14.10.2008

UniBond Northern Premier League

Buxton

Hednesford Town

Draper (11), Durrell (46), Maguire (71)

(0) 0

(1) 3

Attendance

MoTM

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283

Elliott Durrell

W L L D W W L W W W

Quorn (H) 18.10.08

After completing their first double of the season on Saturday, the Pitmen quickly followed it up with another amidst monsoon-like conditions at Buxton's Silverlands ground this evening

 

Manager Dean Edwards was forced into a change at the back, with Sean Platt ruled out with an injury picked up early into Saturday's clash with Witton Albion; Sam Hall slotted straight in at right wing-back in his absence. Striker Reece Styche, recently out on loan to Bromsgrove Rovers, was also back in the first-team picture as a substitute. Otherwise, it was as you were for the Pitmen who were looking to consolidate their position at the top of the UniBond Premier League

John Reed's Bucks side had been beaten by Blyth Spartans at the weekend in the F.A. Cup 3rd qualifying round to leave them without a win in their last three games. Reed made four changes to his side for tonight's return to league action as Tom Griffiths, Danny Reet, Steve Smith and Gavin Knight came in for Mark Lees, Jason Bradley, Reuben Wiggins-Thomas and Tommy Agus respectively

After heavy rain had fallen over Derbyshire for some time, there were worries that the game would not get started, especially as news filtered through of later postponements at local sides Matlock and Ilkeston Town. However, after a couple of precautionary potch inspections from the officials and the water draining off the Silverlands pitch down the slope, the game was called on at seven o'clock

 

The Pitmen were straight into their stride, making light of the awful conditions to settle in a good rhythm early onAnthony Maguire was first to test Buxton's resolve after four minutes, connecting sweetly with the ball from twenty yards out that was heading towards goal until it was deflected behind for a corner

Following the corner, which was half-cleared, the ball fell to Elliott Durrell who hit a long-range shot that Buxton keeper Scott Hartley led well in slippery conditions

Hednesford's early pressure paid dividends on eleven minutes, as they marched into the lead. A Mark Briggs free-kick found the head of skipper Ross Draper, who headed firmly past Hartley from close range

After a quiet afternoon between the sticks on Saturday, Stuart Brock was enjoying more of the same, as Buxton struggled to create any real clear cut openings in the first quarter of the game

Tyrone Barnett was keen to add to his impressive goal tally for the season, and he very nearly grabbed his eighth goal of the campaign on twenty minutes, getting on the end of a flowing Hednesford move involving Durrell, Briggs and Ross Dyer but pulled his shot narrowly wide of the post

The chances continued to tot up for the away side, with Dyer getting in behind the Buxton defence following a clever ball from Ross Draper. Unfortunately, the pitch took the ball away from him as he looked to shoot

On thirty-two minutes, Hartley had to be at his best to deny Durrell a scoring opportunity after he pushed a Danny Harvey shot back towards the Hednesford number eight; he recovered well to take the ball away from Durrell as he shaped to shoot

Three minutes later there came a crucial point in the match. Buxton captain Terry Bowker challenged for a ball with Barnett, flying in with his arm flailing towards Barnett's face. Barnett was clearly upset at this attempt to take him out and both players enjoyed a spell of handbags. The referee, once he had gained control again, sent Bowker off for his dangerous gesture and booked Barnett for his part in the afters

Despite the numerical advantage, the Pitmen almost allowed the home side to equalise just before half time. Michael Towey should have done better with his shot after he took advantage of indecision at the back for Hednesford to collect the ball inside the area. Former Barrow man Gavin Knight also had a late sight at goal, but he was denied a shot by Brock's smothering save

Edwards must have conjured up some Churchillian words at the break, as the Pitmen moved further in front just seconds into the restart. Draper laid the ball into the path of Durrell, who fired confidently past Harley from eighteen yards out

Barnett was determined to get his name on the scoresheet, forcing Hartley into another save down by his post three minutes later

The dangerous Knight looked like the only player Buxton could call upon to get them back in the game, as he got on the end of a bouncing ball and hit a shot that Brock saved well

Buxton boss Reed did his team no good at all on the hour by being sent to the stand by the referee after constantly abusing the assistant on the bench side of the pitch

Briggs, who somehow still had a white shirt on despite the muddy conditions, hit a great shot that only just missed after Dyer had won the ball back for the visitors

Maguire put the gloss on a fine team performance on seventy-two minutes with the Pitmen's third of the game; a cross from Hall was met by Barnett, whose flick header dropped to Maguire, lurking just inside the area. His shot beat Hartley at the near post, recording his first goal of the season

The Pitmen still went looking for more in the final ten minutes, with Hartley saving from close range to deny both Draper and Barnett. There was action on the substitute's bench late on, with Hall being replaced by new signing Adam Burley and Styche getting his first action for the campaign in Hednesford colours as he replaced Barnett late on

Styche almost had time to grab his first Hednesford goal in added time, after he made a great run into the area, but Durrell failed to pick him out with a simple pass and the chance was gone

In many people's eyes, considering the conditions and opposition, this was arguably the team's finest performance of the season, and with UniBond Division One side Quorn visiting Keys Park on Saturday in the F.A. Trophy, hopes must be high of progress to the next round against their lower league opponents

Buxton: Hartley, Black (O'Brien 56), Mathews, Bowker ©  (25), Anderson, Leonard, Griffiths (Balfe 70), Towey, Reet, Knight, Smith (Lees 80)      Sub Unused: Turley

Hednesford Town: Brock, Hall (Burley 82), Maguire, Gomes, Harvey, Marshall, Briggs (Sheppard 80), Durrell, Barnett  (Styche 88), Dyer, Draper ©      Subs Unused: Stamps, Burley