BUXTON (0) 1 STALYBRIDGE CELTIC (0) 1 ATT 536
A 90th minute equaliser by substitute Bradley Grayson earned Buxton a deserved draw just when it seemed that Bakkor's close-range opener for Celtic in the 74th minute would be enough for the visitors to take full points. So ended an encounter contested, for the second consecutive match, in dreadful conditions of driving downfield wind and rain, yet nonetheless the teams produced an entertaining game, particularly in the first half when play frequently moved rapidly from end to end.
If ever a match was evenly fought, this was it and between 2 teams which have drawn 3 of their 4 meetings this season. Neither side was ever dominant as possession, goal-scoring chances and goals were all equally shared, as well as strikes against the goal-frame. In the 41st minute Celtic loanee, Howard, who had netted Hednesford's latest of late equalisers in October, launched a powerful,wind-assisted,25-yard free-kick that was touched onto the bar and away by Buxton's debutant loanee 'keeper from Premiership Burnley, Adam Bruce. The replacement for injured regular 'keeper, Theo Roberts (present but wearing a protective medical boot),showed excellent handling throughout. Then, just on half-time, home striker, James Dean, planted a firm header flush against the foot of a post. Other worthwhile efforts were likewise evenly shared. From a corner-kick forced by Liam Hardy, Alex Brown's challenging in-swinger was headed over by Bradley Roscoe, while for Celtic, loanee centre-back Smalley headed a corner-kick onto the roof of the net. Another visiting loanee, right-back Nyaupembe, was prominent on several occasions when his team moved forward, while for Buxton left-back Brown again produced a convincing display.
Despite Buxton having the second-half advantage of elements, play continued even. Visiting striker Cockerline shot wide from 10 yards to waste a good chance either side of decent 25-yard strikes for Buxton by Brown and Scott Sephton. Arguably the game's best cameo of play came just short of the hour with Celtic making a fluent break only for 'the Bucks' to counter, Joe McGee setting up Hardy for an accurate curling shot saved by 'keeper Wharton at full stretch. There followed a narrow squeak for Buxton as a deflected shot from distance wrong-footed 'keeper Bruce but rolled inches wide of goal, while the home side, around 3/4 time, twice found the net only for Celfic to breathe again as both were uncontroversially ruled out. Even the goals were somewhat similar as both scorers latched onto loose balls when defenders were unable to clear their lines effectively.
Team: Bruce, Roscoe, brown, N De Girolamo, T Dean (Meade), Sephton, Chippendale, McGee (Grayson), J Dean, Hardy, Coppin (Oyibo), Unused Subs: A Young & Gee