BUXTON FC manager John Reed was unhappy to settle for a point against Northwich Victoria on Tuesday night, believing his side should have killed off the game before half time.
The boss praised the Bucks’ first half performance at the Silverlands, which saw them lead 1-0 at the break thanks to a goal from striker Mark Reed, but he singled out sloppy mistakes for the two Northwich goals after the break which almost secured the visitors all three points.
Reed netted his second goal from the spot, five minutes from time, to pull the score back to 2-2.
Afterwards, the Bucks manager said: “Overall, I can’t say I’m happy about drawing at home, but they are one of the contenders for one of the four play-off spots and I thought personally that we more than matched them.
“Our work rate was fantastic. I thought the front two lads were absolutely outstanding, as was Chris Ovington on the right wing.
“I thought we were a better side than them, certainly in the first half, and we didn’t kill them off when we had the chances. Mark Reed, before he scored his goal, missed a great chance from about three yards out. And we were a bit disappointed by not having a penalty in the first half when Towey was wrestled to the ground.”
But after half time, The Vics hit back with goals from Andrew Fowler, from the penalty spot, and David Fitzpatrick.
“There was no excuse for two really sloppy goals, which were both individual mistakes,” Reed said.
“Grant Black gave away a real sloppy penalty. The kid was going away from goal. He said he didn’t bring him down, but from where I was stood it looked a penalty.
“And then for their second goal, Black seemed to get caught out of position and they dinked it into his space, crossed and it was 2-1, and it looked like the game was gone.
“To be honest, I don’t know what happened with our penalty, but by all accounts the big number five (Michael Byron) had his arms around Towey and the referee gave us a penalty.”
Reed added: “It’s another point and comes after a bad defeat on Saturday (against Ashton). I still have to pinch myself to figure out how we didn’t get three points that afternoon, and how in the end we left with nothing.
“People are going to look and say, the last four games we have drawn three and lost one, which is fair comment.
“Three out of 12 points possibly isn’t good enough, but we have got to keep going and we have got another 48 points still to play for.”
This Saturday, Buxton face a must-win game away at relegation-threatened Frickley Athletic (kick-off 3pm), with the Bucks looking to complete a fourth double of the season following their 7-1 thrashing of the South Elmsall club in October. The following Wednesday (March 9, kick-off 7.45pm), the Bucks travel to Hucknall Town for the re-arranged fixture caused by the January 3 abandonment due to floodlight failure.