Evo-Stik Premier Division
Ashton United 2
Buxton FC 1
FROM a winning position with ten minutes to go, Buxton tasted defeat on Tameside last Saturday to complete a disappointing week of just one point from six against teams in the lower half of the table.
A combination of a very wet and later cut up, gluey pitch, aided and abetted by a strong, cross-field wind, contributed to there being little quality in the game, yet Buxton, never at their best, enjoyed a majority of possession and looked likely winners until Ashton’s late revival.
In the closing minutes the Bucks really missed their absent trio of experienced players, Agus, Heywood and Towey, but the discovery of the day was the lively form of winger Chris Ovington, who was preferred to the fit-again Martin Pembleton, for the vacant midfield slot.
He threatened on several occasions to unlock Ashton’s resilient rearguard and scored Buxton’s goal after 66 minutes but the opening was made for him by Mark Reed on his 300th Buxton appearance with a touch of class.
The striker was gifted possession on the left touch-line by Murphy’s curious back-heel and Reed curled in a cross to the far post where Ovington converted from three yards for a goal that was greeted with huge delight and even the relief of the visiting players.
However, the Bucks thereafter didn’t seriously threaten to double their advantage and paid the penalty with a brace of goals conceded to Ashton’s leading scorer Aaron Burns, who had been the mainspring and target-man for all United’s best work.
He was fouled close to goal by Steve Ridley after 82 minutes and beat Scott Hartley to his right from the penalty spot.
Just three minutes later, Ryan Crowther struck a 20-yard free kick that the keeper couldn’t cling onto and ex-Northwich striker Burns netted from close range.
Doubtless the irony was not missed by Buxton’s management that they had shown pre-season interest in a player whose formative years were spent at Old Trafford, especially when a defender’s block was all that prevented his hat-trick.
Buxton tried hard to respond with even Hartley advancing for late free kicks but there was little added time to make use of.
The Bucks had enjoyed the better of the first half without being able to score. Ridley went closest in the 14th minute with a superb 25-yard right-foot strike from a short clearance but home keeper Smith pulled off a flying save.
In that first quarter Buxton showed signs of developing their passing game but the promise was not sustained as the soft pitch cut up.
However, as half time approached Josh Wilde ended a neat move with his goal-bound shot blocked close to the line and he was then halted by a timely tackle as he again threatened to score, while Joe Wilcox headed over the bar from a Ridley corner kick.
At the other end, Hartley had only regulation saves to make from Burns and fellow striker Bathurst.
Buxton: Hartley, Black, Wilcox, Anderson, Wilde, Ovington (Pembleton 80), Stevens, Maxfield, Ridley (Whight 87), Reed, Lugsden (Sanasy 69). Subs unused: Askey and Liversidge. Attendance: 237.