Chances lost

Buxton FC v Stocksbridge, Kieran Lugsden is squeezed off the ball by Stocksbridge keeper Ben Scott
Buxton FC v Stocksbridge, Kieran Lugsden is squeezed off the ball by Stocksbridge keeper Ben Scott
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Buxton 1, Stocksbridge Park Steels 4

THE NEW Year got off to the worst possible start for Buxton FC when they were beaten 4-1 at home by fellow strugglers Stocksbridge Park Steels on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Bucks were without suspended keeper Scott Hartley so manager Scott Maxfield gave Adam Billard his first start.

And Billard gave a good account of himself in the match, pulling off a number of good saves and timing challenges well.

The match started brightly for the hosts, who took the lead after just ten minutes.

Some neat Buxton passing moves eventually led the ball to Bradley Barraclough who had no trouble beating visiting keeper Ben Scott to put his side ahead.

The Bucks continued to dominate but it was the visitors who next got on the scoresheet.

Brian Cusworth latched on to a ball from Matt Telling and took full advantage of the space he was awarded from Buxton’s defence to slot past advancing keeper Billard and level the scores.

Both sides created pressure as the half drew to a close but the first period ended on level terms.

Five minutes after the restart, Mark Reed had a brilliant chance to put the Bucks back in the driving seat but he was denied by a fantastic save by visiting keeper Scott.

And ten minutes later, on the hour mark, the Bucks were unlucky not to profit from a goalmouth scramble which saw them denied by either Scott or the woodwork no less than four times in a matter of minutes. Reed, David Taylor and Barraclough were among those who attempted to find the back of the net but none of them managed to see any reward for their efforts.

There were no such problems for the visitors though who scored with their next attack.

Matt Telling, who had set Cusworth up for the visitors’ first goal, got his own name on the scoresheet on 65 minutes after smashing the ball past Billard and into the top of the net.

The visitors added a third shortly after, when substitute Scott Hogan carved through Buxton’s defence with ease on 69 minutes, slotting past Billard to make it 3-1.

Tommy Agus hit the bar with a decent effort on 71 minutes and David Taylor had a half shot which was parried by Scott on 82 minutes but Buxton were unable to find a second goal.

And with Stocksbridge adding their fourth goal five minutes from time, again through Hogan, there was no chance of Buxton finding a way back into the game.

Team: Billard, Black, Wilde, Liversidge, Agus, Ridley (Towey 70), Lugsden (Taylor 58), Banks (Stevens 76), Reed, Barraclough, Baxendale.

Attendance: 303.