Buxton chief learns from last season’s shortfalls

Martin McIntosh wants more goals from his side next season.
Martin McIntosh wants more goals from his side next season.
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Martin McIntosh is not one to ponder on the past.

The Buxton manager would much rather look ahead and seek to set new targets for the coming season, after a hugely forgettable campaign last time out.

It’s fair to say that the Bucks will file the 2013-14 season under the ‘one to forget’ folder.

Buxton finished 13th in the Evo-Stik Premier Division and scored just 63 goals in 46 games.

Now, on the eve of the new campaign, McIntosh is adamant where his side struggled last season and has duly made inroads in his attempts to change that.

He is hopeful that this season will not see a repeat of the struggles in front of goal.

He said: “Scoring more goals is something we need to improve on.

“Last year that was where we fell short.

“I think the two strikers we’ve brought in, Liam Hardy and Shaun Tuton, will cause problems for any defence in this league with their pace.

“That was what we were missing last year up front.

“Clearly we didn’t finish teams off last season, but I feel with the likes of Liam, Shaun and Craig King in the team that we’ll improve this year.”

Most of McIntosh’s business this summer has consisted of trying to recoup the bulk of his squad and, in the main, that has been achieved.

Key players such as King and Ash Palmer, two shining lights from last season, both committed to the cause early on.

They have been joined by a cluster of new arrivals into the club including experienced centre-half Greg Young and midfielder Jonathan Williams, as well as strike pair Hardy and Tuton.

Hardy was a revelation last term during a prolific loan spell, when he scored seven goals in nine games.

McIntosh will be hoping that after a full pre-season the former Harrogate Town hitman will maintain that form throughout 2014-15.

Tuton, recruited from local rivals Matlock, and long-serving Mark Reed make up the trio of forwards at the Silverlands.

With regards to Tuton, McIntosh was delighted to have acquired the youngster’s services.

He said: “Shaun is a good young striker with lots of pace.

“He’s someone who has been on our radar and I think him and Liam up front will score goals for us.”

Predictably, there have also been a number of departures over the summer, with top-scorer Lee Morris and goalkeeper Andy Warrington among the most high-profile.

Morris has opted to join NCEL Premier Division side Shaw Lane Aquaforce, where he is player-assistant.

He notched 23 goals last season and the onus will be on the new-look strikeforce to make up that shortfall.

Warrington meanwhile has taken up a full-time, non-playing role at one of his former clubs, Rotherham United.

The goalkeeper’s exit has paved the way for a new number one at the Silverlands, with Arron Jameson likely to fill that spot for the big kick-off against Nantwich on Saturday.

Ahead of that opening game of the season, McIntosh says he is expecting a difficult test.

He said: “It’ll be the same as any first game of the season, in the sense that everyone will want to go out all guns blazing.

“There’s always a lot of tension in opening games.

“I think the league starts to settle down after you’ve got the first few matches out of the way.

“Nantwich’s manager Danny Johnson has been at this level a long time so that will be a tough one for us to open up with.

“It’s when you find out how well you have prepared from pre-season.”