Buxton are in the final of the Cawarden Derbyshire Senior Cup after overcoming strong resistance from Belper United to win 3-2 at the Tarmac Silverlands (Tuesday March 14). The final will be at Pride Park against EFL League One Derby County.
A changed but still strong Bucks side had to beat the weather as well as their visitors, with snow heavy enough for the referee to call for an orange ball to replace the white one midway through the second period.
Belper, from the United Counties Premier League, led twice but were overhauled by a brace of Diego De Girolamo goals, with a Sam Osborne score sandwiched in between. Diego's goals were after 30 and 68 minutes, Sam's was in the 57th. Belper had taken the lead in the ninth minute and went ahead again in the 48th, from a penalty.
Bucks team manager Craig Elliott praised Belper's efforts. "They put up a good fight under these difficult conditions. It's not easy as underdogs and I've got nothing but admiration for them and the way they approached the game. Good luck to them for the rest of the season.
"The first half belonged to Belper but we were able to take control after the break. Our lads found a way to win. Diego in particular was outstanding and finished off both of his goals really well, showing yet again what quality he has. We're looking forward to going to Derby and want to win the cup."
The match was made possible by the pitch-clearing efforts of youngsters from the Buxton Academy and others from the community, doing the job twice after repeated snow storms during the day. The weather forecast for Saturday is much better and the Bucks will return to Vanarama National League North duty, at home to Farsley Celtic (3pm kick-off).