Buxtson Town progress in Cliff Ellis Trophy

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After a six week lay off Buxton Town returned to action on Saturday and beat local rivals Blazing Rag 3-1 in the quarter-final of the Cliff Ellis Trophy.

Rag had beaten Town at the semi-final stage two years earlier so Town were keen to revenge that defeat and the home side started well with David Slack kicking an early Will Lomas header off the line.

Barely five minutes was on the clock when Town took the lead as Matt Stanway drilled his shot into the net from 20 yards.

Tallis Stone was excellent at the back for Town as they kept Rag danger man Pete Richardson quiet and it was the home side asking all the questions with Paul Sullivan and Joe Cooke linking well in attack.

Town suffered a blow midway through the first half when Craig Owen picked up an injury but in Scott Heathcote they had an able deputy and he slotted straight into his role and added some steel to the centre of the park.

Town doubled their lead on the half hour when Cooke broke clear and the striker, who was in a rich vein of form before the weather break, continued where he left off with a superb finish.

Rag were awarded a way back into the game when Lomas was harshly judged to have pushed Matt Clayton in the back resulting in a penalty, but keeper Ryan Haworth made a superb save to keep out Rick Carr’s well struck spot-kick.

Haworth was again called into action when Town failed to clear the ball, but he produced another great save to keep the two goal lead intact.

Town defended well in the second half as they limited Rag’s chances while Prince was always a danger out wide when Town attacked.

With 20 minutes remaining Rag pulled one back when Richardson hit a sweetly struck free-kick into the corner of Haworth’s goal.

Rag pushed for the equaliser but Town stood solid at the back and it was the hosts who increased their lead when Heathcote sent Sullivan through and he got back on the goal trail as he calmly slotted the ball past Rob Eyre.

Cooke was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty following a good run which saw him upended and Steve Morten made an excellent tackle in the last minute as the pacy Prince was in full flight and looked set to break clear.