Evo-Stik Premier Division: Buxton FC 3, Stafford Rangers 1
GOALS from Kieran Lugsden and Mark Reed gave Buxton their eighth league win out of 11 games under manager Martin McIntosh.
Despite playing their third game in five days, Buxton started well and created some decent early pressure.
But it was Stafford Rangers who opened the scoring on 15 minutes with their first real attack of the game. Sean Kinsella cut inside Josh Wilde before firing past Scott Hartley at the near post to put the visitors ahead.
The Bucks responded with further pressure including a beautifully struck ball into the area by Kieran Lugsden which Neil Stevens narrowly missed getting a touch on.
But with 26 minutes gone, Lugsden saw the rewards for his earlier efforts after capitalising on some good build-up play by Buxton to fire past keeper Danny Read and cancel out Kinsella’s earlier goal.
And the home side were clearly determined to take the advantage, with Read being kept busy and ensuring his side remained in with a chance thanks to a number of decent saves.
Buxton’s quest for a second goal paid off on 38 minutes though when Mark Reed headed in from a Marc Roberts throw-in to make the scoreline 2-1.
Hailstones and torrential rain during the break meant the pitch became even more heavy going for the second half, and effectively took away any chance of fast-paced, flowing football.
But the conditions didn’t prevent either side from creating pressure, with Stafford forcing a couple of decent saves from Scott Hartley soon after the second period got underway.
On 56 minutes, an effort from Reed was parried by the visiting keeper only as far as Neil Stevens who took advantage of seeing Read off his line to send in a long-range shot, which went over the net.
It was the visitors who had the majority of the possession now and they piled on the pressure but were ultimately let down by their finishing.
Things were wrapped up for Buxton with 73 minutes on the clock when Reed scored his second after a superb cross into the danger area from Lugsden.
In injury time, the visitors had a good chance with a long range shot but the effort was well saved by the diving Hartley.
Buxton: Hartley, Black, Wilde, Istead, Agus, Roberts, Stevens, Towey, Reed, Lugsden (Payne 79), Davidson (Johnson 79).