Bucks boss aiming for no slip-ups

Buxton's Jamie Green in action at Chorley.
Buxton's Jamie Green in action at Chorley.

Martin McIntosh knows his side face a crucial couple of weeks, as the hectic Christmas and New Year schedule gathers momentum.

Buxton face a tough festive period with two local derbies; against Matlock Town at home on Boxing Day and away at Ilkeston on New Year’s Day.

Sandwiched between those two clashes is a visit from play-off rivals FC United of Manchester on Saturday.

Then after the Ilkeston trip comes another league match, with Rushall Olympic the visitors to the Silverlands on Saturday, January 4.

The sequence of five games in 15 days started last weekend when Buxton picked up a valuable point in a 0-0 draw at promotion-chasing Chorley.

The result ensured McIntosh’s side extended their unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik Premier Division to seven games - their last defeat in the competition was the 1-0 reverse to Stocksbridge back in October.

They go into the game against Mark Atkins’ side positioned eighth in the standings, but with games in hand on teams around them.

Ahead of the Boxing Day clash, McIntosh said: “Games against Matlock are always difficult because of the local derby aspect.

“But whoever we play against, I expect us to always be competitive.”

Atkins, whose side have not won away from home since October 12, says the Gladiators are in for a battle: “We’ve been poor in recent seasons against Buxton, particularly up there. We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and work hard.

“They’re going well so it’ll be a tough game and we need to take the chances that come our way.”

McIntosh will be hoping to have Leon Osbourne and Tim Ryan back in contention for the festive clutch of matches.

Osbourne recently returned from a spell at Goole AFC, whilst Ryan missed the Chorley clash due to illness.