Buxton's first home pre-season friendly provided a most satisfactory run-out for both clubs, despite the inclement weather which subjected the participants to a fearsome, torrential downpour for the opening 20 minutes of the second half. There was generous applause at the end of each period to indicate the spectators' approval of what they had seen.
'The Bucks' began with 6 of their newcomers on show in a formation based on a standard back four and two holding midfielders in Jak McCourt and Curtis Weston, both of whom impressed with some fabulously accurate, long, diagonal passing from deep to set up, respectively, Sam Smart on the right and the prominent Tommy Elliott on the left. Penetrative approach play created both goals within six minutes. McCourt's delightful long pass in the 18th minute found former England 'C' international striker, Jordan Burrow (Pictured), centrally at the edge of the penalty area and he netted with a classy, curling finish, while in the 23rd,from a similar position, Elliott slid home a Connor Kirby defence-splitting through ball.
Though operating two divisions lower, the experimental Leek side worked very hard to contain their neighbours but were limited to little possession and hardly troubled either of the Buxton 'keepers, who had a half each. There was, however, plenty of first-half action at the Ashwood End where 'the Bucks' went close several more times. A fierce, swerving shot by attacking midfielder, Kirby, was parried by ex-Wolves and 'Macc' 'keeper, O'Shaughnessy, but only to Josh Granite whose shot passed wide, then Burrow's high, angled lob narrowly cleared the target. Winger Sam Smart, a lively performer throughout, was played in by another accurate through ball, but the 'keeper got a touch to his shot to merely concede a corner.
Home manager, Craig Elliott, made numerous changes after the interval, but the revamped side continued to dominate the exchanges. Of the players not on view, Diego was unavailable while McKeown, Osborne and Wright were nursing injuries.
The starting eleven and major substitutions were : Dearnley (trialist);Brown, Shiels (Hunt), Granite, Newall (Barnett);McCourt (Dawson),Weston (trialist); Smart, Kirby, Elliott; Burrow (Boden),with 3 other trialists also employed.
Meanwhile, former full-back, Declan Poole, who chose to return to his previous club, Connah's Quay Nomads, despite an offer to re-sign, has figured in his club's Europa Conference League tie in Iceland. Though on the losing side (0-2), Declan sent a curling effort narrowly wide and a free-kick over the bar.