FA Cup Second Qualifying Round: Stamford 1, Buxton 3
AN INCREASINGLY commanding second-half performance, producing two late goals, ensured Buxton’s passage into the FA Cup’s third qualifying round and a third victory in three visits to Stamford.
Fresh from the midweek thrashing of Ashton, the Bucks played confidently throughout and by the end had established total dominance over a home side which had earned its team boss an August Manager of the Month award.
However, the visitors had to come from behind to advance in the competition as the Daniels scored in the 14th minute in their first serious attack.
A cross from the right saw Ian Deakin and Roberts collide and Gibson swept home the loose ball. Buxton continued to have most of the play down the slope and passing moves gave shooting opportunities to Scott Maxfield and Neil Stevens but both efforts failed to trouble keeper Finlay.
Lee Morris was again frequently prominent and in the 44th minute his through ball set Kieran Lugsden off in pursuit but he was brought down by centre-back Jones and Morris, for a second time in four days, found a corner of the net from the penalty spot.
The Bucks made a good start to the second half and really should have taken the lead just six minutes in.
Morris, Lugsden and Stevens put together an incisive move but Lugsden stroked the ball wide with only Finlay to beat.
Almost immediately the striker nearly made up for his error as Finlay did well to hold his teasing curling cross from the right but soon afterwards he and Stevens were substituted in favour of Mark Reed and Michael Towey respectively.
The manager’s substitutions proved highly effective as his team took an ever more firm grip on proceedings, though Roberts had to make an important block on King’s shot and Deakin produced several impressive catches.
Towey regularly found space to drive forward from midfield and in one inspired run beat three defenders to set up Steve Istead for a powerful shot parried to safety by Finlay.
Reed also quickly caught the eye with two worthy efforts on goal, while Deakin produced the day’s best save to deny Smith’s header at a corner.
Then the visitors scored the goals that won the tie but not before the home goal enjoyed a remarkable escape.
Good play on the left set up Duncum for a low cross across the face of goal but the ball somehow evaded Morris with a corner-kick the outcome.
Sandwith took it from the right and Mark Reed’s powerful 79th-minute bullet header proved unstoppable.
Steve Istead then created an opportunity for a decisive third goal with a determined gallop out of midfield to the right from where his cross was handled to give Morris another penalty kick opportunity but the striker’s shot was this time saved.
Nonetheless only a minute later Buxton’s prodigal son had his revenge, charging down the keeper’s clearance which rebounded from him into the net, giving him the healthy return of four goals in the two games since his second coming.
Buxton: Deakin, Black, Roberts, Haggerty, Sandwith, Stevens (Towey, 61), Istead, Maxfield (Keane, 81), Duncum, Lugsden (Reed, 68), Morris. Attendance: 201.