BUXTON FC manager John Reed believes the potential new strike partnership of Kieran Lugsden and Kyle Hadley could prove a fruitful one during what he expects will be a difficult season for the Bucks.
Former Kidderminster Harriers star Hadley, 23, who last year enjoyed spells at Harrogate Town, Belper and North Ferriby United, was twice on the scoresheet for Buxton in Tuesday night’s 3-2 friendly win at Sheffield FC.
And while the manager continues to tweak his side with just nine days remaining until the start of the new Evo-Stik Premier Division season, Reed is looking to Hadley and Kieran Lugsden to spearhead the Silverlands side’s strike-force.
“Hadley is a phenomenal player,” explained Reed. “He is only 23-years-old, has been a full-time professional with Kidderminster, and I jumped with joy at the chance of signing him.
“He looked a real menace up front against Sheffield on Tuesday night, lively as a kite, and scored two great goals. I think him and Kieran can be a threat up front, but they have got to build up a good partnership and understanding.
“It is looking like him and Kieran will be the two starting up front, although Sam Johnson will want a say in that too. We want goals from them and people to get involved in midfield and contribute, and we want the defence to get tighter at the back.
“The new lads are doing extremely well. David Taylor is looking strong in midfield, he scored a terrific goal against Chapel Town and on Saturday made Kieran’s first goal. And Jack Cross is also doing extremely well.
“All the players have been working hard in pre-season. They came back from the break well prepared, better than any other year, and we are looking a really fit side.”
The manager’s delight at the 3-2 win at Sheffield followed his disappointment at letting slip a two-goal lead against Blue Square North side Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday. The Bucks had led at half-time courtesy of two goals from Lugsden, before conceding four after the break.
Reed said: “At the end of the day, I am still concerned about central defence, if I’m being honest. We still need a big number five.
“The goals we conceded against Stalybridge, the first was a straight ball and we should be dealing with that. We played much better against Sheffield.”
Following trials with Mansfield Town and Gainsborough Trinity, Josh Wilde returned as a substitute for Buxton against Sheffield on Tuesday night, and was also expected to feature for the Bucks in last night’s (Wednesday) High Peak Cup final against Glossop North End, along with a number of new trialists.
“It was good to see Josh back in the team, it was like he had never been away. We have got to fight to keep him at the club,” added Reed.
Buxton end their pre-season schedule on Saturday with a visit to Leek Town of the Evo-Stik Division One South (kick-off 3pm), before entertaining Northwich Victoria at the Silverlands in their opening Evo-Stik Premier Division fixture on Saturday August 13 (kick-off 3pm).
l Buxton’s directors are still looking for support for the annual Golf Day on Friday August 12. Potential tee and green sponsors are asked to contact Chris Brindley on 07778 163856.
Teams of four wishing to take part should contact Jane Dobson at Buxton & High Peak Golf Club. The charge per team is £50, with a meal available at an extra charge.