Evo-Stik Premier Division
Buxton FC 7, Stocksbridge Park Steels 0
MARK Reed and Matt Thornhill completed hat-tricks as Buxton FC hit a magnificent seven past lowly Stocksbridge Park Steels in their Boxing Day league clash at the Silverlands.
In a thoroughly one-sided affair, the Bucks adapted well to the soggy conditions to dominate possession and run out comfortable winners.
Stocksbridge, meanwhile, ended the game with nine men following a straight red card for the returning Tommy Agus and then, having made a triple substitution, they lost midfielder Will Senior in the second half to injury.
The first shot in anger by the Bucks after only eight minutes saw Kevin Sandwith rattle the crossbar with a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area. Then Agus headed a Steve Istead shot off the line following keeper Xavier Parisi’s comedy clearance of a Sandwith set-piece.
The deadlock was broken in the 12th minute as Thornhill bravely threw himself at a Sandwith delivery to head his first goal for the club.
Another good Agus tackle denied Sam Duncum, while the lively midfielder instigated a cross-field play which resulted in Parisi saving comfortably from Thornhill.
In a rare Stocksbridge attack, another ex-Buxton player, Jordan Thewlis, hit a looping effort which was cleared off the line at the far post by Grant Black.
The second goal arrived a minute before half-time when Duncum was felled by Agus for a penalty. The defender was red-carded as the last man, and his former team-mate Reed duly obliged to thump home the resulting spot-kick.
There was still time before the break for the striker to score his second of the afternoon, picking his spot from close range during a goalmouth melee.
The onslaught ensued in the second half as Black was the provider for Reed’s third goal in ten minutes, his close-range finish completing a quick-fire hat-trick. This was quickly followed by Thornhill sliding in to divert Duncum’s cross-cum-shot to make it 5-0 with still a half-hour to play.
With the loss of Senior leaving Stocksbridge to play the remainder of the match with nine men, a sixth goal seemed inevitable, however it didn’t arrive until the 83rd minute when substitute Kyle Nix placed a shot to the right of keeper Parisi after strong running by Thornhill.
After being denied by a sliding tackle by the visitors’ captain Richard Haigh moments earlier, Thornhill became the second Buxton player of the afternoon to complete a hat-trick with a simple tap-in three minutes from full time.
So, a thoroughly-deserved three points and a third successive win for Martin McIntosh’s men, who will undoubtedly face sterner opposition in the coming days with the visit of second-place Hednesford Town.
Buxton: Deakin, Black, Sandwith, Istead (Bradbury, 63), Haggerty, Roberts, Stevens, Thornhill, Reed (Towey, 79), Maxfield, Duncum (Nix, 58). Subs not used: C. Johnson. Attendance: 240.