FA Carlsberg Trophy Second Qualifying Round
Northwich Victoria 3, Buxton FC 0
IT IS nearly 40 years since Buxton won away against a ‘Vics’ side and by half-time in this FA Trophy tie the prospects of victory over the Premier Division table-toppers looked distinctly bleak as a result of a disastrous 20-minute spell.
A brace of home goals inside four minutes proved insurmountable, and a third goal ten minutes after the break put Northwich into the next round.
In a quiet start to the tie, the Bucks competed effectively for half-an-hour with little to choose between the sides, though the visitors’ game plan was clearly chiefly to contain, with strikers Mark Reed and Kieran Lugsden deployed on the flanks either side of Tommy Agus and they tracked back eagerly to defend.
Northwich’s passing was impressively accurate and created a number of openings. Clarke struck a 20-yard shot narrowly wide, then his partner Wade worked a one-two but was thwarted by the diving Scott Hartley, who delivered a solid punch at the resulting corner kick.
The visitors’ attacks were fewer but did pose a threat. Josh Wilde’s cross was back-headed by Reed only for Agus’ shot to be deflected for a corner-kick, which Reed got in another back-header but it passed over the well-placed Michael Towey.
Then Neil Stevens fastened onto a loose ball but his superbly struck 25-yard drive flew narrowly wide.
Unfortunately that was the midfielder’s last contribution as injury soon forced his substitution and nine minutes later Scott Maxfield, his deputy, on the bench through being unwell, was uncharacteristically robbed by Field to allow Riley to cross low for Kearney to shoot home.
Only four further minutes elapsed before Buxton suffered a double blow in a single moment. As a cross came in from the Northwich left, Grant Black was clattered and Clarke headed into the goal off a post. Black was stretchered from the field with what yet may prove to be a serious rib injury.
Now dominant, Vics pressed either side of the interval for a third goal and it duly arrived in disappointingly simple fashion in the 55th minute. From an inswinging Woolfe free-kick on the right, midfielder Roddy headed past Hartley.
Thereafter, the visitors managed a number of isolated raids and looked more threatening after Reed moved into a central role, but there was no way back for his well-beaten team as Vics looked capable of adding to their tally.
Buxton: Hartley, Black, Wilde, Horne, Williams, Ridley, Stevens, Towey, Reed, Lugsden, Agus. Substitutes: Maxfield (Stevens), Pembleton, Taylor (Agus), Liversidge (Black), Hopkins.