleared from the goal-line.

Buxton can now look forward to an enthralling last week of the season. Wednesday's opponents at Pride Park (kick-off 7-30 p.m.) are Heanor Town, who likewise have sold hundreds of tickets for their first DSC final in 45 years and a lively atmosphere should be the result. Next Saturday the last game of the NLN season is at Farsley Celtic, who will need to win to stand a chance of escaping relegation.

Bucks: Young, Minihan, Shiels (Granite), Hunt, Livingstone; McCourt; Kirby, Brogan (Wright); Mottley-Henry (McKeown), De Girolamo, Etaluku. Unused Subs: Elliott & Weston.


Saturday 6th April Buxton (1) 3 Chorley (0) 1 ATT 844

Buxton manager Craig Elliott once again shuffled the Buxton starting xi for the visit of high-flying Chorley with six players coming into the starting line-up and a return to a back four from the side that drew 2-2 away at Herford last time out.
The hosts got off to a bright start in the blustery conditions with birthday boy Tommy Elliott going close twice in the opening four minutes. His low shot on two minutes was saved by Urwin and just two minutes later he deflected a McCourt free-kick just wide of the post. Harvey Smith had the visitors first chance with a header from a corner on 21 minutes, Diego De Girolamo had a shot over the bar 6 minutes later for the Bucks, following good work from Elliott, before former Hyde left-back Adam Blakeman went close with a free-kick for Chorley. Buxton took the lead on 36 minutes with Diego netting confidently from the spot following a foul on Joe Ackroyd in the box. On-loan home keeper Young (returning to the team following injury) produced a fine save on 40 minutes from another Blakeman free-kick from fully 25 yards, but the Bucks were good value for their half time lead.

Curtis Weston had an early chance in the second half for the Bucks, shooting low from 20 yards before the lead was doubled on 55 minutes when Luke Shiels ghosted in at the back post following a right-wing free kick from Adam Livingstone. More good football on 70 minutes from the Bucks resulted in Diego’s shot being tipped over by Urwin in the Chorley goal but from the resulting corner substitute Max Hunt headed home his 3rd goal of the season to make it 3-0. Chorley pulled a goal back straight away through a low shot from Scott Wilson after a free-kick had been laid back to him in the area and apart from a late penalty shout in the Buxton area it was a comfortable day for the hosts against a below-par Chorley side. 
Buxton are next in action next Saturday the 13th of April with the first ever visit to the Tarmac Silverlands of Bishop’s Stortford (3pm). This will be the last home game of the season against the already relegated Stortford side and will also be Craig Elliott’s last home game in charge of the Bucks.

Bucks: Young; Minihan, Granite (Hunt), Shiels, Livingstone; Weston, McCourt; Ackroyd; Mottley-Henry, De Girolamo (Andreucci), Elliott (McKeown). Unused Subs: Kirby & Etaluku.


Monday 1st April Hereford (0) 2 Buxton (1) 2 ATT 3004
On Easter Monday, a late double from Andy Williams secured a point for Hereford against a much-changed Buxton side. The game kicked off with Jake Wright missing an early chance, failing to direct a perfectly placed ball from Jak McCourt towards the target. Hereford intensified their pressure on The Bucks' defence, but Kieran Phillips and Tope Obadeyi couldn't capitalise on opportunities. In the 21st minute, Alexander Petrovic made a remarkable save to deny Alex Babos, keeping the score level. Jid Okeke's volley flew over the bar, while Curtis Pond thwarted Diego De Girolamo's attempt on goal. The first half ended with a flurry of bookings, as Wright, McCourt, and De Girolamo all received yellow cards for The Bucks. In added time, Buxton broke the deadlock as Granite's pass found Ben Andreucci, who delivered a precise cross for De Girolamo to give Buxton a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Hereford started the second half with renewed vigour, but Buxton's defence stood firm against Babos's attacks. A 60th-minute free kick saw Nathan Cameron's header narrowly miss the target. Buxton extended their lead to 2-0 thanks to a defensive mistake, as Kyle Howkins' errant pass evaded Pond and ended up in his own net. Howkins then attempted a long-range shot at the other end of the pitch but missed the target. In the 77th minute, Williams capitalised on a defensive error to pull one back for Hereford, making it 2-1. Max Brogan's cross was spilled by the goalkeeper, but Connor Kirby's subsequent shot was saved. In injury time, Williams struck again, equalising the score at 2-2 after Yusifu Ceesay's shot fell to him, completing Hereford's comeback.
Bucks: Petrovic; Mottley-Henry, Granite, Hunt, Shiels, Etaluku; McCourt, Brogan, De Girolamo (Kirby); Wright (McKeown), Andreucci (Elliott). Unused Subs: Livingstone & Ackroyd.


Friday 29th March BUXTON (1) 1 CHESTER  (1) 4 ATT 2042           

A huge visiting contingent swelled the holiday crowd to the biggest attendance at Buxton for 2 years as play-off hopefuls Chester produced a convincing 2nd-half display to deservedly take full points. 'The Bucks' had no answer to a visitors' purple patch of 3 goals in 12 minutes from the hour onwards. Yet, in a breath-taking opening to the contest, it was the hosts who began in fine style, scoring after just 100 seconds. Bolton loanee, Ben Andreucci, again showed his promise with a superb,18 yard ground shot across 'keeper Wyll Stanway to find the far side netting. However, the visitors responded immediately as skipper Declan Weeks flicked a left-flank, low cross into goal at the near-post: 2 attacks,2 goals inside the first 4 minutes ! It was a surprise that there was no further score before the interval. Andreucci pulled off a fine shot on the turn, narrowly clearing the angle of post and bar, while Ben Tollitt looked a likely scorer for Chester at the Railway End. He rounded stand-in 'keeper Aleks Petrovic, who was making his NLN debut, but was too close to the by-line to finish. As the Cestrians gradually established midfield control, they created more scoring chances. Home centre-back, Max Hunt, made a superb, saving tackle to deny striker, Tom Peers, then 'Bucks 'left-back was close to an own goal when clearing a left-wing cross under pressure.

Immediately after the interval, Andreucci again seemed Buxton's most likely source of a 2nd goal, making another clever penalty-box turn only to be outnumbered, but it was no surprise that it was Chester who scored next, Harrison Burke netting from 8 yards after forging forward powerfully. It became 3-1 just 4 minutes later as a fortunate rebound helped to set up Adam Thomas for a confident,15-yards finish, then Peers, with a speculative, long-range effort from the right, put the outcome beyond any doubt, condemning the last 20 minutes largely to anti-climax.

Nonetheless victory still leaves Chester outside the play-off positions & with plenty to do in their last 4 fixtures, while injury-hit Buxton, lacking 6 front-line players, are firmly lodged in mid-table without a win in 4.

Bucks: Petrovic; Minihan, Hull, Hunt (Etaluku), Shiels, Livingstone; Weston, Kirby, Ackroyd (Elliott); Wright, Andreucci (Mottley-Henry). Subs Not Used: Granite & De Girolamo.


Saturday 23rd March SOUTHPORT (1) 2 BUXTON (1) 2 ATT 1246 (INC. 95 Buxton)

After twice leading in this mid-table, wind-blown encounter on Saturday, Buxton came within 5 minutes of achieving a 10th away win of the season and of inflicting a 12th home defeat on Southport. There were 4 goals but each had an element of ill-fortune or defensive frailty rather than being the product of constructive passing play, of which there was a distinct dearth. Yet Buxton's goals were clinically netted by the fit-again, highly-promising, teenaged Ben Andreucci.

There were 4 changes for 'the Bucks',2 of them enforced. Curtis Weston replaced the suspended McCourt as the midfield 'anchor' and Sam Minihan returned on the right in place of the injured Dylan Mottley-Henry, while Bolton loanee, Andreucci, and Jake Wright were partnered as the strike force, with Tommy Elliott and Diego demoted to the subs' bench. Just short of the half-hour, Josh Granite replaced Connor Brown, who was seemingly afflicted by the same injury suffered, late on, last Saturday.

By then 'the Bucks' had taken an 18th-minute lead in somewhat fortuitous fashion. Thus far they had shaded possession without establishing a pattern of play, but from Adam Livingstone's low cross, veteran 'keeper McMillan spilled the ball and when it found its way to Andreucci, he unerringly buried the opportunity from 12 yards to justify manager Craig Elliott's decision to restore him immediately to the starting 11.

The hosts enjoyed a good spell mid-way through the half. A foul on Joe Young towards the edge of his penalty area went unpunished but Burgess shot over the bar from 20 yards, then the same player hit the bar from similar range before the Buxton 'keeper saved and held a firm, low shot and did even better to block Bennett's shot when he was played clear by Granite's under-hit back-pass. 'The Sandgrounders' were creating scoring chances and the best came in the 38th minute when the unfortunate Granite was deemed guilty of handball, at 3 yards' range, from a waist-high, left-flank cross. Danny Lloyd (-McGoldrick), who first faced 'the Bucks' for AFC Fylde just short of a decade ago, netted confidently from the penalty-spot.

That was Southport's major piece of good fortune and Buxton's followed just 2 minutes into the second half. Both referee and assistant missed a clear hand-ball in the visitors' approach play but Andreucci beat his man superbly to fire low from 18 yards across McMillan into the far side netting. Without sitting back on their lead, nonetheless the visitors found themselves having to defend, with both Max Hunt and Granite excelling in denying Loyd, then Young twice made saves, firstly in snatching the ball from Carver's toes, then in making a tip-over save in the 80th minute. Soon afterwards, on the counter, Buxton put together their most significant passing move as Joe Ackroyd and Connor Kirby, on the left, set up Wright, who skilfully changed feet but, from a narrow angle, placed his attempted finishing shot across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post. As the clock reached 90 and 'the Bucks' victory seemed just about safe, Southport had a free-kick close to half-way. Throughout the second half Lloyd had taken all the free-kicks and corners for the hosts, but on this occasion, it was left-back Doyle who launched the free-kick into the heart of Buxton's rearguard and when no defender could take the initiative, Bennett netted from close range.

In added time, out of the blue, experienced home players, Burgess and Carver, lost self-discipline to earn straight red cards but it was too late from which Buxton could profit. Without doubt, the end-to-end play and added-time drama made the game's last quarter-hour comfortably its best.

Bucks: Young; Brown (Granite), Shiels, Hunt, Livingstone; Weston (Brogan), Minihan, Kirby, Ackroyd; Wright, Andreucci (Elliott). Unused Subs: De Girolamo and McKeown.


Tuesday 19th March Blyth Spartans (1) 3 Buxton (1) 2 ATT 651

Zanda Siziba grabbed 2 goals and Nicky Deverdics added another from the spot as Blyth Spartans beat Buxton Fc 3-2 at Croft Park. The Bucks team showed one change from the side who were defeated by South Shields on Saturday with Dylan Mottley-Henry replacing Josh Granite which meant a change to a 4-3-3 formation.
Will McGowen almost found JJ Hooper early on for the hosts with a through ball, but it was hit with too much power, denying the forward a chance to get a shot off. On loan (from York City) Siziba caused issues down the right-hand side with his bursts of pace, prompting Luke Shiels to put in a big slide tackle to prevent him from gaining an advantage. Blyth were forced into an early change after Michael Liddle overstretched and had to be replaced by Malakai Reeve. In the 21st minute, Hooper was able to take the ball past Joe Young only to find himself out wide. He cut the ball back to McGowen, whose sliced shot couldn’t find the target. With all the early pressure from Blyth, they were able to find the opening goal of the game in the 29th minute. McGowen nicked the ball across to Siziba, whose shot found the far corner to make it 1-0. With a very similar move, they almost doubled their lead just before halftime, but this time Young came off his line quickly and denied Siziba. The Bucks got an equalizer in added time with a corner crossed into the box by Adam Livingstone. With a towering header, Shiels, the Bucks' captain, levelled the score at 1-1 going into the break.
Blyth started the half with lots of pressure, with Siziba storming down the wing and forcing Livingstone to put pressure on the attack. His shot went out for a goal kick. It was Siziba who got his second and Blyth's second of the game in the 52nd minute after the cross came into Hooper, who managed to stay onside. He passed it back to McGowen, and the Bucks' defence couldn’t clear it away, with Siziba firing in from close range to make it 2-1. Things went from bad to worse for The Bucks after Hooper was taken out by Young in the box. The referee, without hesitation, pointed to the spot and awarded the penalty for the home side. Deverdics stepped up, and despite the keeper guessing the right way, managed to score to make it 3-1. Siziba nearly got himself a hat-trick with ten minutes to go, cutting in and trying to curl an effort in but just hitting it over the bar. Blyth Substitute Gardiner then found himself one-on-one with Young but the keeper was quick off his line to put pressure on his shot, which went over the bar. In added time again, Buxton got a goal back through Connor Kirby from the penalty spot, with Siziba judged to have handled the ball. Kirby stepped up and dispatched the penalty, but it was too late for the Bucks to stage a late comeback as the referee blew his whistle, ending the game in a 3-2 defeat.
Bucks: Young; Brown, Shiels, Hunt, Livingstone; McCourt (Wright), Kirby, Ackroyd; Mottley-Henry, De Girolamo (Brogan), Elliott (McKeown. Unused Subs: Granite & Weston


Saturday 16th March BUXTON (0) 0 SOUTH SHIELDS (1) 2 ATT 653

'The Mariners' won the contest of 2 mid-table teams on Saturday with a goal in each half to complete a season's 'double' over 'the Bucks', who thereby missed an opportunity to climb above the visitors and into the top half of the table.

The hosts were at their best in the opening quarter of the match and were truly unfortunate not to score in just the 3rd minute as Diego, on his 200th Buxton appearance, worked an opening for himself but his firm, low,17-yard drive remarkably struck both posts before rebounding to safety. Thereafter they both made and missed scoring chances, notably in the 18th minute when a Connor Brown cross from the right found the otherwise outstanding Tommy Elliott, who, from 6 yards, placed his header into 'keeper Boney's hands when downwards and to either side was surely a goal.

Buxton continued to enjoy a majority of possession, but genuine misfortune again struck in the 34th minute when skipper Josh Granite slipped in the penalty area, crucially opening the route to goal for striker Blackett, who made no mistake, driving home via 'keeper Joe Young's left hand. Before the interval, Diego had 2 more opportunities to make his day extra-special but each time he shot over the bar. The first opening he created for himself, while the second was set up by Tommy Elliott, who produced arguably his best performance of the season and, looking comfortably the best player on the pitch, was at the heart of virtually all Buxton's attacks. 

The second half had a fragmented opening and Buxton's chances of reversing their fortunes were lessened by the dismissal of midfield play-maker, Jak McCourt, after a discussion of several minutes between referee and assistant. Eight minutes later home manager, Craig Elliott, substituted an attacker, Jake Wright, for a defender, Josh Granite, and 'the Bucks' continued to press forward. Brown's dangerous cross from the right eluded everyone and a minute later centre-back Max Hunt powered a 30-yard effort narrowly wide but then his error allowed Blackett to run clear for a 1 on 1. However, Joe Young thwarted him and did so again when the same forward cut the ball back from the by-line. Nonetheless it was a case of 3rd time lucky for Blackett in the 84th minute as Buxton continued to press forward, leaving gaping holes in defence. The striker once again found himself in the clear and on this occasion confidently doubled his team's advantage, effectively sealing victory. 

The afternoon again proved the importance of the first goal scored in a Buxton NLN fixture and also showed, to the frustration of the Silverlands 'faithful', that currently their favourites are more effective on their travels, with the evidence of 5 wins in the last 6 fixtures, while at home they have won 2, drawn 2 and lost 2 from the same number of NLN outings. However, the abiding feeling from this encounter is that the first-half misfortunes were a major factor in the outcome.

Buxton have 2 away fixtures in the coming week, at Blyth Spartans on Tuesday (7-45 pm) and at Southport next Saturday (3pm). 

Bucks: Young: Brown (Brogan), Shiels, Hunt, Granite (Wright), Livingstone; McCourt, Kirby, Ackroyd; Elliott (McKeown), De Girolamo. Unused Subs: Hull & Weston                       


Tuesday 12th March Peterborough Sports (1) 1 Buxton (2) 3 ATT 245
Dylan Mottley-Henry scored either side of a McCourt long-range effort to secure another 3 points on the road for The Bucks. Manager Craig Elliott made one change to the starting line-up that won at Rushall on Saturday with Josh Granite replacing the injured Luke Shiels. There was also a return for ‘keeper Alek Petrovic to the subs bench.
The Turbines had the first chance of the game from a free-kick opportunity. Connor Brown took out Kaine Felix on the edge of the box, and Hugh Alban Jones hit his shot low, looking for the bottom right-hand corner with Joe Young forced to deny the forward from opening the scoring. Buxton came straight back at the hosts, with Joe Ackroyd being involved twice in the attack. Firstly, a layoff from Tommy Elliott to him was blocked away, then a cross looking for Mottley-Henry was caught by former Hyde and Harrogate keeper Peter Crook. Felix was continuing to be a big threat, latching onto a loose ball in the 15th minute and forcing The Bucks goalkeeper into a diving save.
The home side was able to take the lead in the 25th minute. A quick counter-attack following a Bucks corner saw Felix intercepting the ball and finding Elicha Ahui who passed the ball to Dan Jarvis. His deflected shot caught out Young and gave Sports a 1-0 lead. Peterborough almost scored again with Gash breaking through and getting a shot off, only this time it came safely into the hands of The Bucks goalkeeper.
However, it was The Bucks grabbing the next goal and an equaliser in the 31st minute. Elliott found Diego De Girolamo, and despite Crook pulling off a great save, Mottley-Henry was able to put the rebound through his legs for 1-1. Young had to be quick off his line once again, stopping Felix from lifting his shot goalwards as chances were created at both ends. Jak McCourt gave the visitors the lead in the 39th minute. His rocket of a shot cannoned off the bar and into the net to give the Bucks the advantage at the break.
Peterborough Sports started the second half the brighter of the sides, winning corners and Micheal Gash attempting to dink Young in goal. Tom Elliott on the left-hand side had some great footwork and was able to get the ball to Ackroyd, and his shot was stopped out for a corner. The corner was met by the head of Hunt, with a Peterborough defender clearing it off the line.
Buxton tried a free-kick routine that almost found the back of the net after De Girolamo’s smash of a shot was tipped over by The Turbines keeper. Sports thought they should’ve had a penalty when their forward was taken down, but the referee waved away the shouts. Mottley-Henry added his second in the final minute and sealed all 3 points for The Bucks. Adam Livingstone crossed the ball into the box, and Crook was unable to get a clean punch on the ball as Mottley-Henry finished it off for 3-1.
Bucks: Young; Brown, Granite, Hunt, Livingstone; McCourt, Ackroyd, Kirby; Mottley-Henry, De Girolamo (Brogan), Elliott (McKeown). Unused Subs: Petrovic, Hull & Qualter


Saturday 9th March RUSHALL OLYMPIC (0) 0 BUXTON (1) 3 ATT 503

Superior finishing and defending earned Buxton a significant and deserved,8th NLN away win in the club's 1st post-Covid visit to Dales Lane. At kick-off the former NPL rivals were 7 points and 5 places apart in the NLN table, so a '6-pointer' was in prospect as both these lower-half teams sought to banish the fear of relegation.

For 'the Bucks', Sam Minihan had joined the already substantial injury list, allowing the return of recent recruit, Adam Livingstone, to add left-footed support for Tommy Elliott on that flank, but otherwise they were unchanged.

The pattern of the match was decided as early as a highly dramatic 7th minute. Farmer robbed Connor Brown on the left and was fouled on entering the penalty area, only for Fletcher to have his low spot-kick well saved through a combination of Joe Young and a post. The 'keeper then immediately set Dylan Mottley-Henry away on the right with an accurate long throw and from his pass. Jak McCourt hoisted a perfect lofted cross behind the centre-backs for Diego to net with a looping header.

That drama sparked an enthralling half of constant action at either end. From a home corner, Clarke, a scorer at Buxton in the earlier meeting, sent a glancing header narrowly wide of goal, while McCourt's low, firm,20-yard free-kick was saved by Weaver at a post as the visitors generally looked the greater threat in attack. However, from around the 25-minute mark, that changed. Young was forced to parry a close-range Farmer shot and Luke Shiels made a vital block to thwart Oseni's follow-up effort, but 3 minutes later came a seemingly miraculous escape in a 6-yard box scramble as desperate, fully-committed Buxton defending thwarted as many as 3 home attackers. At the other end, fine Rushall defending protected the goal after Elliott's clever back-heel created a chance.

After half-time, for nearly 20 minutes, 'the Bucks' struggled to put passing moves together and 'the Pics' seemed more likely to score and when Walsall loanee, Maher, outpaced the otherwise outstanding Shiels on the left, Oseni entirely missed his inviting cross and Young made the catch. Yet from an unpromising start to the half, the visitors sealed victory with 2 goals in 8 minutes. McCourt and Connor Kirby worked a simple free-kick routine for McCourt to lash a fierce drive off the underside of the bar with Mottley-Henry heading home the rebound from 8 yards. Rushall looked deflated while 'the Bucks' were buoyant and made it 3-0 in the 71st-minute after mounting a penetrative attack on the right. Diego was brought down but rose to send Weaver the wrong way as he confidently netted his penalty-kick. Livingstone came close to making it 4-0 just 5 minutes later as he forced Weaver into a tip-over save. To their credit in the last 10 minutes, Rushall sought a consolation goal but were twice thwarted respectively by the impressive duo of Shiels and Young to keep a 2nd consecutive 'clean sheet'.

With all the bottom 4 clubs defeated, Buxton went 13 points clear of trouble and seemingly safe, while a deficit of just 8 points puts the play-offs within reach! On Tuesday evening there's a long haul south to face Peterborough Sports (7-45p.m) before returning home to host South Shields next Saturday (3p.m).

Bucks: Young: Brown (McKeown), Shiels (Granite), Hunt, Livingstone; McCourt, Ackroyd, Kirby (Brogan); Mottley-Henry, De Girolamo, Elliott. Unused Subs: Qualter & Stewart



A lack of sufficient quality in finishing last Saturday deprived Buxton of otherwise deserved full points in a match of ample endeavour, passing soccer and competitive spirit between mid-table teams. After contrasting displays in the week just gone, manager Craig Elliott fielded an unchanged Buxton team, while the visitors had 3 ex-Silverlanders in their ranks, left-back Alex Brown, midfielder Alex Wiles and winger Dom Tear. 'The Bucks' enjoyed the bulk of possession and of penalty-area openings, though without a cutting edge, but it was 'the Seadogs' who missed the best chance of all, just past the hour when a left-flank cross fell to Olly Dyson 6 yards out at the far post but he poked the ball over the bar.

The pattern of the game varied little throughout as the hosts generally had the better of the exchanges, with 'Boro' limited to a few openings on the counter, though late in the day they saw a chance to end a sequence of 6 matches without a win but could do no more than earn their first corner in the 87th minute. They did draw fine defensive tackles from Luke Shiels and then consecutively from midfielder Connor Kirby as debutant loanee forward Kole Hall from Chester offered a threat.

In the first half while attacking the Ashwood End, Tommy Elliott looked the most likely to fashion a significant opening and in only the 2nd minute he fired a powerful,20-yards, swerving shot that 'keeper Ryan Whitley parried to safety, thwarting the midfielder from adding to his 4-goal tally netted in 3 previous home fixtures versus 'Boro'. He regularly found space on the left, creating several threats, the best of which came just after the half-hour. His firm, accurate, squared pass picked out fellow midfielder Joe Ackroyd at the penalty spot but by delaying his shot the chance was gone. Striker Diego also had 2 half-chances inside a minute. He managed an imaginative, flicked half-volley at 'keeper Joe Young's long-struck clearance only to find Whitley, who then made a fine save to keep out a firm shot that would have found the net just inside a post. For the visitors, Hall was equally imaginative with a back-heeled effort from 8 yards out, but he too found the 'keeper.

Despite making an error-strewn start to the second half in control and passing, 'the Bucks' improved and went on to create plenty more penalty-area action, with Whitley producing the save of the match, again to deny Diego, who started and finished a 4-man move involving Jak McCourt and Dylan Mottley-Henry. His goal-bound,10-yard drive was superbly saved at the expense of a corner. A defensive heading error also gave Diego a clear shooting opportunity 20 yards out but he was crowded out trying to move the ball onto his favoured left foot. McCourt from deep positions seemed the hosts' best hope of fashioning a goal after half-time but nothing was forthcoming. Yet both teams deserved credit for wholeheartedly seeking a winner to the very end.

Bucks: Young; Minihan (Livingstone), Shiels, Hunt, Brown; McCourt, Ackroyd (McKeown), Kirby; De Girolamo, Elliott, Mottley-Henry (Brogan). Unused Subs: Granite & Weston


Tuesday 27th February Boston United (0) 2 Buxton (1) 3 Att 1362
Buxton secured a crucial victory against Boston United, earning a valuable three points on the road. Manager Craig Elliott again shuffled the pack with Luke Shiels, Connor Brown, Jak McCourt, Dylan Mottley-Henry and Diego De Girolamo all coming in from the side defeated at Darlington last Saturday. Early on, Boston dominated possession, with Jai Rowe forcing a low save from Joe Young with a driven effort. Young was called into action again just two minutes later when Jimmy Knowles' cross found Kelsey Mooney, but the goalkeeper stood strong to deny him from close range. Despite Boston's pressure, it was Buxton who broke the deadlock in the 25th minute. Dylan Mottley-Henry, played through by Jak McCourt, dribbled past the defence and struck a shot against the post, which deflected into the net for a 1-0 lead. Shortly after, there were several bookings within a five-minute span. Knowles and Mooney received yellow cards for fouls on Connor Kirby, with McCourt also booked. Kirby and Tommy Elliott were cautioned as well, the latter for pulling down his former teammate Sam Smart. Boston continued to push for an equalizer, with Keaton Ward's effort from the edge of the box being tipped over by Young.
The hosts started the second half strongly, with Michael Bostwick's 20-yard shot being deflected behind for a corner. Rowe then rose highest to head Ward's corner into the net, levelling the score at 1-1. Buxton responded positively, and substitute Martin Woods inadvertently put the ball into his own net, giving Buxton a 2-1 lead. Despite Boston's efforts, they fell further behind as Kirby's lofted ball found De Girolamo, who was brought down in the box. He converted the penalty, making it 3-1 to Buxton in the 83rd minute. Knowles managed to pull one back for Boston with a looping goal, making it 3-2 as the game approached added time. However, Buxton held on to secure all three points, bouncing back from their defeat to Darlington on Saturday and improving their dismal record at Boston which now reads 2 wins in 17 visits!
Next Saturday the Bucks return to Tarmac Silverlands action when Scarborough Athletic are the visitors at 3pm.
Bucks: Young; Minihan, Shiels, Hunt, Brown; McCourt, Kirby, Ackroyd; Mottley-Henry (Granite), De Girolamo (Livingstone), Elliott (Weston). Unused Subs; McKeown & Brogan


Saturday 24th February DARLINGTON (0) 2 BUXTON (1) 1 ATT 1224

By failing to do enough to build on a most fortuitous 1-goal lead, Buxton forfeited all 3 points in the north-east on Saturday as desperate Darlington, battling to avert the distinct threat of relegation, scored twice in 12 minutes in the match's final quarter to earn a vital and deserved victory that was only their 3rd at home in 17 fixtures. 'The Quakers' 3rd manager of the season, Steve Watson, had said pre-kick off that home results would decide their fate and they soon showed intent, with long-time Buxton adversary (with F.C. Utd, South Shields & Blyth),Cedric Main, firing high into the side-netting & co-striker, Jarrett Rivers, missing his side's best first-half chance by glancing a header wide of the far post as a right-flank cross found him perfectly placed centre-goal 10 yards out.

The game already had a different feel to the 'clean-sheet' victories at high-flying Chester & Curzon Ashton as 'the Bucks', lacking the injured Tuesday scorers, Ben Andreucci & Jake Wright, mounted no serious threat to the home goal as their passing game wasn't developed and replacement strikers, Tommy Elliott (who was returning to 1 of his former clubs) & Eoin McKeown, proved ineffective as a partnership. Meanwhile the hosts did control possession (68% overall) but were well contained by the Buxton rearguard before the goal arrived in the 35th minute as home defender Barrow headed past his own advancing 'keeper! 'The Quakers' (and their fans) were totally deflated for a few minutes but 'the Bucks' didn't take further advantage other than for McKeown robbing Hedley on the right at half-way and running on without earning more than a corner-kick. The hosts recovered with Jake Hull heading away from the goal-line and Joe Young forced to make a tip-over save.

Into the 2nd half the pattern stayed much the same as Darlington probed for penetration from most of the possession, while Buxton had no cutting edge to their few, unconvincing attacks. Then in the 70th minute came the equaliser in imaginative fashion. From a left-flank corner-kick, substitute Nelson's back-heeled flick hoisted the ball to the unguarded far post where striker Curry saw it over the goal-line.

The goal immediately inspired both 'the Quakers' and their fans as self-belief was restored in spades and, despite the simultaneous introduction of substitutes Connor Brown & Diego in the 76th minute, 'the Bucks' could only stem the tide for another 5 minutes when Nelson seized on a headed half-clearance to drive home low and diagonally from 18 yards. Thereafter, first substitute Jak McCourt attempted in vain to inject life into his team's attacking as the 6-match unbeaten run was ended. Perhaps strangely, Buxton have now taken just 1 point from away fixtures at the bottom 3 clubs in the table. For the hosts, who had led the league just 13 months ago, there was sweet revenge for their 5-0 Silverlands mauling in September and, after playing well, can have renewed hope of escaping 'the drop'.

Bucks: Young; Minihan, Hunt. Granite, Hull (De Girolamo), Livingstone; Weston (Brown), Kirby, Ackroyd; McKeown, Elliott (McCourt). Unused Subs: Shiels & Brogan


Tuesday 20th February BUXTON (1) 2 GLOUCESTER CITY (0) 0 ATT. 506

It can be a sign of a team in form when it wins without playing particularly well and so it was with Buxton on Tuesday evening in overcoming relegation-threatened Gloucester. 'The Bucks' scored 2 superbly headed goals and looked convincing early and late, but for a longish spell in the middle struggled to build attacks effectively and either side of half-time the visitors were matching their hosts as their energy in midfield stifled their counterparts. Yet the home defence, featuring Jake Hull in place of Luke Shiels who had been unwell, stood firm, with skipper Josh Granite making several vital interventions and constantly trying to inspire his team-mates, several of whom were not quite at their best.

After a nondescript opening to the match, 'the Bucks', as on Saturday, scored that important early goal from the first chance created. In the 10th minute, Jake Wright netted the best of his 8 BFC strikes to date. Connor Kirby powered into space on the right to produce a magnificent, lofted, hanging cross that Wright guided perfectly just inside the far post. With City looking vulnerable at the back (with the exception of imperious centre-back and captain, Spencer Hamilton), a goal feast seemed possible, particularly as Buxton had scored 7 in the last 2 outings, while the visitors had conceded 8 in their 2 most recent fixtures. That, however, was not to happen. After a dominant Buxton spell, Wright was lost to injury in the 24th minute, though his replacement, Sam Osborne, almost immediately got off a powerful, swerving shot that' keeper Thompson mishandled, then Adam Livingstone, from a half-cleared free-kick, fired a 20-yarder wide.

Thereafter, Gloucester at last began to assert themselves. At the half-hour, Striker Danny Wright planted a free header just wide from the experienced Durrell's long-struck free-kick, then Smalley ran through the heart of defence only for 'keeper Joe Young to claim the ball. City continued to threaten and in first-half added time Granite made 2 vital clearances close to goal. After the interval, Gloucester again threatened from a dangerous free-kick but first Sam Minihan with an effective block and then Max Hunt with a firm header preserved the lead, while soon afterwards Granite again put his body in the way of a goal-bound drive. It was a worrying period for Buxton fans, especially when another striker, Osborne, was lost to injury. However, the mood was totally transformed by a 2nd home goal and how pleasing it was for 'the faithful' as Bolton loanee striker, Ben Andreucci, scored what was not only his 1st BFC goal but also his first in senior soccer. Livingstone, with his 3rd 'assist' in his first 5 appearances, provided the fine, accurate, lofted cross for the teenager to place his header back into the side netting ,just inside a post.(Sadly,20 minutes later, the new crowd favourite became the 3rd Buxton striker to be substituted, with what was an obviously agonising shoulder injury).The goal put the hosts in buoyant mood and seemed somewhat to prick City's balloon as the visitors threatened no more. Unmarked 25 yards out, Kirby's blast was deflected for a corner, from which Hunt's header landed on the net's roof, while 2nd substitute, Tommy Elliott, was busily involved in every attack. Penetrating on the right, his low, squared pass picked out Livingstone, but he skied his 19-yard shot. No more goals accrued, but 'the Bucks' are now unbeaten in 6 and have climbed 1 place to 13th.

Finally, a few words of praise for referee Will Davis's excellent, unobtrusive handling of this competitive match that saw him keep his cards in his pocket till the 92nd minute. What a coincidence that another fine referee, Gareth Thomas, who was in charge at Curzon, should have acted similarly, using his common sense and man-management skills instead!

Bucks: Young; Minihan, Hull, Granite, Hunt, Livingstone; Weston, Ackroyd, Kirby; Andreucci (Mottley-Henry), Wright (Osborne (Elliott)). Unused Subs: Brown & McKeown.


Saturday 17th February BUXTON (2) 3 BANBURY UTD (0) 1 ATT 637

Buxton convincingly broke the sequence of the away team always winning in meetings between these 2 currently in-form clubs. 'The Bucks' made just 1 change in the starting line-up from Tuesday's winning semi-final side versus Matlock as Curtis Weston replaced the suspended Jak McCourt and they scored in the 16th minute from the first chance they created. A superb pass from the left flank by recent signing Adam Livingstone picked out Jake Wright and he netted at the near post to put his side in control, a control it never looked likely to lose.

Banbury had spells of possession in an otherwise mediocre first half, though there were outstanding individual moments such as most promising newcomer Ben Andreucci's 40-yard, accurate diagonal pass to Sam Minihan on the right. Then in the 3rd minute of first-half added time, 'the Bucks' doubled their lead and again it was a fine pass by the teenaged Bolton loanee which created the opening. He found Wright in space to his right and when the striker let fly, 'keeper Harding parried his shot only for Wright to regain possession. The 'keeper then clearly brought him down, the penalty was awarded, and Connor Kirby netted majestically from 'the spot'.

As the second half opened, Banbury had ample possession in attacking the Ashwood End but Buxton defended in numbers, trying to respond on the break and on the hour created the decisive 3rd goal from a 4-man, right-flank passing move, involving Minihan, half-time substitute Eoin McKeown & Andreucci, that cut the 'Puritans' defence to ribbons, giving Kirby an easy tap-in for his brace.

The visitors continued to press forward but were denied by good defending in general and by Josh Granite in particular in one attack, while Buxton continued to look dangerous but a Joe Ackroyd cut-back from the by-line passed behind the on-rushing Andreucci and McKeown. All 6 substitutes were deployed but it was the visitors' misfortune to be reduced to 10 men from the 79th minute by injury to substitute Wood. Nonetheless 'the Puritans' played better with 10 than 11 and striker Charles netted on 88, but the consolation goal came too late to be significant.

So 'the Bucks' completed a first 'double' of the season and are now undefeated in 5 NLN and DSC matches in climbing 1 place to 14th.There can be no doubting the contribution to the recent improvement of the 4 additions to the staff-Joe Young, Livingstone, Ackroyd & Andreucci-with all 4 departments of the team benefiting. In the coming week, Buxton have fixtures versus the relegation-threatened duo of Gloucester City (at home on Tuesday at 7-45 p.m.) and Darlington (away on Saturday at 3 pm). 

Bucks: Young; Minihan (Mottley-Henry), Granite, Shiels, Hunt, Livingstone; Weston, Ackroyd, Kirby; Andreucci (Elliott), Wright (McKeown). Unused Subs: Brown & Hull

Tuesday 13th February BUXTON (0) 4 MATLOCK TOWN (1) 1 ATT. 589


Four second-half goals, three of them inside seven minutes either side of 3/4 time, earned Buxton a second consecutive county cup final versus the winner of Wednesday's tie between Heanor Town and Long Eaton Utd. The scoreline was rather harsh on the visitors who had to play for 72 minutes with 10 men versus 11 and led for 47 of the 72, thwarting the hosts' constant attacks with maximum determination and energy until midway through the second half.

'The Gladiators' had taken a surprise lead on the quarter-hour. The 5-man home defence was in disarray when ex-Matlock loanee, Joe Young, was forced to make a fine save but when the ball was immediately crossed from the left, substitute Alex Duhameau, who had taken a forward position on the right, was unmarked 8 yards out and netted easily.(He had only been on-field for 5 minutes as a replacement for injured ex-Buxton central defender, Ioan Evans).

 Despite scoring, Matlock's prospects suffered a major setback just 3 minutes later with the dismissal of stalwart centre-back Adam Yates for a correct hand-ball decision as, on the goal-line, he denied Max Brogan's 10-yard shot. Debutant teenaged, loanee striker from Bolton Wanderers, Ben Andreucci, had successfully chased a seemingly lost cause, then cut the ball back from the by-line to Brogan. The resultant penalty-kick provided a second shock for home fans as the usually most dependable Jak McCourt fired wide.

The visitors had therefore lost both centre-backs in the first 18 minutes, yet at first 'the Bucks' made little headway in search of an equaliser, shown by manager Craig Elliott's 37th-minute decision to sacrifice defender and captain, Josh Granite, on his 100th Buxton appearance, in favour of another forward in Eoin McKeown.

 The second half, however, was vastly different as the hosts created into double figures of goal-scoring openings but took 20 minutes to first find the net after a catalogue of misses, mostly by striker Jake Wright, who also hit a post when sliding onto a McCourt curling ball from the right into the centre. It was this particular approach play that continually penetrated 'the Gladiators' rearguard throughout the half and from it, inside 5 minutes, on 65 and 69, Wright at last found the net with headers. Only 2 minutes on, the score became 3-1, with Wright close to a 7-minute hat-trick after he had wriggled through but experienced 'keeper Deeney thwarted him only for McKeown to have the simple task of heading home the rebound from 3 yards. McCourt continued to carve out openings but McKeown missed a glorious chance in the 80th minute. However, a fourth Buxton goal followed in the 86th minute as the overworked visiting defence allowed the tireless Joe Ackroyd to profit from a left-flank throw-in by galloping forward as far as the by-line before pulling the ball back low and accurately for third substitute, Dylan Mottley-Henry, to net as easily as Duhameau had done from the same Railway End spot 71 minutes earlier.

Bucks: Young, Minihan, Hunt, Shield, Granite (McKeown), Livingstone; McCourt, Ackroyd, Brogan (Kirby); Andreucci, Wright (Mottley-Henry. Unused Subs: Brown & Hull

Tuesday 6th February BUXTON (1) 1 DERBY COUNTY UNDER 21 (1) 1 (PENALTIES 4-2) ATT. 284


Wolves loanee 'keeper, Joe Young, spared Buxton's blushes with consecutive saves in Tuesday night's penalty shoot-out to set up victory and a tasty home semi-final versus Matlock Town next Tuesday. With Derby taking the first shot at the Railway End, it was 2-2 after 4 spot-kicks when Young performed his heroics, while home debutant left-back, Adam Livingstone, and then Max Hunt found the net confidently to complete the task.

The shoot-out was the highlight of Buxton's evening after being unable to ease past the youthful 'Rams' in normal time. Manager Craig Elliott made 6 changes from the team that had won impressively at 7th-placed Curzon Ashton, with injured Sam Osborne and recovering Tommy Elliott forced to miss out, while he kept the same 5-3-2 formation. The evening began with a major shock as the visitors led after just 16 seconds! A diagonal pass forward from the right flank was perfect for pacy, diminutive striker Weston to run onto and under considerable pressure he squeezed the ball past the advancing Young at the Railway End.

Thereafter 'the Bucks' created any number of chances to equalise. 'Keeper Thompson's error gifted Eoin McKeown an early opening but he drove over the bar from 16 yards and then the striker shot across the face of goal. Still in the tie's first quarter, debutant centre-back and recently-appointed assistant-manager, Ryan Qualter (ex-Matlock), from a corner-kick headed onto the roof of the net, but in the 21st minute McKeown did score, forcing the ball home from a few yards as Livingstone's low cross found him.

The chances continued to flow in the first half and a subdued Diego sent a curling shot across the face of goal, while McKeown was involved several more times, first trying a 19-yard snap-shot, then a flick header from Dylan Mottley-Henry's long, diagonal cross. The striker continued in the thick of the action and immediately after the first 3 substitutions were made at the hour, he missed a flick header following Joe Ackroyd's shot.

Derby had more of the ball in the second half and twice had excellent openings to regain the lead but failed with both. At 3/4 time a rare lapse in the home defence allowed Wheeldon to round Young but, with the goal gaping, he shot hurriedly from 15 yards and hit the top of the bar, while 10 minutes later a long-struck, dangerous Derby corner-kick to beyond the far post lacked only a finishing header, so the tie reached the shoot-out at 1-1.

Despite the frequent goalmouth action, the tie lacked the overall quality and intensity of the teams that had contested last April's superb final, but 'the Bucks' now have the opportunity to challenge for a second consecutive county cup success.

Bucks: Young; Mottley-Henry, Hull, Hunt, Qualter (Minihan), Livingstone; McCourt, Brogan (Wright), Ackroyd (Weston); McKeown, De Girolamo (Kirby). Unused Sub: Shiels.


Saturday 3rd February CURZON ASHTON (0) 0 BUXTON (0) 3 ATT. 374

Most of Buxton's best performances and results this season have arguably been on their travels at venues such as Scunthorpe (twice!), Chester and King's Lynn, and now 7th-placed 'Nash' must be added to the list. The hosts began the match having won 4 and drawn 1 of their last 5 NLN home fixtures but 3 goals in 11 second-half minutes gave 'the Bucks' a first win at the Tameside Stadium at the 3rd attempt. What's more, it's far from fanciful to speculate that after the score had reached 3-0, with crisper finishing, the visitors could have doubled their final tally and 'done a Warrington'.

Yet the outcome could hardly have been predicted at half-time after an interesting if goal-less first period, in which Curzon enjoyed a majority of possession but were well-contained by an unchanged Buxton back-5, except for the successful introduction at left wing-back of latest signing, Adam Livingstone from Hereford. 'The Bucks' had looked dangerous on the counter and several attacks showed distinct promise without being able to create a clear scoring opportunity. Livingstone's first pass to Jake Wright was a beauty and when he in turn found Sam Osborne, playing as a striker in place of the not-yet-recovered Tommy Elliott, a corner-kick was the result. Then, Joe Ackroyd's long run on the left touchline led to his finishing effort deflected to 'keeper Mason, while Jak McCourt's curling cross passed narrowly beyond Wright's reach.

The 2nd half was a different affair, with scoring chances converted when it really mattered. In the 55th minute, when Connor Kirby's diagonal pass reached Osborne on the right flank he advance d and planted a superb,18-yards, low drive wide of Mason and into the net's far bottom corner. Six minutes later, not only did the score become 2-0 but also 'Nash' were reduced to 10 men! A defensive error centrally allowed Wright to advance into the penalty area where he was bundled over from behind by Poscha, who instantly saw red. McCourt scored from 'the spot' with his usual aplomb, finding the bottom corner and leaving the deceived Mason helpless. With their tails up, there was no question of 'the Bucks' resting on their laurels and in the 65th minute they scored again, with a Sam Osborne goal very similar to the opener. An unusual bounce put Wright in possession and his diagonal pass set up the striker for another low drive into the bottom far corner.

To their credit, Curzon pressed forward but made more mistakes in defence. On 67 Osborne could have completed his hat-trick but fired wide from 20 yards, then he got forward on the left, cut the ball back and Wright's shot was blocked at source. Injury to Sam caused his replacement by fit-again Eoin McKeown, who frequently had the freedom of the left flank. His dangerous short cross to Kirby was deflected clear and he then shot over the bar, while Kirby's penetrative pass played in Sam Minihan behind the central defenders but the right-back put the ball onto the net roof in lobbing the 'keeper.

In a thrilling, open finale, Curzon also made chances. Substitute Campbell had a shot cleared off the line by Max Hunt and 'keeper Joe Young advanced to save splendidly from Richards with his legs. The young loanee 'keeper from Wolves had shown his quality as had the other 2 most recent recruits, Joe Ackroyd and Adam Livingstone. The trio have certainly added another dimension to Buxton's attempt to climb the table as Saturday's victory took the club up to 15th.

Finally, a vital contribution to the afternoon's entertainment was made by experienced referee, Mr, Thomas, who controlled the match superbly, relying much on his common sense rather than his cards, using them only sparingly.

Bucks: Young; Minihan, Shiels, Hunt, Granite, Livingstone; McCourt (Weston), Ackroyd, Kirby; Osborne (McKeown), Wright (Mottley-Henry). Unused Subs; De Girolamo & Brogan.


Saturday 27th January BUXTON 0-0 BRACKLEY TOWN ATT. 543

Buxton bounced back from Tuesday's drubbing to earn a deserved draw versus 5th-placed Brackley, who arrived with a 5-match winning sequence and 6 away victories already to their credit. The point was hard-earned and very creditable given that the hosts were hampered in the second half by a catalogue of contact injuries, all requiring substitutions.

Unsurprisingly, manager Craig Elliott had opted for wholesale change. Zaine Francis-Angol was restored in place of the injured Connor Brown (but himself suffered a serious-looking leg injury late on) and Josh Granite returned to what all afternoon was a 5-man defence. Midfield was also reconstructed with Jak McCourt replacing Curtis Weston in the holding role and the quality of his dead-ball deliveries added significantly to his team's goal threat. Equally important was the second full debut, in place of Max Brogan, of returning loanee from Barnsley, Joe Ackroyd, who received the NLP's Man-of the-Match award for his typical 'bundle of energy' display. Wingers Dylan Mottley-Henry and Sam Osborne, who had, arguably, lately contributed insufficiently in attack, were sacrificed as Tommy Elliott and Jake Wright were given joint-striker responsibility.

The changes had the desired impact, producing an altogether more spirited display versus upwardly mobile Brackley who nonetheless offered little threat in the first half. 'The Saints' did have more possession in the second half, particularly during the last half-hour as 'the Bucks' lost one player after another to injury, but the home rearguard stood impressively firm. However, as a spectacle the match was increasingly a disappointment as entertaining passing soccer was much less in evidence than usual and what began as a feisty contest became increasingly so, not helped by an indifferent performance by first-time visiting referee, Mr. Wilson.

Attacking the Ashwood End, Buxton started well and Ackroyd impressed early with lofted crosses from the right. From the first, Tommy Elliott's flicked header passed wide and from the second Connor Kirby got in a firm header that was in turn headed away. For Brackley, their only half-serious, first-half goal threat came in the 27th minute from O'Sullivan's long throw that was headed away but fell to ex-AFC Telford centre-back Lilly, whose rising drive comfortably cleared the angle of post and bar.

Buxton's best chance to score came 3 minutes into the second half, resulting from McCourt's accurate, lofted free-kick from the right but the unmarked Wright altogether and inexplicably missed contact, though the ball went on to hit the far post in the ensuing scramble. There were those supporters wondering whether all-time Buxton leading scorer, Mark Reed, present as match sponsor, would have put the golden headed opportunity away! 'The Bucks' lost Tommy Elliott on 69 minutes to another over-physical challenge and his replacement, Sam Osborne,11 minutes later had to drop back when Zaine Francis-Angol had to be substituted. Brackley did mount some pressure at this stage, including 3 consecutive corner-kicks, one of which led to McCourt clearing from the goal-line, but the home defence showed a pleasing resilience to the end.

Buxton's next match is next Saturday, Feb.3rd, at neighbouring Curzon Ashton, kick-off 3 p.m.

Bucks: Young; Minihan, Shiels, Hunt, Granite, Francis-Angol (Weston); McCourt, Kirby, Ackroyd; Elliott (Osborne), Wright (Brogan). Unused Subs: De Girolamo & Mottley-Henry


Tuesday 23rd January BUXTON (0) 0 WARRINGTON TOWN (1) 6 ATT. 474

Despite starting with the same team that had won only a week ago at now 4th-placed Chester, Buxton subsided to their biggest home defeat since Nicky Law's NCEL champions-elect remarkably lost 1-6 to Sutton Town in March 2006.On a wild, gale-blown Tuesday night, 'the Bucks' conceded 4 goals in the last 21 minutes to turn defeat into disaster.

The 'Wire', without a win in 6 previous visits, in possession showed far more accuracy and sharpness in passing and in the quicksilver Grivosti and Buckley-Ricketts, who bagged a hat-trick in that devastating finale, had attackers too slick for their opposite numbers in the home defence. The visitors' defenders also showed up very well, throwing their bodies into the line of fire as if their lives depended on it and that was never better seen than in the very last minute. Substitute Diego,8 yards out, met Sam Osborne's cut-back only to have his shot blocked by a flying defender and from the ensuing counter on the left, Buckley-Ricketts completed his hat-trick and the evening's scoring.

 'The Bucks' were therefore undoubtedly 2nd-best to fellow mid-tablers but still did their share of attacking, making any number of openings without being able to convert even one, while the visitors were fast-moving and clinical close to goal, scoring from their first attack in the 3rd minute. A slick-passing move saw McDonald, an ex-Crewe midfielder, find a net corner from 10 yards. As with the goals that followed, home debutant loanee 'keeper, Joe Young, bore no responsibility.

As in several other NLN fixtures featuring Buxton this season, such an early goal for a visiting team proved very significant, giving a lead to defend and creating the space for effective counter-attacking. For nearly an hour this pattern was set but, first attacking the Ashwood End, 'the Bucks' failed to make the most of the gale at their backs and 'keeper Atherton's only serious, pre-interval save came in parrying Max Brogan's low,8th minute drive. Yet in their few attacks, Warrington looked dangerous, for example when Grivosti, shortly before half-time, penetrated on the left only to see his low cross cut out.

Striking substitutes, Diego and Jake Wright, were introduced for the 2nd half and for a quarter-hour Buxton mounted a much more effective response with defenders Shiels and Hunt planting efforts over the bar, then, as the pressure was maintained, referee Sawden denied a possible penalty award for a foul in a goalmouth scramble following a home corner-kick. However, a mad minute's defending at the hour undid this undoubted improvement. Following a defensive error, Joe Young produced a vital save at the expense of a corner-kick, from which more poor defending forced the 'keeper into another point-blank parry but Tom Hannigan (ex-Altrincham) tapped in to double 'Wire's advantage. Popular returning midfielder, Joe Ackroyd, was soon introduced and 'the Bucks' continued to press forward but without reward and in the 70th minute Young denied McDonald with a fine tip-over save.

Then in the 76th minute all began to unravel.  After another home defensive error, a short cross set up the unmarked Buckley-Ricketts to head in. Two minutes later, Grivosti got clear on the left and produced a crisp finish to make it 4-0. It became even worse in added time with 2 more goals, the first featuring Town's long-serving midfielder, Bohan Dixon. Joe Young caught his snap shot but then was given no chance as, from a short cross, Dixon headed back across goal for Grivosti to score and at the very end Buckley-Ricketts made it 6-0.

In his post-match interview, manager Craig Elliott apologised to supporters for the nature of a defeat that was the first of its kind in his managerial career, sensibly keeping his comments to players within the dressing-room. Buxton have the chance to make amends in Saturday's home NLN fixture versus Brackley Town (3 pm).   

Bucks: Wright; Minihan, Shiels, Hull, Brown (Wright); Weston (De Girolamo), Kirby, Brogan (Ackroyd); Osborne, Elliott, Mottley-Henry. Unused Subs: Granite & Bapaga.


Tuesday 16th January Chester (0) 0 Buxton (1) 1 ATT 1620

In a tough looking encounter, manager Craig Elliott made 5 changes to the starting side that had come back from two goals down to King’s Lynn the previous Saturday. There was a debut in goal for on-loan ‘keeper Joe Young from Wolves and Minihan, Hunt, Weston and Elliott all got starts. In a big game for Buxton against Chester, the Bucks took an early lead through Sam Osborne’s 2nd minute goal. Dylan Motley-Henry's explosive run down the flank initiated a sequence that saw Tommy Elliott deliver a precision pass, allowing Osborne to slot the ball into the net in the 2nd minute. Joe Young quickly made his presence felt, showcasing his shot-stopping abilities with a crucial save down low to deny Elliott Whitehouse.  As the game unfolded, Chester responded, growing into the match and putting pressure on Buxton. Iwan Murray's near miss and subsequent low ball across the goal in the 16th minute added to the intensity but Tom Peers couldn’t get on the end of it. Will Stanway, the Chester goalkeeper, made a crucial low save in the 22nd minute, denying Mottley-Henry after his pace saw him able to get away from the defender to get a shot away.

The second half witnessed a lot of home side possession. Chester dominated the ball but struggled to convert it into clear-cut opportunities. Whitehouse's attempt from the edge of the box in the 67th minute sailed over, reflecting Chester's frustration. Controversy arose in the 77th minute when George Glendon was seemingly bundled over inside the box, but the referee waved away penalty appeals.

Craig Elliott will be delighted as The Bucks held on and look to build momentum as they head into another away trip against Boston on Saturday at 3pm.

Bucks: Young; Minihan, Shiels, Hunt, Brown; Weston (Wright), Kirby, Brogan; Osborne (McKeown), Elliott, Motley-Henry (Granite). Unused Subs: DE Girolamo & Horbury.


Saturday 13th January BUXTON (0) 2 KING'S LYNN TOWN (2) 2 ATT 614

The spoils were shared on a grey but dry Silverlands Saturday by 2 out-of-form teams which had both earned just 4 points since November but could 'take positives' from an encounter that became a thriller in the last half-hour as the outcome remained in doubt to the very end. 'The Bucks' had fought back from 0-2 at half-time, while 'the Linnets' took a point after playing for an hour with 10 men and surviving the last half-hour at 2-2.

Manager Craig Elliott made 6 changes to the starting line-up, including a 4th consecutive new partnership at centre-back, but it took only 6 minutes for the home rearguard to be breached at the Railway End. Visiting midfielder Powell sold Luke Shiels a perfect dummy deep on Buxton's left and from his low pull-back, Stephens netted from 6 yards at the near-post.

After such an early blow to already fragile confidence, the hosts did make openings but couldn't hit the target. Connor Brown fired an angled, rising drive over the bar, the restored Sam Osborne first put a header wide then saw a 20-yard effort deflected for a corner, but Jake Wright, in a position to shoot from 16 yards, passed inaccurately instead.

Then, out of the blue, first-time visitor, referee Robert Claussen, was called upon to make the first of 3 game-changing decisions. In the 35th minute goal-scorer Stephens was dismissed for a midfield lunge at loanee Max Brogan and the visitors instantly changed their strategy by reducing their strike force from 3 to 1 and increasing their back 4 to 5. Yet it was Lynn who scored next, 6 minutes later, after another major intervention by the referee that handed the initiative back to the visitors. He made the first of 2 seemingly harsh penalty awards by deciding there was a foul on visiting striker, Devonport, who arguably was already slipping over, but nonetheless Rogers confidently scored to double his team's lead.

The interval brought the introduction of the attack-minded duo of Diego and Tommy Elliott, both of whom contributed significantly to Buxton's attack, though not immediately. Possession was dominated but with the visitors packing defence, no clear chances were created. Then came the 3rd of the referee's match-changing decisions just past the hour when he awarded 'the Bucks' a spot-kick, on the advice of an assistant, for a foul on Brown at the very edge of the penalty area. Diego sent experienced 'keeper Paul Jones the wrong way to halve the deficit. Visibly boosted, Buxton levelled within 5 minutes. Midfielder Brogan produced some neat footwork to side-step 2 defenders and find the net with a low,15-yard drive into the far corner.

The goal yet again altered the nature of the proceedings as, to their credit, 'the Linnets' emerged from defensive mode to seek a winner, and 'the Bucks' also scented the possibility of victory. Max Dearnley was soon twice forced to tip powerful drives over his bar, while Tommy Elliott's through ball was close to setting up Wright who, late on, was substituted for emergency striker, the giant Max Hunt. Corner-kicks were forced but it was in the very last attack that Buxton all-but snatched victory. Winger Sam Osborne had enjoyed an excellent second half, regularly achieving penetration on the left, and when Elliott's glorious pass set him up, his fierce, low, 10-yard drive was going in until Lynn's debutant centre-back, Greg Taylor (ex-Cambridge Utd), brilliantly intervened on the goal-line.

Bucks: Dearnley; Brown, Shiels, Granite, Francis-Angol (De Girolamo); Kirby, Brogan, Horbury (Elliott); Osborne, Wright (Hunt), Mottley-Henry. Unused Subs: Minihan & Weston


Saturday 6th January Tamworth (0) 2 Buxton (0) 0 ATT 1245

Tamworth claimed the top spot in the league with late goals by Jamie Jellis and Kyle Finn as Buxton manager Craig Elliott again shuffled the pack following last week’s defeat to Derbyshire rivals Alfreton Ton with Hull, Brogan and Bapaga coming in for Hull, Weston and Osborne.

The Bucks started the match with assertive play in the midfield, showcasing skilful passing without creating any meaningful early chances. The game saw its first opportunity in the 24th minute when a free-kick was laid off to Diego De Girolamo, but his low, driven shot was saved by Jaz Singh. Luke Shiels then rose high, getting in a header after a corner, but Singh in the Tamworth goal parried the attempt before gathering the ball. Despite possessing much of the ball, The Bucks were all square at halftime.

Tamworth's quick throw-in at the 55th minute almost caught Buxton off guard. Finn found space, but his curled shot narrowly missed the post. The referee dismissed penalty shouts after Acquaye went down in the box for the hosts. Ex-Buck Ben Milnes, coming off the bench, narrowly missed when his shot went over the bar with his first touch. Tamworth seized the lead in the 82nd minute as a rapid attack found Jellis, whose deflected shot beat Max Dearnley in the Bucks goal to make it 1-0. Buxton nearly equalized through Tommy Elliott, but a Tamworth defender blocked the late attempt. With Buxton pressing forward, Tamworth broke, and Finn's right-sided shot hit the post and sealed a 2-0 victory, securing all 3 points.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Shiels (Hunt), Hull, Francis-Angol; Brogan, Kirby, Elliott; McKeown (Osborne), De Girolamo, Bapaga (Mottley-Henry). Unused Subs: Wright & Horbury


Monday 1st January BUXTON (0) 1 ALFRETON TOWN (2) 2 ATT 851

A second, narrow 1-2 defeat in 6 days versus Alfreton Town made for a miserable festive week for BFC. Despite 'the Bucks' commanding nearly 2/3 of the possession on New Year's Day, the visitors were the more adept at both attacking and defending as the result proved. Not for the first time recently, there were glaring deficiencies at both ends, leaving 4 points earned from the last 18 and the club standing 17th after being 6th at 3 p.m. on Nov.11th!

Such shortcomings were blatantly obvious in an opening 6 minutes which was both brilliant and dreadful and which dictated the development of the match. Only seconds after kick-off, a sumptuous, inch-perfect Tommy Elliott through-pass (back in his favoured midfield play-maker role after a long injury lay-off) fed Eoin McKeown to advance on the Ashwood End goal from the right only for advancing 'keeper Willis to parry the shot with his legs. Then the goal-bound follow-up shot was denied by centre-back Digie's superb block. Barely a minute later, McKeown delivered a fine, low cross but Diego, in a prime central position 10 yards out, fired high over the bar. Yet in the 6th minute Alfreton took the lead after apparently woeful defending at a corner-kick (though manager Craig Elliott pointed to a marker's slip). Long-throw merchant Lund set off from the 'D' and advanced totally alone to net with a firm header. Instead of leading 1-0 or even 2-0,'Bucks' trailed!

Both managers had made changes from Boxing Day (Buxton 5, Alfreton 3) but the formations were much the same, as was the run of the play with the hosts dominating possession (62% overall) without finding the penetration of the early minutes. The re-called Sam Osborne got in a brace of shots from the left but neither troubled the well-placed Willis, while for Alfreton the impressive Newall, the early-season Silverlands departure, had a firm,25-yard drive blocked after a typical Lund long throw-in was half-cleared. And it was Newall who laid on the visitors crucial second goal in the 44th minute. His dangerous left-flank cross was only partially cleared to ex-Gainsborough midfielder Waldock, who struck home low inside a post from 16 yards.

There was no doubting Buxton's urgency as the second half opened and within 3 minutes the deficit had been halved. Firstly, Osborne had a shot blocked, then Diego's 8-yard effort resulted in a 6-yard box scramble from which Sam Minihan forced the ball home. It now looked possible for 'the Bucks', for the first time in a NLN match (and in the first league fixture since Feb.2022 at Nantwich) to overturn a deficit to go on to win. Yet as in the opening period the intensity gradually faded but Buxton's ability to hold the ball did not and 1 spell of possession at the 75-minute mark lasted a good 60 seconds though without disturbing Alfreton’s composure. At the 79th minute the home wingers were changed but substitutes Tom Walker and Dylan Mottley-Henry couldn't penetrate the solid visiting rearguard, even though excellent referee Maskry ordered a further 8 minutes to be played, much of which continued to be dominated by unproductive Buxton corners and free-kicks.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Shiels, Hunt, Francis-Angol; Weston (Brogan), Kirby, Elliott; McKeown (Mottley-Henry), De Girolamo, Osborne (Walker). Unused Subs: Granite & Horbury.


Tuesday 26th December ALFRETON TOWN (1) 2 BUXTON (1) 1 ATT 762

Horses for courses? You bet! On Boxing Day Buxton's visit to North Street produced a 5th consecutive defeat there, despite taking a 27th minute lead, and 'the Bucks' have yet to win at that ground in the 21st century! The visitors had a substantial, vocal following but their favourites were not at their best in the face of a typical Alfreton display whose main attacking ploy was the consistently long throw-in of defender Adam Lund.

It was the visitors who showed ample threat early on, looking the superior ball-playing outfit. On the quarter hour they had a strong shout for a penalty when first-half danger-man, Eoin McKeown, looked to be fouled and 2 minutes later Max Hunt headed over the goal from his team's first corner-kick. Five minutes on and McKeown arguably should have netted but allowed 'keeper Willis to save. However, a further 5 minutes on and the restored wide-man excitingly laid on Buxton's goal. In a long run down the left flank he out-paced right-back Clackstone, who, significantly, was replaced at half-time by Perritt, to deliver a low cross to the near post where Tommy Elliott, selected for striking duty in place of Jake Wright, rolled the ball home.

Play in the remainder of the half contributed much to Buxton's fate as Alfreton now seized the initiative to respond effectively. From ex-Silverlander Newall's free-kick, centre-back Digie's 5-yard header forced a good, low stop out of Max Dearnley. Maintaining the response, the hosts did find the net through another ex-Silverlander, Jordan Thewlis, but referee Robinson called a foul. Nonetheless, Alfreton did equalise in the 39th minute after Waldock had chipped the ball into the goalmouth, but some unconvincing defending led to Connor Brown's foul on Day. Thewlis netted confidently from 'the spot'.

Buxton did show some attacking promise early in the second half. McKeown couldn't re-produce his earlier threat but twice in a minute Sam Minihan proved incisive on the right flank though both of his crosses were cleared. With little to choose between the teams, manager Craig Elliott made all 3 permitted substitutions but without any improved penetration and in the 80th minute Alfreton scored through ex-'Alty' striker, Lewis Salmon, effectively to win the points. Scoring from close range he profited as the Buxton defence again failed to clear. Five minutes added time was played but the hosts were comfortable in their lead to win for only the second time in 11 matches which included a DSC defeat by Heanor Town.

The return fixture is scheduled for New Year's Day at 3 p.m.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hunt, Granite, Brown; Weston, Horbury (Walker), Brogan; Mottley-Henry (Osborne), Elliott (Wright), McKeown. Unused Subs: Shiels & Hull


Saturday 23rd December BUXTON 0-0 SCUNTHORPE UTD ATT. 1245

Buxton again proved to be a 'bogey' team for 'the Iron', avoiding defeat for the third time this season, when holding the league leaders to a draw that lacked goals but neither interest nor effort. The crowd was comfortably the biggest of the season to date, beating the opening day's 1072 against Boston, and the weather conditions were more favourable, though a strong wind blew down the pitch to the Ashwood End attacked first by the hosts.

There were 3 changes to the starting line-up, 2 of them forced by suspension. AFC Fylde loanee, Tom Walker, returned after his 3-month injury absence in place of winger Will Bapaga, while Curtis Weston returned to midfield instead of Connor Kirby. One recently-recruited loanee midfielder, Max Brogan, replaced another temporary signing, George Horbury. A strong substitute's bench featured Sam Osborne who was preferred to Eoin McKeown.

'The Bucks' had their 2 best scoring chances in the opening quarter-hour, the first coming as early as the 4th minute. Debutant Max Brogan figured in a 4-man passing move that began on the left flank and, at the far post, reached home debutant winger, Dylan Mottley-Henry, (on loan from South Shields), who all but squeezed the ball home at the far post. Then Max Hunt latched onto a loose ball 19 yards out but, lacking composure, blasted high and wide.

As the 2nd quarter of the match developed, 'Iron's quicksilver midfield, impressing with movement off the ball, took control (undoubtedly much to the approval of the watching Ken Shirley. the all-time 'great' midfielder of yesteryear).Yet the hard-working hosts limited Scunthorpe to very few clear chances. Home skipper, Josh Granite, was a rousing leader of his defensive troops who remained resolute and error-free throughout.

Having enjoyed at least a reasonable share of the first-half possession, 'the Bucks' faced the wind thereafter and had to withstand 'the Iron's dominance, which did not, however, force Max Dearnley into major action. Ex-Bradford City midfielder, Scales, sent a diagonal cross low and untouched through the penalty area, while Butterfield delivered a 19-yard ground shot narrowly wide and Smith headed over the target with a beyond-the far post header from right-back Ogle's long cross. For Buxton, the combative Jake Wright who was already on a yellow card, seemed to receive a final referee's warning but the first change after an hour introduced Osborne for Walker before,9 minutes later, Horbury replaced Jak McCourt and Tommy Elliott came on for Wright in a more forward role than usual. He looked the most likely to unlock the door of the visiting rearguard. (A pre-match twinge prevented Diego's deployment).

'The Bucks' had a strong but vain penalty appeal (afterwards confirmed by a Scunthorpe defender) in the 79th minute when Mottley-Henry was brought down and from then the hosts looked more threatening again. Substitute Horbury's determinedly-made 17-yard central drive found 'keeper Fitzsimons, while the first home corner close to regular full-time produced a goalmouth scramble. The end was delayed by the referee's odd addition of 3 minutes to the 5 extra already allocated.

Yet Buxton were glad enough to take 4 points and keep 2 'clean sheets' from the clubs' 2 league meetings, as well as all but winning the controversially abandoned match in September. The result maintains the season's good record versus the leading clubs and also 15th place in the table, just 5 points behind faltering 7th-placed Curzon Ashton. On Boxing Day, Buxton travel to 13th-placed Alfreton Town (at 3 pm) with the potential to leapfrog our county rivals.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Granite, Hunt, Brown; McCourt (Horbury), Weston, Brogan, Walker (Osborne), Mottley-Henry; Wright (Elliott). Unused Subs: Shiels & De Girolamo


Saturday 16th December Spennymoor Town (0) 2 Buxton (1) 3 ATT 1031

The Bucks returned to winning ways with a late penalty from Diego De Girolamo sealing all 3 points against Spennymoor Town. Craig Elliott made five changes from the team that narrowly lost at Chorley the previous Tuesday with Conner Brown and Sam Minihan returning from bans and there was a first start for new loan signing Dylan Mottley-Henry (from South Shields).  The Bucks took the lead through Jake Wright in the 19th minute when William Bapaga won the ball and set up Wright to curl a shot in from distance. Spennymoor hit back through Danny Greenfield who crossed onto the head of Rob Ramshaw who headed it into the hands of Max Dearnley. Then Ben Pollocks headed effort from a corner just before half time hit the bar before the referee blew his whistle.

It didn’t take long in the second half for The Moors to equalise. Connor Brown fouled a Moors player in the box leading to a penalty that Glen Taylor stepped up to scored.  New signing Dylan Mottley-Henry had a shot flicked onto the bar before The Bucks regained the lead on 59 minutes. Connor Kirby latched onto a loose ball following a slip by a Moors defender and saw the keeper off his line before lobbing it in to make it 2-1. An off the ball incident between Wright and Ramshaw only minutes later led to the latter being sent off for his second yellow card. Spennymoor kept on going and managed to grab an equaliser in the 69th minute. Staunton’s cross found Keenan Ferguson who headed it in to make the score 2-2. The Bucks kept on pushing to grab a winner with Kirby and McCourt coming close, both forcing James Montgomery into saves. And they did get the winner in the final stages of the game when Tommy Elliott got taken out by Montgomery and De Girolamo stepped up to seal a 3-2 victory from the penalty spot.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hunt, Granite, Brown; McCourt, Kirby, Horbury (Elliott), Bapaga (Osborne), Mottley-Henry; Wright (De Girolamo). Unused Subs: Walker & Weston


Tuesday 12th December Chorley (1) 3 Buxton (1) 2 Att 732

With the Bucks injury worries starting to ease, manager Craig Elliott was without the services of Minihan, Weston and Brown, all through suspension, so new signing Matty Waters made his league debut at right back.

Buxton fell to a 3-2 defeat to Chorley with both teams going down to ten men just before half time. The Magpies started on the front foot with Justin Johnson creating 2 early chances. The first coming into the hands of Max Dearnley and the second being headed on before being put wide with the linesman’s flag going up for offside. Eoin McKeown won the ball back with a high press before giving The Bucks a corner the first of 5 corners in the game. Buxton took the lead in the 18th minute after a ball came across from McKeown and Diego De Girolamo hit a great strike to find the corner of the net and put The Bucks ahead. Buxton were soon back on the attack with a  ball over the top which found William Bapaga and he ran through at goal and got a shot off that Matt Urwin got down well to collect. Chorley equalised from a corner on 29 minutes. The ball originally hit the bar but it gets headed back across the face of the goal and Mike Calveley was there to smash it in to make it 1-1. It was an eventful end to the first half with both sides going down to 10 men.  Bapaga was involved in an off the ball incident which led to The Bucks winger being sent off and for Chorley the referee gave a second yellow card to Jack Sampson for the same incident when it was in fact Harvey Smith who was involved.

Chorley made a change at half time bringing on Carlton Ubaezounu for Marco Rus. He made an immediate impact after a through ball came to him and he ran through at goal but put his shot wide Harvey Smith then had a free header from a corner that went just over the bar. The Bucks put together a fast counter attack move with Jak McCourt finding De Girolamo who in turn found Kirby at the back post with a shot that the Chorley keeper dealt with comfortably. Chorley went ahead in the 63rd minute with substitute Ubaezuonu this time making no mistake and smashing it into the back of the net from close range. With the game very open in play it wasn’t long before Buxton found an equaliser when Jake Wright, who had only just come off the bench, leaped into the air and headed it in a corner to make it 2-2. They weren’t level for long however has Chorley regained the lead from another set piece. Mark Ellis unmarked put a powerful header past Dearnley to make it 3-2. Jack Moore had the last effort at goal for the hosts, hitting a long range strike that Dearnley was forced to tip onto the bar.

The Bucks are next in action on Saturday with a visit to Spennymoor.

Bucks: Dearnley; Waters, Bird, Hunt, Francis-Angol (Osborne); McCourt (Wright), Kirby, Horbury, Bapaga; McKeown, De Girolamo (Walker). Unused Subs: Granite & Elliott.


Tuesday 5th December BUXTON (1) 2 STAPENHILL (0) 0 ATT. 210


A goal in each half, the second with virtually the last kick of the tie, earned Buxton a successful first defence of the county cup won last April at Pride Park. Those expecting an avalanche of goals as a tier 2 team hosted one from tier 6 (the equivalent of Premiership v. National League) were to be disappointed, but instead witnessed an entertaining, competitive encounter with ample attempts on goal. The visitors, never outclassed, proved both capable and resilient despite having little of the possession, remarkably keeping the outcome in doubt to the very end. When they did have the ball, their passing was commendably accurate and their movement well-developed. (Nowadays, seemingly, teams at the lower levels of the pyramid seek to build attacks through passing movements).

Buxton gave debuts to reserve 'keeper, Aleksander Petrovic, and to recently-signed left-back, Matty Waters (ex-Chester), from Connah's Quay Nomads in a strong selection which dominated possession throughout but which had to work hard to make clear openings, then mostly showed a lack of ruthlessness in finishing them. From the first of them, midfield loanee, George Horbury, crossed for Sam Osborne to head firmly downwards but directly at 'keeper Hollis. By then the visitors had shown ambition with speculative but off-target long-range shots before their best player, midfielder Dawkins, went close with a powerful,25-yard ground shot. Diego responded with a teasing cross palmed away by Hollis but he had no chance with Scott Boden's superb individual,28th-minute effort. From the right at the Ashwood End. he cut inside on his left foot and scored with a drive in off the far post but then dragged a 20-yard effort wide of goal before missing, seemingly incredibly, from a yard out and under severe pressure as Osborne's cross reached him. Next it was Diego's turn to threaten with a long, diagonal advance from right to centre before firing narrowly over the bar from 20 yards. As half-time approached, a neat, quick, home move produced a through ball just too far forward for Horbury to latch onto, while a superb Dawkins challenge thwarted Diego as he shaped to finish.

The first 2 Buxton subs arrived 10 minutes into a quietly-opening second period, with Jake Wright soon feeding Osborne for an angled shot that was comfortably saved. Just past the hour 2 more subs were introduced and 1 of them, Eoin McKeown, found the net but was adjudged offside. Fellow sub., Will Bapaga, had fired a rapid drive that rebounded off the 'keeper to McKeown who nodded home. Wright again caught the eye as Campbell blocked his close-range shot after the referee unwittingly hindered Horbury as he was preparing to shoot, while Dawkins, at a post, thwarted Wright's shot.

However, as the initial 4 minutes of added time began, Stapenhill saw their chance of a memorable equaliser! From Lansdowne's long throw, Rumin fired fiercely from 20 yards for Petrovic to make a brilliant, full-length, low save to spare his team's blushes. Given the fact that the 'keeper had only routine stuff to deal with previously and that he must have felt frozen as the temperature had dropped markedly, this was a truly exceptional save and spelled out a turning-point as 'the Bucks' mounted a final attack for Wright's powerful drive to double his team's margin of victory.

Apart from the on-field entertainment, the evening also offered something for those who enjoy quirky facts!  In 6 D.S.C. attempts 'the Bucks' haven't put more than 3 past Stapenhill in securing 5 wins and a draw, while the most southerly club in the competition has yet to score versus Buxton!

Bucks: Petrovic: Brown, Bird (Hunt), Granite, Waters: McCourt, Horbury; Gibson-Hammond (Bapaga), De Girolamo (Elliott), Boden (Wright), Osborne (McKeown).

Saturday 25th November BUXTON (0) 0 SOUTHPORT (1) 1 ATT. 663

Controversial and inconsistent refereeing by Mr Jones was very much the talking point after a match dominated by Buxton but from which Southport took full points. It is often said that good and ill fortune in refereeing decisions 'level up' in the course of a season but much will be required for 'the Bucks' to get on an even keel following Saturday's events. Arguably there were as many as 5 penalty-area decisions that should have been made or were made and all 5 went against the hosts, effectively contributing to the result!

'The Bucks' enjoyed 76 % then 82 % possession respectively in the 2 halves but 'the Sandgrounders' defended valiantly throughout, notably in limiting the thrust of the home wingers, as they held on after, at the Railway End, taking a 4th-minute lead with O'Neill's superb individual goal. He cut in from the left and, afforded too much space, unleashed a 19-yard power-drive into the far top corner. Buxton took a little time to settle after that early shock but then made several half-chances. From a right cross, Jordan Burrow flicked a header wide of the far post, then visiting 'keeper, Chris Renshaw (ex-Witton & Curzon) had to rush out to beat Will Bapaga to a through-ball and the visitors' goal had a close call at the half-hour. Meanwhile, Southport again looked dangerous as O'Neill aimed another strike, from 25 yards, at the same top corner but Max Dearnley thwarted him with a top save, then left-back Doyle, from a right-flank cross, planted a 'free' header 2 yards wide of goal.

The second half opened with a penalty-kick drama as the visitors, despite making no appeal, but were granted one for Connor Brown pulling an opponent, yet Evans shot low and wide from 'the spot'. Nonetheless the home camp was much aggrieved as Burrow had twice been seriously mishandled as the ball was in flight at first-half corners without action by the referee.

Thereafter Buxton's pressure was incessant. Alex Gibson-Hammond, at the penalty-spot and at full stretch, was mighty close to putting a decisive touch to a lofted through ball, while George Horbury worked a neat 1-2 with Curtis Weston but his 19-yard effort was caught at the far post. Two substitutions were made at 3/4 time and neat footwork by one of them, Sam Osborne, freed him for a 16-yard shot which Renshaw clawed away, then the other, Eoin McKeown, at the penalty spot glanced a header wide from a left-flank cross. Even closer, in the 79th minute, a fine move saw Connor Kirby fire across the face of goal without Burrow able to get a vital touch. Referee Jones again felt home ire as he failed to award spot-kicks for what film evidence showed were fouls on Jake Hull and, in added time, Will Bapaga, who was blatantly cut down as he moved towards a shooting position from the by-line. Finally a mass scramble in the goalmouth followed a Buxton corner-kick as the hosts were left goal-less and frustrated.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Bird, Hull, Brown; Weston, Kirby, Horbury (McBurnie); Gibson-Hammond (Osborne), Burrow (Boden), Bapaga. Unused Subs: Smart & Francis-Angol.


Tuesday 21st November BUXTON (1) 2 HEREFORD (0) 1 ATT. 532

Despite still lacking 10 of the 11 absentees of last Saturday and recently suffering 4 consecutive defeats, Buxton battled hard to overcome 10th-placed Hereford for the first time, at the 3rd attempt. Manager Craig Elliott deserves much credit for recruiting 3 more-than-useful loanees to plug the gaps, adding them to Saturday's successful debutant, Will Bapaga (ex-Coventry).

This was a spirited performance versus a confident team which had scored 4 in each of its last 2 outings. Both sides deployed a 4-3-3 system and were well-matched but 'the Bucks' finishing was better than that of their opponents, who proved constantly dangerous in attack, notably through ex-Blackpool winger, Ceesay. It has to be said that both teams and the enthralling, exciting encounter that they created deserved better from over-zealous referee Pratt, whose errors in decision-making frustrated players, management and crowd alike.

On a fine night perfect for soccer, Buxton unusually first attacked the Railway End and, crucially for a much-changed team, made a good start. It soon became evident that the 4 newcomers all had much to offer. Experienced centre-back Pierce Bird (ex-Notts County and King's Lynn) from AFC Fylde slotted in seamlessly alongside Jake Hull, while busy central midfielder, George Horbury (19) from Harrogate Town, showed bags of ability and know-how, while wingers Bapaga and Alex Gibson-Hammond from Derby County were both able to penetrate the visiting defence. Their collective contribution also seemed to galvanise the 7 remaining 'core' players, notably dynamic midfielder, Connor Kirby.

The evening's first scoring chance, in the 9th minute, fell to 'the Bulls' as speedy striker, Cowley, beat Max Dearnley to the ball at the by-line and home defenders only just managed to smuggle the ball away after the cross reached the goalmouth. Buxton's response at the quarter-hour involved both wingers with Gibson-Hammond firing a low, angled 20-yarder narrowly past the far post. Then 'the Bulls' threatened again with a fast-flowing, right-flank move from which Ceesay fired a venemous,17-yard drive rising drive that Dearnley splendidly tipped over. At the other end, Jordan Burrow had an opening but his 18-yard shot, lacking power, passed wide. He then got his head to a Sam Minihan centre that proved too strong for him to direct on target. Yet in the 40th minute the striker did convert a clear opening for his 4th Buxton goal. Connor Kirby, all evening showing a willingness to drive forward, surprised 'keeper Pond with the power of his 25-yard drive and Burrow was the beneficiary as the ball rebounded from the custodian's chest.

Exchanges remained even but it was the visitors who scored next, on the hour, as Cowley netted expertly from the penalty spot. The ever-dangerous Ceesay followed up his own half-cleared free-kick by bursting into the home penalty area and when he fell the referee blew for a foul. 'The Bucks' took a little while to recover but deserve much credit for overcoming the setback to regain the initiative, which then produced a 30-yard Kirby effort that was deflected wide, while McCourt curled a 19-yard shot past a post. The game was still evenly poised, particularly as Ceesay continued to threaten, forcing Dearnley to concede a flag-kick, while Kirby produced some fine defending after a foul on him had gone unpunished. At the Ashwood End, Bapaga also maintained his thrust and consecutive fouls on him resulted in yellow cards for the perpetrators. From the 2nd,80th-minute free-kick, wide on the left, McCourt's superb, powerful, head-high delivery was flicked into goal by Jake Hull for his first Buxton strike in 31 appearances.

Manager Elliott at this point made 2 substitutions, notably introducing defensive midfielder, Curtis Weston, in place of Horbury, whose contribution was generously applauded by by the home support. Nonetheless Hereford continued to press forward and following a free-kick, Dearnley made a fine save under his bar, while for Buxton, first substitute Sam Osborne, from a very narrow angle, fired across the face of goal, having profited from a penetrative Kirby through ball.

This Saturday, Nov.25th, Buxton entertain Southport at 3 p.m.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Bird, Hull, Brown; McCourt, Kirby, Horbury (Weston); Bapaga, Burrow (Boden), Gibson-Hammond (Osborne). Unused Subs: Petrovic & Smart


Saturday 18th November BUXTON (0) 1 CITY OF LIVERPOOL (0) 3 ATT. 575 THE ISUZU F.A. TROPHY, ROUND 2

On Saturday, 'the Bucks’ bowed out of the 'Trophy' at their first hurdle versus in-form NPL opponents who had also toppled higher-level clubs (Lancaster and Stamford) in the previous 2 rounds. It was 'the Purps' second 'Trophy' victory at Silverlands in 3 years and Buxton have now lost not only 4 consecutive 'Trophy' ties but also 4 consecutive matches in November. Yet though 'the Purps' play at 2 levels lower, in reality it was 'the Bucks' who were the underdogs as they played without an unprecedented TWELVE of the first-team squad, the worst unavailability crisis in living memory! Of the 8 players missing last Saturday, only Jak McCourt could return and to that 7 were added Diego (suspended), Francis-Angol, Hunt, McBurnie and Brown. The back-four was undoubtedly makeshift with only Jake Hull able to play in his best position and it's an open question how many of the starting 11 were fully fit.

A very strong, end-to-end wind prevailed and very much dictated possession in both halves. The hosts, attacking the Ashwood End, held the advantage in the first half and dominated possession but failed to make the most of it, producing neither clear scoring chances nor goals. However, debutant left-winger Will Bapaga was a constant threat and as early as the 2nd minute fired a cross which Scott Boden headed but flicked wide. The latter set up 'the Bucks' best attack of the half with intricate footwork from the left, then Connor Kirby's pass fed Jordan Burrow, but his 12-yard curling shot passed wide.

By contrast, 'the Purps' scored immediately after half-time as midfielder Schorah's close-range flick converted Bahula's cross from the left. It was now the visitors' turn to dominate with the wind at their backs but the tie's turning-point proved to be Boden's 63rd-minute miss. Played clear of the defence in a central position, he hooked his 12-yard shot over the bar. Just 7 minutes later, 'the Purps' crucially doubled their advantage as striker Quarless planted a free header at a corner past Max Dearnley. It was no more than the lively, confident visitors deserved. Around this time, judging by previous games, manager Craig Elliott would have made attacking substitutions, but the substitutes' bench included just 3 Academy youths and reserve 'keeper Petrovic. Nonetheless Connor Kirby pulled a goal back in the 81st minute as, at the far post, he hammered home Bapaga's delightful curling cross to renew hope of taking the tie to a penalty shoot-out, but in the first minute of 7 that were added the visitors made victory secure. The experienced ex-Marine striker substitute, Danny Mitchley, slotted home calmly as he profited from a wind-assisted long ball forward.

In the coming week Buxton entertain Hereford on Tuesday at 7-45 p.m. and Southport next Saturday at 3 p.m.

Bucks: Dearnley; Smart, Weston, Hull, Minihan; McCourt, Bapaga, Kirby. Osborne; Burrow, Boden. Unused Subs: Petrovic, Bardy, Mantle & Jack Wright.


Saturday 11th November BUXTON (1) 1 FARSLEY CELTIC (2) 2 ATT. 670

Two Farsley goals in 8 minutes just prior to the interval turned this NLN match on its head after Buxton had led through Diego's penalty kick but early in the second half the home scorer saw red, for the first time in his 5 1/2 years’ Buxton career, to make a recovery far harder. There was thereafter much effort and some pressure on the visiting 'keeper who at times had all on to keep his goal intact.

At kick-off,13 places but only 3 points separated the teams and the visitors' record shows their strength 'on the road' with 4 NLN away wins already. Undoubtedly 'the Bucks' are currently ravaged by injury and were barely able to field a fully-fit eleven and had little ability to resort to the substitutes' bench when change could have altered the focus. Elliott, Shiels, Walker and Wright have been sidelined for weeks and were joined by Granite, McCourt and McKeown, with Smart fit enough only for a cameo appearance.

Unusually attacking the Railway End first, Buxton started well enough into the sun but a Farsley through ball created the first opening, forcing ex-Celtic 'keeper, Max Dearnley, to save as midfielder Branson (ex-Alfreton) fastened onto it. The hosts responded with a passing move leading to Xander McBurnie playing a 1-2 with Sam Osborne before shooting high and wide. Then McBurnie's wide-right free-kick skimmed the head of Sam Minihan at the near post in a mini-spell of home pressure, closely followed by a Max Hunt cross from the right. The 'keeper flapped at it and Smith's foul on Connor Kirby gave Diego his opportunity, in the 32nd minute, from the penalty spot, with the striker netting expertly by wrong-footing Leban.

As Celtic responded, Buxton defensive uncertainty was shown as the ball rebounded from the bar but Connor Brown then defended well against substitute Youmbi who had come on as a third attacker. 'The Bucks' did have a chance to double their advantage but Diego slightly delayed a through ball for Osborne who ran on to shoot low from a narrow angle with Leban making a comfortable save. That incident preceded Farsley's double-strike. Youmbi's good work on the left allowed Stevenson to equalise with a neat back-heel in the 44th minute, then, in the 3rd minute of added time, midfielder Ryan Watson (ex-Scarborough) ran along the 18-yard line but turned to rifle a low shot inside the near post.

Buxton's situation worsened considerably in the 52nd minute with Diego's harsh dismissal for the use of an elbow when illegally challenged from behind. Prompt action by referee McQuillan could have prevented the incident. Manager Craig Elliott soon introduced striker Jordan Burrow, but his team-mates couldn't take advantage of several examples of his deft head-work. Yet the hosts persevered. Osborne fired a 30-yard rising free-kick at Leban and Kirby fed the same player for a low, angled drive, again at the 'keeper. The home winger indeed looked the most likely scorer and from a passing move his 19-yard curling effort landed on the net top. A clear offside error by an assistant robbed Burrow of a follow-up after Minihan's power-drive from 25 yards troubled Leban, while the 'keeper parried Kirby's 30-yarder with difficulty.

Farsley were likewise reduced to 10 men in the 88th minute. Branson went for a 2nd yellow, his team's 7th, exposing the unusual fact that, by contrast, Diego's name was the only Buxton player noted by the referee. Yet it came too late to be of significant help to 'the Bucks' whose attention will now switch to next Saturday's home 'Trophy' tie versus City of Liverpool. It will be the 3rd cup-tie meeting between the clubs in 5 years but the hosts must play without the now-suspended, in-form striker, Diego.

Bucks: Dearnley: Brown, Hunt, Hull, Francis-Angol (Smart); Minihan, Weston (Boden), Kirby, McBurnie (Burrow); De Girolamo, Osborne. Unused Subs: Petrovic & Mantle

Tuesday 7th November South Shields (0) 1 Buxton (0) 0 Att. 1868

The Bucks fell to a narrow defeat on the road against South Shields. With Craig Elliott making a number of changes from the weekend, Josh Granite, Jak McCourt and Connor Brown all returned to the starting lineup.

Ex Buck Mackenzie Heaney had the first chance of the game dragging the ball back before his long range shot was grasped by Max Dearnley. The Bucks responded straight away with Curtis Weston winning the ball back from a press finding Sam Osborne whose shot was blocked before being cleared away.  South Shields had the best opportunity of the game so far in the 32nd minute after a through ball found Paul Blackett but Dearnley was quick off of his line to deny the striker. Just before the break, McCourt switched the ball to Eoin McKeown and  he cut in and curled a shot that hit the bar. The follow up came to Sam Minihan and his effort was blocked behind for a corner by Blair Adams.

The Mariners started the second half the better side with a powerful shot from Blackett testing The Bucks goalkeeper. Granite almost gave Buxton lead from a corner as the ball fell down to him and his shot was saved down strong by Myles Boney in goal. But it was the hosts that took the lead a minute later after CJ Clarke whipped the ball into the head of Blackett and his looped header found the top corner of the goal to make it 1-0. And both of them nearly linked up again from the right hand side Clarke crossing it into Blackett who was unable to slide the ball into the net. Osborne fired the ball over the bar for the Bucks, with both sides then making a number of substitutions to freshen things up. With The Bucks pushing hard late on McCourt with the final shot of the game came so close to finding an equaliser with his shot unable to find the target from inside the box.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hunt, Granite (Smart), Francis-Angol; Weston (De Girolamo), McCourt; Kirby, Brown, McKeown (Burrow), Osborne. Unused Subs: Hull & McBurnie


Saturday 4th November Bishop’s Stortford (1) 3 Buxton (0) 1 Att 462

Buxton fell to defeat away against Bishop Stortford with the hosts winning 3-1. Manager Craig Elliott kept faith with the starting xi  that had defeated league leaders Tamworth the previous Tuesday with the returning McCourt replacing Boden on the bench.

The Bucks started the game on top with a Sam Osbornes shot rebounding before being saved by Jack Giddens. Eoin McKeown then managed to get on the end of a through ball from Connor Kirby, dinking it over the keeper and hitting the post. But it was The Blues who took the lead on the 30th minute. Gio McGregor crossed the ball into Tosin Olufemi who did a diving header and looped the ball into the back of the net.  Osborne came close again for Buxton just before the break but his cross/shot went narrowly wide of the goal.

The home side doubled their lead early in the second half after a freekick was headed home by Jack Thomas, and it was only minutes later when the lead was extended. Zain Walker ran through at goal and slotted it past Max Dearnley to make it 3-0. Eoin McKeown got one back for Buxton as a far post cross from Zaine Francis-Angol found his head to give hope to The Bucks.  Despite late attempts from Buxton, McKeown’s goal wasn’t enough to find a way back into the game as they fell to a fourth away league defeat of the season.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hunt, Hull, Francis-Angol; Weston (McCourt); Kirby, McBurnie, De Girolamo, Osborne (Smart); McKeown. Unused Subs: Granite, Brown & Burrow


Tuesday 31st October BUXTON (1) 2 TAMWORTH (0) 1 ATT. 554

By inflicting a first away defeat on league leaders, Tamworth, 'the Bucks' had saved the seasonal 'treats' for, from half-time, an increasingly and worryingly foggy Halloween and reserved just one 'trick', their capacity to concede a late goal, for the 4th minute of added time when it was just too late for the visitors to build on.

The 'Lambs' had previously won at Blyth and Boston, Curzon Ashton and Spennymoor but the hosts took their chances and defended stoutly until a tired foul challenge very close to the end allowed Deacon to score from the penalty spot. That was the evening's 3rd such award but the first to be converted! The first penalty was arguably the most significant as it fell to the visitors at 0-0 in the 27th minute, but it was missed, the culprit being midfielder Ben Milnes,1 of 4 ex-Silverlanders in Tamworth's ranks. Worse was to follow for Ben as only 4 minutes later injury forced his replacement by the ever-popular Lindon Meikle, another member of the '21/22 title-winning team, but he lasted only 12 minutes until he too succumbed to injury. Another ex-Silverlander, centre-back Brad Gascoigne, was substituted in the 79th minute as the visitors, at 0-1, desperately sought an equaliser. Of the ex-Buxton quartet, that left right-back Matt Curley who played throughout and gave his typically sound, well-remembered performance.

The 2nd penalty award fell to Buxton much against the run of the 2nd-half play. A goal down at the interval. 'The Lambs' raised their game but couldn't penetrate the resolute 4-man home defence. Then, in the 87th minute, 'the Bucks' mounted a right-flank counter-attack to force a corner, after which Xander McBurnie was fouled. However, with neither of the regular penalty-takers on the pitch, the responsibility was taken by Connor Kirby. His firm effort was saved but the rebound fell kindly for the midfielder who then made no mistake to double his team's advantage. That proved vital to Buxton's victory given Tamworth's very late response.

Victory was welcome indeed, particularly as it lifted the club from 11th to 6th in the table, but the evening surely belonged to longest-serving player, Diego De Girolamo, whose 39th-minute goal for a 1-0 lead was his 100th for the club in competitive matches. An error in central defence sent Diego clear and he calmly beat the onrushing 'keeper, with the home crowd joyously greeting his achievement. (At the end he was presented with a commemorative shirt by chairman Dave Hopkins). Ten minutes before his goal Diego had combined neatly with Sam Osborne, whose neat back-heel had set up the striker for a low shot that passed a yard wide.

Diego claimed the limelight but another major contributor to the success was 'keeper, Max Dearnley, who pulled off 2 vital 1st-half saves. In the 17th minute he turned away a 20-yard high drive by midfielder Jellis and 20 minutes later, just prior to the decisive opening goal, he saved superbly under the bar from Tshikuna's fiercely-struck,30-yard drive. Then,10 minutes into the 2nd half, centre-back Jake Hull was the hero with a crucial saving tackle on Deacon close to goal.

So Tamworth tasted defeat in the 2 clubs' first competitive meeting for 40 years and now possess the unenviable record of 0 wins and just 2 draws from the 9 matches played!

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hunt, Hull, Francis-Angol; Weston; Kirby, McBurnie, De Girolamo (Burrow), Osborne (Boden); McKeown (Brown). Unused Subs: Granite & Smart


Saturday 28th October BUXTON (1) 2 RUSHALL OLYMPIC (2) 2 ATT. 710

These mid-table and former NPL rivals produced the first draw in 10 Silverlands meetings between the clubs and a thoroughly watchable, entertaining encounter that remarkably featured 3 headed goals by centre-backs!

Even at this early stage of the season, the league table can create a misleading impression. Rushall stood 15th at kick-off but had scored 15 goals in winning 5 of their last 7 NLN fixtures. What's more,6 wins in their 9 previous visits marked the Silverlands as a happy hunting ground for them.

 By contrast, Buxton had surprisingly won in neither of the week's outings. Manager Craig Elliott made 2 changes with Josh Granite replacing injured skipper Luke Shiels in a 5-man rearguard, while Xander McBurnie returned to midfield in place of Eoin McKeown. Attacking the Ashwood End, 'the Bucks' had the better of the exchanges and the possession in the opening quarter of the game without testing the visiting 'keeper, as the visitors worked hard to get multiple men behind the ball, though there were convincing 9th-minute shouts for a spot-kick for a foul on Diego, who is on 99 BFC goals. Thereafter play was evenly distributed as 'the Pics' settled and centre-back Clarke's 35-yard lob tested Max Dearnley, but he was beaten in the 27th minute as visiting in-form striker, Danny Waldron, who netted a foursome last Saturday, escaped his marker to fasten onto a penetrative pass and scored from a narrow angle, just beating an intervention by Sam Minihan at the far post. In response, midfielder Connor Kirby sent a 15-yard curling shot over the angle but it was centre-back Max Hunt who equalised in the 43rd minute as he headed home a Jak McCourt corner-kick after the midfielder had seen his 30-yard power-drive deflected wide. However, 'the Pics' restored their lead within 2 minutes with Clarke's header, likewise from a corner-kick.

After the interval, as the visitors continued to shade proceedings, midfielders Moore and Coyle dispatched shots wide of goal, but at the hour manager Elliott changed the home dynamic for the better with the introduction as wingers of both Sam Osborne, after a lengthy injury absence, and McKeown. Within 4 minutes the changed system paid the dividend of a second equaliser and again it was a Max Hunt header as he powered onto another well-placed McCourt flag-kick. It seemed possible, even likely, that 'the Bucks' could seize victory but then Rushall's management made 3 substitutions in a minute to alter the balance again. One of them, midfielder Tom Tonks, has arguably 1 of the longest and most controlled throws in non-league (seen here previously with the likes of Stourbridge and Stafford), and each of his 5 projectiles threatened danger to the home defence. One caused a scramble close to goal, while the 5th led to Waldron firing across the face of goal. Then in added time, impressive Walsall teenaged midfielder, Ronan Maher, his team's best player, dispatched a shot to hit the outside of a post, but the draw was a fair result.

On Tuesday, at 7-45 p.m., Buxton entertain Tamworth, the league leaders by 5 points, and should welcome back recent ex-Silverlanders Matt Curley, Lindon Meikle and Ben Milnes, all members of the NPL title-winning squad of 2021/22.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hunt, Granite (Osborne), Hull, Francis-Angol; McCourt; Kirby, De Girolamo, McBurnie (McKeown; Burrow (Weston). Unused Subs: Brown & Boden.


Tuesday 24th October BUXTON (1) 2 PETERBOROUGH SPORTS (1) 2 ATT. 461

In an at times curiously unpredictable encounter, Buxton ultimately surrendered 2 points to a resilient Sports outfit which twice equalised and in fairness probably deserved a share of the spoils. Even though this was a meeting of the 9th and 20th-placed teams, recent form suggested a far from straightforward home win as Buxton had lost on Saturday while the visitors had just recorded back-to-back victories.

Yet in the game's opening quarter 'the Bucks' began impressively by attacking the Ashwood End in unexpectedly benign weather conditions and within just a few minutes had created more openings than in the whole of Saturday's match! Manager Craig Elliott had made 4 changes in personnel and had opted for a 4-3-1-2 set-up, with Diego operating behind strikers Jordan Burrow and Eoin McKeown. Swift, accurate passing through midfield created ample space and one such move from the right flank produced the first goal in the 16th minute. Centrally-placed 18 yards out, Diego netted with a composed strike across ex-Hyde 'keeper, Peter Crook, into the net's far bottom corner. It was his 99th competitive goal for the club.

The hosts remained convincingly on the front foot until the 24th minute when Sports' equaliser arrived in most unexpected fashion and yet changed the course of the evening! Home 'keeper Max Dearnley has been proving himself a most worthy successor to the transferred Theo Richardson but, on his 15th competitive appearance, he made his first costly error by allowing Fowkes's firm, low,19-yard drive to squirm from his grasp and over the goal-line. Goals do change games and so it was on Tuesday night. Accordingly, 'the Turbines' were given the fillip they undoubtedly needed, while 'the Bucks' inexplicably lost their way and needed smart work by Dearnley to deny Sports' striker, Jones, at close range. For the remainder of the half Buxton's play continued to be unconvincing, as it was into the second half, apart from an immediate scare for the visitors when Crook dropped the ball, but unlike the unfortunate Dearnley, he was able to recover possession after McKeown had placed a header over him towards goal. One factor in the visitors being able to restrict their hosts was the skill of experienced, ex-Crewe left-back, Tootle, in limiting Sam Minihan's attacking potential.

Still out of sorts on the ball, Buxton lost skipper Luke Shiels to injury, with Josh Granite a like-for-like,55th-minute replacement. However, sheer determination brought improvement and from a Jak McCourt free-kick, Diego sent a curling shot over the bar, while soon after 3/4 time a Max Hunt, low, sweetly-struck,30-yard effort passed wide. From the same range, McCourt's power-drive was parried by Crook, but substitute Xander McBurnie fired the rebound over the bar. Then in the 78th minute Buxton regained the lead following a McCourt cross. Crook couldn't hold the ball as it flew at him from a defender's shin, with Burrow driving home powerfully from 6 yards.

Sports were far from finished and in the 6 minutes of added time caused 'the Bucks', seemingly, to concentrate alone on survival and the hosts paid the penalty half-way through when, after several shots had been blocked, midfielder McCammon, who had become influential earlier in the half, drove home low from 15 yards.

With consecutive home fixtures to follow, 'the Bucks' will now try to rebuild the momentum achieved by the excellent wins at Scunthorpe and King's Lynn but lost thereafter. Saturday's visitors are former NPL rivals, recently-promoted Rushall Olympic, who have scored 15 goals in winning 5 of their last 7 NLN fixtures.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hull, Shiels (Granite), Hunt, Francis-Angol; McCourt; Kirby, De Girolamo; Burrow, McKeown (McBurnie). Unused Subs: Brown, Smart & Boden


Saturday 21st October SCARBOROUGH ATHLETIC (0) 1 BUXTON (0) 0 Att 1385

Unbeaten away in the league since mid-August, Buxton were undone by a 86th-minute goal just when it seemed most likely that both defences would remain on top as they had done all afternoon. This was a disappointing encounter in that there was so little goalmouth action as neither side seemed capable of finding the inspiration necessary to pierce the respective rearguards.

Yet the pre-match prospects had been promising with both teams in good form. 'The Bucks' were looking for a 3rd consecutive success on the road after convincing victories at Scunthorpe (3-0) and King's Lynn (3-1),while the hosts were buoyant after dispatching National Leaguers, Oxford City, in Tuesday's away replay, despite, in the 2 matches, twice establishing then losing a 2-goal lead. A little added spice was the presence in 'Boro's ranks of ex-Silverlanders, left-back Alex Brown and loanee winger, Dom Tear, both of whom acquitted themselves well. Buxton manager, Craig Elliott, restored Luke Shiels (for Josh Granite) and Connor Kirby (for Max Hunt) after their 1-match suspensions, winger Sam Smart replaced striker Jordan Burrow and Connor Brown, at left-back, came in for the rested Zaine Francis-Angol ,who had travelled extensively on international duty for Antigua and Barbuda, as a 4-3-3 system was deployed.

Throughout, there was little to choose between the teams as the game was mostly contested in midfield. The first half's only goalkeeper save was made by Max Dearnley as he dived low after 10 minutes to hold an 18-yard shot, but he wasn't troubled by right-back's Weledji's snapshot at the half-hour as it passed high and wide. Though having a fair share of possession, 'the Bucks' couldn't disturb home 'keeper, Cracknell, apart from a 2-minute spell (35/37). Initially, Diego netted but was offside when receiving McKeown's lobbed pass, then the former's low cross from the right narrowly eluded McKeown in front of goal.

The quality in the opening to the 2nd half was mediocre indeed, exemplified by a Jake Hull header at a corner-kick that sailed harmlessly over the angle. There was no lack of effort, however, and the ambition of both managers to snatch a win was shown by 4 substitutions made in 2 minutes (73/74) but it was 'the Seadogs' who made the breakthrough. Brown and Hull both failed to clear successfully from deep in defence, allowing substitute Green's incisive run that created a one-on-one for himself versus Dearnley and he skilfully converted the best opening of the afternoon. Buxton desperately sought an equaliser but the home defence made no errors in holding out in the 6 minutes (which became 8) of added time.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hull, Shiels, Brown; Weston (McCourt), Smart (Burrow), Kirby, McBurnie (Hunt), McKewan; De Girolamo. Unused Subs: Granite & Francis-Angol.


Saturday 7th October King’s Lynn Town (0) 1 Buxton (0) 3 ATT 910

Buxton came out 3-1 winners against Kings Lynn as they made the play-off spots for the first time this season. Craig Elliott’s selection woes carried on with Kirby and Shiels missing through suspension to add to the numerous injuries but there was better news with Jak McCourt fit enough for the bench.
The hosts started on the front foot with Adam Crowther getting the ball into the box and it glanced the head of Jordan Ponticelli. Another headed effort came only a couple of minutes later with a diving effort from Ben Stephens coming into the hands of Max Dearnley. Buxton’s first opening of the game came from Diego De Girolamo putting the ball through to Eoin McKeown and he ran through before crossing it in the air to Jordan Burrow who fired over the bar. Zaine Francis-Angol then on his weak foot picked the ball up on the edge of the box and tried to curl his shot into the top corner just missing out and hitting the bar. A well worked move from Kings Lynn almost had The Linnets ahead before the break with Stephens, yet again getting on the end of a cross, this time it going narrowly over the bar.
Buxton started the half well and it wasn’t long before they gained the lead. A corner ball from Xander McBurnie came into the box and was headed back across by Max Hunt into the incoming McKeown to gain his first goal for The Bucks.  Kings Lynn responded well with Emmanuel Oke forcing The Bucks keeper to tip the ball over the bar. A thunderbolt strike from Max Hunt meant the Bucks hit the crossbar for the second time in the game.  The Norfolk side did get back on level terms in the 68th minute as Ponticelli played the ball all the way wide to Stephens and then to Kian Ronan before Joshua Barrett picked up the ball faked an effort then hit a low shot that came to Cameron Hargraves who smashed it low into the far corner. The hosts had a spell of good pressure after this with both Ronan and Stephens coming close, but it was The Bucks who were able to fire themselves back into the lead. De Girolamo got the ball 30 yards out and his effort flew into the top corner for his 98th Buxton goal.  Substitute Scott Boden sealed all three points, scoring with a lobbed effort in the last minute of the game to make it 3-1 and push The Bucks up to 7th in the league.
Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hunt, Granite, Hull (Brown), Francis-Angol; Weston; McBurnie, McKeown, De Girolamo (Smart); Burrow (Boden). Unused Subs: McCourt & Wenayeto


Saturday 30th September SCUNTHORPE UTD (0) 0 BUXTON (0) 3 ATT. Unknown

So natural justice does exist! 3 weeks ago, 'the Bucks' were leading 2-1 at Glanford Park with 90+6 minutes played when the match was prematurely abandoned, but on Saturday Buxton re-visited crisis club, Scunthorpe, and 3 2nd-half goals secured full points to lift the club 6 places to 10th.Neither team had won since their first encounter and Buxton's last goal was in that game!

The injury-hit visitors still lacked 6 unfit players (Elliott, Hull, McCourt, Osborne, Walker and Wright) plus the suspended Brown but yet were able to produce a display full of character, grit and discipline in much the same manner as in the original meeting. In attack, when the chances came, they took most of them. In a 4-3-3 set-up, Max Hunt started in place of Josh Granite, Eoin McKeown, on the right flank, was selected instead of Jordan Burrow, while Xander McBurnie returned for the injured Tom Walker. From the bench, Academy starlet Ethan Wenayeto was given a debut cameo in the closing minutes of the 11 that constituted added time.

'The Iron' dominated possession in the opening quarter, passing the ball about comfortably and firing in several shots but all were blocked by tenacious Buxton defending. At the quarter-hour McKeown produced the first threat for the visitors after robbing Denton on the flank but there was no team-mate to profit from his long, low cross, while for 'The Iron' a quick-passing move to the left set up a dangerous low cross which striker Elliott, at full stretch, could only poke wide. In the 26th minute the visitors constructed a fine attacking move and from McKeown's cross, a McBurnie header forced Fitzsimons into a flying save at the expense of a corner-kick. Yet as rain began to fall (though never threatening another abandonment!), the hosts continued to press and just prior to the interval, 'the Bucks' enjoyed their one piece of luck as Whitehall's 15-yard drive rebounded from a post.

The opening 8 minutes of the 2nd half proved decisive as Buxton shocked the hosts with a brace of goals that could well have been 3! Just 4 minutes in and for the first time, perhaps 20 passes were strung together, eventually finding Connor Kirby in the right corner. He passed to Sam Minihan, who picked out Diego some 15 yards from goal. Enjoying comfortably his best display of the season to date, he fired a sumptuous half-volley into a top corner. Almost immediately, his team could have doubled its lead from a break to the left flank but McKeown marred an energetic performance with an under-powered effort at the 'keeper. However, he was soon involved more successfully, but on the right, and when home defenders failed to clear close to goal, Minihan fired home with 53 minutes gone.

With a 2-goal cushion, the visitors defended with confidence, though Butterfield fizzed a mighty 20-yard effort over the angle. At the other end, from a Sam Smart free-kick, the prominent McKeown's flick close to goal was blocked. The Iron' were dominating possession but their play was almost entirely across the front of the Buxton defence and therefore less penetrative. Substitutions were made and there were some tasty encounters but 'the Bucks' stood firm and in the 84th minute a home defender's slip let in substitute Jordan Burrow, but his 20-yard shot was too close to the 'keeper. However, within a minute, Diego's confident penalty-kick had sealed victory after centre-back Boyce had clearly fouled McKeown. Thereafter a pitch invasion by about 50 youths from behind the Buxton goal put proceedings on hold for some 3 minutes but it merely delayed Scunthorpe's demise in what may be their penultimate match at Glanford Park.

Buxton supporters can feel justly proud of their team's efforts on both visits. On this occasion every man played a full part versus full-time opposition, with captain Luke Shiels absolutely outstanding as the kingpin of a resolute defence in a victory that looks comfortable on paper but was very far from it!

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hunt, Shiels, Francis-Angol; Weston; Smart (Burrow), Kirby, McBurnie, McKeown (Wenayeto); De Girolamo (Granite). Unused Subs: Petrovic & Boden


Saturday 23rd September BUXTON (0) 0 SPENNYMOOR TOWN (1) 2 ATT. 701

Buxton suffered a rare home defeat on Saturday versus a 4th-placed Spennymoor side which produced a classic away performance in a good-quality game between teams concentrating on building attacks by passing soccer. The visitors, however, proved themselves sounder in defence and sharper in attack with a goal in each half.

After early F.A. Cup exits for both clubs, both to successful NPL Premier teams, there was certainly something to prove, with the added spice to the mix of 'the Moors' being managerless following the resignation of Jamie Chandler, while 'the Bucks' lacked a host of players. Brown was serving the 2nd of his 3-match suspension, McBurnie was unwell and 5 more were injured: McCourt, Osborne, Hull, Elliott (knee) and Wright (shoulder). Yet manager Craig Elliott was able to name a side with a better balance in 4-4-2 mode. AFC Fylde loanee, Tom Walker, made his home debut on the left (but joined the injured list late in the first half after suffering a damaged ankle), while Sam Smart was restored to the right flank.

Despite such adverse circumstances, Buxton enjoyed as much as 63% of the possession without being able to penetrate the resolute 'Moors' defence, whose kingpin was veteran centre-back Curtis, who had played for Gateshead in Buxton's 2008 NPL play-off final. A typical example of his importance was seen at quarter-time when a fine Connor Kirby diagonal pass found Walker whose skilful trick set up his dangerous low cross only for Curtis to intercept. Home striker, Jordan Burrow, worked valiantly to create openings with intelligent headed flicks but his team-mates couldn't profit from them.

Yet the visitors netted twice. The first, on 28 minutes, came as midfielder Ramshaw produced a fine header high into the net from an accurate left-flank cross, immediately after the hosts had escaped narrowly, twice clearing from the goal-line after a dangerous corner-kick had caused mayhem in the home goalmouth. Victory was sealed in the 79th minute in unfortunate fashion for Buxton, rather typical of their ill-luck in recent weeks. Right-back Sam Minihan, regularly prominent in home attacking moves on his flank, was cautioned for a foul 18 yards out and so his recovery was delayed, while the quickly-taken free-kick to the 'Moors' left gave Fielding the space to cross accurately for striker Harris (ex-Burnley) to net from 10 yards.

Buxton did make chances, the best 2 being created at 0-1. Just after the interval, Minihan cut to the by-line to deliver a lofted cross that was only half-cleared to an unmarked Burrow whose low volley was saved. Arguably the striker had time to set himself before shooting. Then on 70 minutes, again on the right and featuring Minihan, Kirby's penetrative pass played him through, but Sam squared the ball instead of shooting from 8 yards.

So 'the Bucks’ proud home record of 13 games unbeaten, dating back to January, was ended but they may well play worse and win.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Granite, Shiels, Francis-Angol; Weston (McBurnie); Smart (Boden), Kirby, De Girolamo, Walker (McKeown); Burrow. Unused Subs: Petrovic & Hunt


Saturday 16th September MACCLESFIELD (1) 2 BUXTON (0) 0 F A CUP 2ND ROUND QUALIFYING


For the first time in seven years, Buxton fell at the first hurdle encountered in this year's F.A. Cup on Saturday and how galling that defeat should come at nearest rivals and oldest foes, 'the Silkmen’, who have fast become a 'bogey' team for 'the Bucks'. In the last 14 months, ‘Macc' have inflicted three comprehensive defeats, two of them in pre-season friendlies, with an aggregate score of 9-0!

What's more, after two seasons packed with F.A. excitement and triumph, the defeat at 'Macc' was a bitter pill to swallow, particularly considering the disappointing nature of the performance after the heroics shown at Scunthorpe only seven days earlier. Then every player was a hero, whereas at the Moss Rose arguably only Sam Minihan did justice to himself.

Injuries, plus the suspension of Connor Brown, had to some extent dictated team selection with the two first-choice left-backs out of consideration, as were midfielder Jak McCourt, in-form winger Sam Osborne and striker Scott Boden, with Luke Shiels, Jake Wright and Tommy Elliott joining the injury list during the tie. Yet the visitors contributed significantly to their own downfall. They started so well by carving out two clear chances in the first three minutes. Based on a 4-1-4-1 system, they first attacked on the right, with Wright and Connor Kirby heavily involved but Elliott hit the bar from ten yards with the goal gaping, and just a minute later another penetrative move gave the midfielder a more difficult opportunity at the far post but 'keeper O'Keefe saved at close range. At much the same spot, on eight minutes, Wright saw yellow for hands as he tried to find the net, but remarkably little more was seen of 'the Bucks' as an attacking force. ‘The Silkmen' gradually took over with left-back Lee an increasingly influential attacking force and it was no surprise on the half-hour when his 60-yard advance at speed on the left touchline created the opening for imposing midfielder Mendy to fire home from ten yards. Yet two minutes earlier, injured skipper Luke Shiels had left the pitch but his replacement, Josh Granite, only came on after the goal despite referee Davis indicating his willingness to make the substitution immediately.

By then, ‘the Bucks' were struggling for any convincing fluency in attack and on the rare occasions that they did put passing moves together, there was no threat in the final third. One problem seemed to be that stand-in left-back Max Hunt was unable to get forward to offer support for attacks from the left. The visitors were only one goal down at the interval but soon thereafter suffered another blow with injury to Wright and his replacement, Diego de Girolamo, made little impact. Seven minutes on came another injury, causing Elliott to be replaced by Eoin McKeown. Briefly hope was renewed as debutant loanee midfielder, the left-footed Tom Walker, switched to the left flank but it soon vanished. Exchanges were more even after the interval but there were still some awful Buxton individual moments and after more than one scare, ‘the Silkmen' doubled their advantage in the 77th minute. A fluid home passing move resulted in a diagonal ball being played across the penalty area for left-winger Duffy to apply the finish from eight yards. So out-of-sorts were 'the Bucks' that the goal seemed a terminal blow and indeed the hosts coasted into the next round.

Bucks: Dearnley, Minihan, Hull, Shiels (Granite), Hunt: Weston: Kirby, Elliott (McKeown), McBurnie, Walker; Wright (De Girolamo). Unused Subs: Petrovic, Burrow & Smart.


Saturday 9th September SCUNTHORPE UTD (0) 1 BUXTON (1) 2

(Match abandoned after 90+6 minutes) ATT. 3661 (including 170 recorded from Buxton)

Has there ever been another afternoon with quite as much drama, action and such a totally bizarre conclusion to a Buxton match? On Saturday 'the Bucks' travelled for the first time to the league leader's Glanford Park and were just 4 minutes of added time away from the completion of a memorable victory which would have ranked as their best yet in 55 NLN fixtures. Cruelly it was the weather which caused referee Bancroft to curtail proceedings, but why, oh why, with so little time left to play, did the seemingly flustered official not wait a while to see whether conditions would improve! (Only 3 years ago we waited an hour for an ambulance at Warrington before the decision to abandon was made!). A violent thunderstorm, accompanied by occasional lightning and torrential rain, had, from about 4-30 bombarded the pitch to such an extent that it was eventually awash, with the ball unable to move at all normally! (And a huge lake,3" or 4" deep, had formed outside!).

Yet this was far from being the only dramatic feature. Against the backdrop of a fiercely partisan and intimidating home crowd, out of which came several plastic bottles and a coin hurled in the direction of Buxton 'keeper, Max Dearnley, the visiting contingent did its very best to offer support in the face of adversity. Two crucial refereeing decisions threatened to cost the visitors dear. On the stroke of half-time, Connor Brown was fouled from behind at his own by-line yet then found himself sent off for his reaction, with the foul and its perpetrator unpunished. So 'the Bucks', a goal to the good, were forced to play the entire 2nd half with 10 men, mounting a heroic rearguard action until a 2nd controversial decision in the 81st minute cost them their lead. The outstanding Dearnley, on this showing a worthy successor to the transferred Theo Richardson, caught a lofted cross but lost possession only when barged by home substitute, the newly-signed Richie Bennett, and the ball rolled over the line. Nonetheless 'the Bucks' almost immediately mounted a convincing break on their right to force a corner-kick and from the superb Connor Kirby's lofted delivery, Max Hunt powered forward to head downwards and into the net. Yet the two controversial decisions afflicting Buxton followed a first that had been responsible for the visitors' opening goal. A long diagonal pass to Jake Wright by another outstanding Silverlander, Tommy Elliott, resulted in a corner-kick from which home midfielder Shrimpton was penalised for holding on the intervention of an assistant. With regular penalty-takers Jak McCourt (injured) and Diego (substitute) unavailable, Wright took the responsibility but only after a medical emergency in a stand caused a delay of several minutes. His shot was saved but the rebound was eventually forced home by Xander McBurnie for his first Buxton goal, timed at 43 minutes.

Even without such decisions the opening half was action-packed, with 'the Bucks 'far from over-awed by the occasion, though they had to survive 2 early close calls. A weak defensive back-header looked to cause a big threat, but an offside flag proved a saviour, then Brown, at a post, made a vital clearance. Meanwhile, a fascinating duel was developing on the right as experienced Sam Minihan was tasked with curbing ex-Scarborough loanee, Wilson, as the winger's team enjoyed a majority of possession. Rival centre-backs, Luke Shiels & Will Evans, were 2 of the 10 players to see yellow for fouls.

At the interval, Buxton made the enforced sacrifice of midfielder Eoin McKeown in favour of centre-back Hunt and his presence was essential as 'the Iron' dominated possession and pumped crosses towards goal, with Dearnley making a spectacular dive, catch and hold from a Shrimpton effort. Jordan Burrow replaced Wright at the hour and 11 minutes later Josh Granite returned after injury, in place of Curtis Weston, to play a valiant part as his team held firm despite intense pressure. Almost immediately he produced a vital header to divert a Wilson cross, then the home winger fired a low diagonal shot across the face of goal, untouched by all.

Then came the 2 goals in 3 minutes before more home pressure followed, with Dearnley making another fine save and Shiels, at full stretch, diverting a dangerous ball over the bar. Added time brought more drama as 'the Iron' were correctly awarded a penalty for a foul but Dearnley earned even further credit by saving striker Danny Elliott's kick. Two minutes on came the decision to abandon but if 'the Bucks' had completed a remarkable win, they would have stood 6th in the table instead of the current 13th.By the same token, victory would have been the 2nd time in 6 months that they had toppled a club from the league leadership, the 1st being the excellent 1-1 draw at King's Lynn in February.

It is understood that the referee's report to the F.A will then be forwarded to the NLN for a decision to be reached about the outcome.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Shiels, Hull, Brown; Weston (Granite); Kirby, Elliott, McBurnie, McKeown (Hunt); Wright (Burrow). Unused Subs: De Girolamo & Smart


Tuesday 5th September Gloucester City 0 Buxton 0 ATT 657

Manager Craig Elliott made 5 changes to the side that heavily defeated Darlington the previous Saturday for the long journey to Gloucester on a glorious early-September evening. It has been an unfortunate feature to the start of the current campaign that Elliott hasn’t been able to keep a settled starting line-up,  through injury, but one welcome return on Tuesday, to the bench, was that of captain Josh Granite.

In a game with not a huge amount of chances, The Bucks drew 0-0 against Gloucester to stretch the unbeaten run to 5 matches and 3 clean sheets in a row. Brandon Smalley had the first effort of the game for the hosts with a dipping half volley going wide of the mark. He then laid the ball back to Joe Hanks whose long-range strike also went wide. Buxton’s first opportunity came from Diego De Girolamo as a deflected shot came into the hands of the hosts goalkeeper.

In the 29th minute Danny Wright was charging through on the Buxton goal with an over the top through ball before Luke Shiels tracked back well to win the ball and clear away. The Bucks last chance of the half came from De Girolamo’s freekick on the edge of the box which was attempted to be curled round the wall but hitting a Bucks player.  Wright had one last opening before the half time whistle after Harry Pinchard cross on the left-hand side met the head of the incoming target man who couldn’t direct his header on target.

With 2 very contrasting styles Buxton had a penalty shout with Tommy Elliott running through the middle of 2 players and a player coming across taking him out in the box before the referee waved the shouts away.  A Sam Osborne shot from long range was spilled by the goalkeeper. And the last chance of the game fell to Connor Brown who was playing an unfamiliar position of left wing back as his deflected shot went out for a corner in the final minutes.

Bucks: Dearnley, Minihan, Shiels, Hunt, Hull, Francis-Angol (Brown); McBurnie, Kirby, Elliott, De Girolamo (Wright); Burrow (Osborne). Unused Subs: Granite & McKeown.


Saturday 2nd September BUXTON (3) 5 DARLINGTON (0) 0 ATT 783 

On Saturday 'the Bucks' were comprehensive victors over 'the Quakers', who have yet to win after 4 visits, while the hosts are now 13 unbeaten at home in league and county cup since Jan.21st.This was Buxton's biggest NLN win in 53 fixtures and how well deserved it was to complete a splendid week of 3 wins,3 'clean sheets' and 11 goals scored.

For the first time this season, manager Craig Elliott had a fully-fit squad from which to choose, though winger Sam Smart was absent after a close family bereavement. The manager opted for a back 4, with Eoin McKeown an interesting and successful selection in an advanced midfield role often filled by Tommy Elliott, who returned after injury as a 2nd-half substitute. Jake Wright replaced Jordan Burrow as the central striker and showed exactly why the manager has recruited him from his former club, Boston Utd. Others particularly to impress were summer newcomers, Sam Minihan and Curtis Weston, but it was 1st-half hat-trick man, Sam Osborne, for the 2nd consecutive Saturday, who earned the Man-of-the-Match award.

On a lovely, sunny afternoon, Buxton first attacked the Ashwood End with Weston almost immediately cutting through to the right by-line and hitting the post from an impossible angle. No surprise then that 'the Bucks' led from the 10th minute with the best of their 5 goals. The ever-industrious Connor Kirby delivered an inch-perfect diagonal pass to the left for Osborne to meet first-time and strike past ex-Silverlands 'keeper, Tommy Taylor. It was virtually all Buxton for the first 20 minutes, but the visitors then had a quarter-hour's majority of possession without looking a threat, though 'keeper Max Dearnley impressed with a high catch and hold under pressure at a corner-kick.

Both teams had been undefeated over the Bank Holiday weekend, so the expected close encounter was developing but suddenly Osborne transformed the complexion of the afternoon by completing his hat-trick inside 3 minutes for a match-changing 3-0 lead. Coincidentally, the goals on 35 and 37 minutes came at exactly the same times as had been the case versus Blyth a week ago. The 2-0 goal, rolled in centrally at point-blank range, resulted from Wright's clever, skilful work, while Weston's superb through-ball released Osborne for the decisive 3rd.There could even have been a 4th Buxton goal by the interval after Osborne had robbed right-back Griffiths but for the only time he didn't make the most of the opening. Just prior to half-time 'the Quakers' came closest to a goal as York loanee, Barnes, delivered a dangerous low cross for Minihan to clear from beneath the bar.

The story of the 2nd half resulted from the events of the 53rd minute as Buxton continued to attack fluently. McKeown and Osborne did the midfield spadework for Jak McCourt's 20-yard drive against the bar. As the ball came down, there was a clear foul on McKeown and McCourt again netted most impressively from the penalty spot. Meanwhile 'Quakers' ex-Wrexham and Harrogate Town centre-back, Jake Lawlor, was sent off for the foul. At 4-0 the contest was effectively over as the totally deflated visitors sought only damage limitation, with the hosts coasting to victory yet missing more goal-scoring opportunities. The unmarked Jake Hull sent a free header, from Kirby's curling, lofted free-kick, over the bar, then Taylor made the save of the day to deny Diego's right-footed effort, but the substitute had the last word by making it 5-0 as he netted from 10 yards at the 2nd attempt in the 7th minute of added time.

'The Bucks' will be twice 'on the road' in the coming week as they travel to Gloucester City on Tuesday (kick-off 7-45 p.m.) and to 2nd-placed Scunthorpe Utd on Saturday (at 3 p.m.).

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Hull, Shiels, Francis-Angol; McCourt (De Girolamo), Weston (Elliott); Osborne, Kirby, Wright (Burrow); McKeown. Unused Subs: Brown & Hunt

Monday 28th August Banbury United (0) 0 Buxton (3) 3 ATT 788

A Jak McCourt double and a goal from Jordan Burrow secured Buxton’s second 3-0 victory of the Bank Holiday weekend by defeating Banbury. Manager Craig Elliott made 3 changes from the team that defeated Blyth on Saturday, with Weston, Hunt and Burrow coming in meaning a change in formation.

Buxton started on the front foot with a Sam Minihan ball into a dangerous area being cleared away and Sam Osborne dinked shot going narrowly over. Tope Obadeyi shot was the first attempt for Banbury, but it was deflected into the path of Max Dearnley. McCourt capitalised on the early Bucks pressure with Kirby laying the ball off before smashing the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards out to give the Bucks a 13th minute lead. Osborne caused the first yellow card of the game turning past defender Jack Davies who took him out to go into the referee’s book. The Bucks doubled their lead from the penalty spot as Jordan Burrow was clearly fouled in the box on 29th minute.  McCourt stepped up and grabbed his and Buxton’s second goal of the game. The points were all but secured just before the break when Burrow headed a deflected corner goalwards with Banbury player Hall unable to keep it out on the goal-line.

The introduction of Charles gave the hosts some momentum in the second period but Dearnley was rarely threatened. Sam Osborne continued his fine form since returning from injury last Saturday and he nearly extended the Bucks lead late on.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minion, Hull, Shiels, Hunt, Francis-Angol (Smart); Weston (McBurnie), McCourt (De Girolamo); Kirby, Osborne Burrow. Unused Subs: McKeown & Boden


Saturday 26th August BUXTON (2) 3 BLYTH SPARTANS (0) 0 ATT. 663

On Saturday Buxton achieved a first victory of the season over 3rd-placed Blyth. In 2022/23 the 2 clubs produced 3 action-packed encounters including 12 goals and the latest meeting was another open, entertaining affair. The victory was ultimately convincing but Spartans'  determination to respond to 'the Bucks' 1st-half goals kept the outcome in doubt till late in the day.

In this game 'the Bucks' equalled the goal output of their first 4 outings and much was due to their forwards. Though substituted just after 3/4 time, Sam Smart offered a threat on the right but the goals were contributed by his forward colleagues, full debutant Jake Wright and left-winger Sam Osborne, who was returning after pre-season injury to net a brace and earn the NLP's man-of-the-match nomination. Both men impressed, with Osborne matching his fine debut performance at Spennymoor close to a year ago.

'The Bucks' were soon looking more threatening than of late with promising work on both flanks, but the early exchanges were even and home 'keeper, Max Dearnley, was forced into a good save and was then fortunate that midfielder Deverdics shot weakly at him from 8 yards following a free-kick. However, the game's complexion was irrevocably changed by 2 goals inside 3 minutes. Osborne was already making an impact, but it was Smart's neat 1-2 with Connor Kirby that set up the winger for a firm, angled shot that was parried by Alex Mitchell. The 'keeper should then have done better when Osborne won the ball and netted a 35th-minute tap-in. Almost at once, the best passing move of the match flowed swiftly on Buxton's right flank for Wright to force the ball home close to goal at the Ashwood End. Blyth hit back and Deverdics launched a lofted corner-kick that somehow cleared everyone.

Early in the 2nd half injury to Xander McBurnie forced a Buxton system change to 4-4-2 as Spartans gradually gained a majority of possession. The newly returned Cedric Main, on loan from York City, was the focal point for the visitors' attack but it was his opposite number, Jake Wright, who was harshly denied a potential scoring chance by fussy referee Sawden, who seemed to see most of the physical contacts as fouls yet denied the visitors a 2nd-half penalty after a meaty coming-together of defender and attacker. His interpretation of recent F.A. edicts also seemed extreme as of 5 home players cautioned, just 1 was for a foul.

Substitutions were made as Blyth did most of the pressing, though Mitchell was forced to parry Kirby's fiercely-struck, 28-yard drive, while Osborne's imsginative,40-yard lob over the 'keeper struck the outside of a post. The winger did, however, have the last word deep into added time. Attacking substitute, Eoin McKeown's superb pass released Jak McCourt on the right and, from his accurate, low delivery, Osborne tapped in at the undefended far post.

So, unlike last season's meeting here when Spartans turned the tables in added time, 'the Bucks' confirmed a victory which lifted them to 17th place ahead of Monday's visit to Banbury. Going back to Jan.21st and the visit of Hereford, the success was the 12th consecutive home game without defeat.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Shiels, Kirby, Francis-Angol; Kirby, McCourt, McBurnie (Burrow); Smart (Hunt), Wright (McKeown), Osborne. Unused Subs: Newall & DeGirolamo.


Saturday 19th August BUXTON (1) 1 CURZON ASHTON (0) 1 ATT 501

After going goal-less on Tuesday at Warrington despite enjoying much of the possession, Buxton manager, Craig Elliott, revamped the attack but the hosts, after taking an early lead, couldn't secure a first win of the season as undefeated 'Nash' equalised late to salvage a point and their third draw.

From Tuesday's back 5, Max Hunt was on the subs' bench as Buxton deployed a 4-man defence, while in midfield, with Tommy Elliott unfit, Jak McCourt returned after injury at the expense of Craig Weston, but it was at the front where a different unit was tried. Sam Smart was restored on the right and Eoin McKeown was given a full and home debut on the left, with Diego centrally but he often busied himself in a deep-lying role. Josh Granite and Sam Osborne have yet to recover sufficiently to be available.

The outcome was a disappointing encounter with far too much disjointed, scrappy play and though there was a stiff breeze, the conditions could not be blamed as neither side impressed and at no point established true authority. The match started evenly and without meaningful incident so 'the Bucks' goal on 17 minutes came out of the blue but showed quality as they attacked the Ashwood End. Jake Hull's long, low forward pass picked out Smart centrally and he rounded 'keeper Mason to net impressively. Much encouraged, the hosts should have doubled their advantage within 5 minutes, but Xander McBurnie fired against Mason's legs from 8 yards after he, McKeown and Zaine Francis-Angol had combined superbly deep on the left. That moment proved pivotal as a 2-goal lead would likely have allowed a more relaxed and confident approach but that never happened. Meanwhile 'Nash' offered little first-half threat with home 'keeper, Max Dearnley, in commanding mode, and the only shot of note came on the stroke of half-time with a 25-yard effort by the long-serving Mahon fired directly at him.

Exchanges were mostly even after the interval with the hosts unable to create much of a threat but gradually the visitors enjoyed a majority of possession without the guile to carve out openings. However, 'Nash's 79th-minute equaliser, like Buxton's, came as something of a surprise with centre-back Matthews rising highest to power home an inswinging corner-kick.

By far the most exciting spell of end-to-end action came in the 8 minutes of added time. For 'Nash' Stefan Mols sent a glancing header, from a right-flank cross, wide of the far post but 'the Bucks' went closer still. Determined work by substitute Jake Wright saw a defender's sliced clearance heading for a top corner only to be cleared from the goal-line, then Curzon's Richards power-drove a 25-yard effort wide of goal.

Bucks: Dearnley; Brown, Shiels, Hull, Francis-Angol; McCourt; Smart (Burrow), Kirby, McBurnie (Wright), McKeown (Minihan); De Girolamo. Unused Subs: Weston & Hunt


Tuesday 15th August WARRINGTON TOWN (1) 1 BUXTON (0) 0 ATT. 860

By conceding added-time goals in their opening 2 fixtures, Buxton had dropped 3 points but on Tuesday it was a first-minute strike that was their undoing. A typically swift Warrington passing break-out on their right saw 'the Wire' switch the ball to the left from where, in acres of space, winger Grivosti, recently returned from a spell with Bolton Wanderers, advanced to drive clinically into goal, well wide of 'keeper, Max Dearnley.

Manager Craig Elliott had made changes after Saturday's reverse, Midfielder Xander McBurnie made a full debut in place of injured Jak McCourt, Connor Brown started for the similarly injured Sam Minihan, while he opted for an alternative formation based on the three centre-backs, Jake Hull, Max Hunt and Luke Shiels.

'The Bucks' soon settled to a passing style and dominated possession with probably a 70% share. However, penetration was lacking as the hosts were tenacious and hard-working in defence so the only meaningful first-half shot at goal was early on by Connor Kirby, resulting from consecutive home penalty-area errors, but his effort flew high over the bar.

Yet from their limited possession 'the Wire' fashioned more openings. Centrally-placed, Woods received a low Gravosti cross but horribly sliced his attempt wide of goal, then twice in a minute late in the half the hosts had further chances to score. Veteran centre-back Clarke sent a glancing header narrowly wide, while a driven, low cross from the right passed untouched across the face of goal.

Half-time changes seemed inevitable after such a disappointing half. Diego replaced Jordan Burrow in the centre while Eoin McKeown made his debut after injury in an attacking role on the left. For nearly a quarter-hour 'the Bucks', showing great determination to get on terms, continued to dominate but still couldn't crate a clear chance in open play. Their best opportunity came with a 22-yard, centrally-placed free-kick and Diego's firm, low drive drew a diving save from ex-'Alty' 'keeper, Thompson.

Thereafter, however, 'the Wire' enjoyed their best prolonged period of the match, soon forcing Dearnley into a fine save to thwart Woods and denying much in the way of possession to 'the Bucks'. When visiting attacks were developed, a loose ball didn't run kindly for Diego and twice in the closing minutes McKeown had consecutive openings on the left but he could make nothing of either when faced with still resolute defending.

So Buxton's miserable sequence of results at Warrington continues! Three draws and 3 defeats in the 6 completed meetings followed the only success there some 15 years ago, the 7-0 trouncing of homeless, hapless Leigh Genesis.

Bucks: Dearnley; Brown, Shiels, Hunt (McKeown), Hull, Francis-Angol; Weston, Kirby, Elliott, McBurnie (Smart); Burrow (De Girolamo). Unused Subs: Newall & Boden.


Saturday 12th August BRACKLEY TOWN (1) 2 BUXTON (0) 1 ATT 556

Danny Newton scored late on to snatch all three points in the last minute of the game with Buxton losing 2-1 on the road. Both teams started well with passing moves but weren’t able to find the final ball. Brackley started to control the game more after the opening 10 minutes with a Ricardo Calder cross from deep coming into a dangerous area. Danny Newton had the first shot on target which Dearnley collected well.

Buxton’s first effort of the game came from Sam Smart as Tommy Elliot laid it off to him and he hit a shot towards the bottom corner that Lewis in goal got down to save. It was the hosts who took the lead in the 30th minute Calder smashing the ball in from close range with The Bucks struggling to clear the ball away. George Carline then tried his luck from distance with a low driven shot that went narrowly wide of the post. Alfie Bates headed over from the 6-yard box with Calder getting another cross into him. Buxton ended the half strong Minihan hitting a shot wide of the mark and having a penalty shout in the last minute with Elliott being dragged down.

The Bucks started the second half with Elliott cutting the ball in from out wide and hitting a dipping effort at goal. Substitute Crawford was almost through on goal with The Buxton defence standing strong to get rid of the opportunity. Kirby then had his attempt blocked in the box by a Brackley defender. The Bucks equalised in the 82nd minute after a corner whipped into the box found Shiels who fired it in to make it 1-1. Substitute Diego De Girolamo then had a freekick effort brilliantly saved by The Saints goalkeeper. The Bucks however were unable to pick the ball back up after a lose ball in the middle as it came over the top to Newton in the 94th minute to fire it in and give the hosts all 3 points.

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan (Brown), Hunt, Hull, Francis-Angol; McCourt (De Girolamo), Weston; Elliott, Kirby, Smart (Shiels); Burrow. Unused Subs: McBurnie & McKeown.


Saturday 5th August BUXTON (0) 1 BOSTON UTD (0) 1 ATT. 1072

Two evenly-matched teams, sporting 14 debutants among the 22 who started, produced a very entertaining encounter whose result was in doubt to the very end. 'The Bucks' led for 37 second-half minutes thanks to a well-crafted headed goal, but an added-time headed equaliser deprived the hosts of a mere third victory in 30 meetings with 'the Pilgrims', traditionally Buxton's most difficult opponents by far.

After Tuesday's experimental formation that had featured in the defeat versus 'Macc', manager Craig Elliott restored the system that had looked most promising in the earlier friendlies and for 25 minutes his team dominated possession without being able to pierce the sound visiting rearguard. Yet 'the Bucks' did threaten. A fine Tommy Elliott diagonal pass, then good work on the right by the 2 Sam's, Minihan and Smart, forced one of several corners. Next Connor Kirby fired low and firmly from 28 yards for the ball to pass close by the far post. However, 'the Pilgrims' first attack, just before the half-hour, went far closer to scoring as first Max Dearnley then Kirby had to clear from the goal-line.

That attacking spell lasted 6 minutes and thereafter the exchanges were even but 'the Bucks' made the clearer openings. The impressive Sam Smart's 25-yard drive skimmed the bar, then Utd centre-back, Bostwick, was fortunate to see his touch back find 'keeper Gregory rather than the net.

By contrast, it was Boston on the front foot at the start of the second half and Bostwick's 15-yard low effort passed just wide, yet it was Buxton who took the lead in the 57th minute. Smart's defence-splitting pass set up Minihan for a lofted pull-back from the by-line that was firmly headed home by ex-Boston striker, Jordan Burrow. The visitors continued to pose a threat but home centre-backs, the returning loanee from Rotherham Utd, Jake Hull, and substitute Max Hunt, dealt with it into added time, while Smart, on the Buxton right went close to doubling his team's advantage in the 78th minute as he drove against the 'keeper's legs from a narrow angle. Nevertheless, Boston persevered and in the 4th of 8 minutes striker Kelsey Mooney marked his debut by heading home a right-flank cross.

'The Bucks' next fixture is on Saturday at Brackley Town (kick-off 3p.m). By then it is to be hoped that several of the now 6 injured players will be available for selection. The 31st-minute loss of ex-Boston defender, Luke Shiels, meant that 2 Buxton captains had been injured within 5 days!

Bucks: Dearnley; Minihan, Shiels (Hunt), Hull, Francis-Angol; Weston, McCourt; Kirby. Elliott (McBurnie), Smart (Newall); Burrow. Unused Subs: De Girolamo & Boden.

bottom of page