Bucks performances were miles apart

Buxton Fc David Taylor
Buxton Fc David Taylor
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Doodson Sport Cup Fourth Round: Witton Albion 4, Buxton FC 1

THE TWO football grounds in Northwich are separated by only a few hundred yards, but there was a million miles of difference between Buxton’s recent performances there.

Just four days after taking the plaudits for earning a point at the championship-chasing Vics, the Bucks bowed out of the Doodson Sport Cup in ignominious fashion at nearby Witton Albion last Wednesday.

Though Albion stood 25 places and one division below the Vics, they so outplayed the visitors that they led 4-0 by the 49th minute and looked capable of emulating Skelmersdale’s 6-1 success at Buxton’s expense in the same competition last season.

The Bucks, however, showed some improvement to limit the damage but this was still a very poor display even allowing for the absence of five front-line players for a variety of reasons.

Witton looked every inch a Premier Division side, passing the ball quickly, smoothly and accurately to penetrate Buxton’s rearguard at regular intervals, and led from the 13th minute through leading scorer Alex Titchener, who had the time and space to convert a left-flank move.

Two more goals inside four minutes effectively put the tie beyond the visitors’ reach. Co-striker Liam Newman netted the second after 35 minutes with a low cross-shot again following a left-side combination, and just four minutes later skipper Anthony Sheehan scored from the penalty spot after Josh Wilde had undeniably brought down Danny Andrews.

The second half opened in similar style and just four minutes in, Newman netted again in a manner typical of Buxton’s evening so far. Stevens conceded possession in midfield, then Newman turned Agus to plant a low shot into a corner of the net.

The introduction of the bright and lively David Taylor on the left effected an improvement and Witton defender Ben Harrison found his own net on the hour from a dangerous, left-sided low corner.

The Bucks were at last stringing passes together, but Witton’s ultimate victory was comfortable as the sharpness of the in-form Bradley Barraclough, rested for the important league fixture at Bradford, was much missed, while the defence lacked the resilience shown only days earlier.

Buxton: Billard, Black, Liversidge, Agus, Wilde, Baxendale, Stevens, Maxfield (Taylor, 75), Ridley (Heywood, 69), Bradbury (Towey, 52), Reed. Attendance: 128.