There were several occasions last season when Buxton created sufficient chances to have won games yet failed to convert them, but on Saturday the rebuilt home side proved clinical in their finishing. The victims, former NPL rivals and now operating in the Southern League (Central Division), offered much more in attack than Leek Town last Saturday but at the opposite end were put to the sword with 'the Bucks' scoring 3 in each half.
Attacking the Ashwood End, within 4 minutes Tommy Elliott forced a fingertip low save from ex-Matlock 'keeper Pollard, yet the opening goal was delayed but 6 minutes as Connor Kirby delivered a low, left-flank cross for a near-post Jordan Burrow conversion. Only a further 6 minutes elapsed before Kirby produced a wonder goal that will take some surpassing all season! A diagonal pass found him at a corner of the penalty area and in one motion he swivelled to thunder a drive into the far bottom corner of the net!
The visitors showed their attacking intent early and netted in the 18th minute as Ryan Wilson drove low and firmly from 20 yards to beat Max Dearnley. Buxton, however, continued to threaten and earned a penalty-kick just short of the half-hour with an unintentional, blind-side foul on Elliott. Jak McCourt obliged impressively from 'the spot'. Six minutes on and a neat passing move involving Nathan Newall and Elliott set up a Sam Smart cross that was very difficult for Burrow who couldn't beat Pollard again.
Early in the second half,2 goals in 3 minutes emphasised the point about Buxton's sharpness. From a deft Burrow headed touch, Kirby's perseverance took him past 2 defenders to net his 2nd,then Burrow himself drove home superbly, off the far post, as an accurate McCourt pass set him up. The scoring was completed in the 76th minute as central defender, Max Hunt, netted with a free, far-post header following a corner-kick. Hunt was one of numerous 2nd-half substitutions involving Diego, Scott Boden, Jordan Barnett and newcomer Jake Wright, as well as several trialists,2 of them experienced defenders not seen previously. Nonetheless, the crowd continued to be well entertained and only an offside decision ruled out a 7th strike, a Boden header, in the 80th minute.
Dearnley; Brown (Trialist), Shiels (Hunt), Granite (Trialist), Newall (Barnett); McCourt, Weston (Trialist); Smart (Trialist), Kirby (Diego), Elliott; Burrow (Boden).