Hope Valley League Premier Division
Dove Holes 2, Buxton Town 1
BUXTON Town were knocked off top spot following this defeat at derby rivals Dove Holes, who completed a league double over their neighbours.
On a heavy pitch, it was Dove who took the lead in the ninth minute when a free-kick from 40 yards was hit by Charlie Vize and, aided by the wind, flew past Chris Gartside.
Jace Broome went close to equalising for Town when he saw a shot bend agonisingly wide of goal.
Town defended well despite Dove having the advantage of the wind, and the home side, while always a threat, was restricted to long-range efforts.
Town continued to create chances of their own with Matt Clark opting to pass when he should have shot, and then a Mark Harris free-kick was headed wide of the target by Jack Grindey.
The killer blow for Town came in the 32nd minute when Ryan Doxey made a great run from midfield.
Despite jinking inside several challenges, it looked as though James Mallaband had done enough to stop him, but the ball fell kindly for Damian High who rifled his shot into the net.
High then shot wide, before Aaron Maund broke clear but Dove’s top scorer could only find the side netting after rounding Gartside.
With the advantage of the wind, Town sought to dominate the second half, but in the shape of Jake Burnham and Scott Murcott they came up against two centre halves at the top of their game.
It was in the 67th minute that Town finally got the breakthrough when a Broome free-kick was guided into the net by Grindey.
Town thought they had equalised from a goalmouth scramble but referee Bruce Baskerville waved away claims that the ball had crossed the line.
Mark Harris saw a shot deflected for a corner as Town huffed and puffed for the leveller their performance deserved.
The livewire Steven Bentley was introduced from the Dove bench but Mallaband was outstanding as he hardly gave the striker a look in.
Buxton: Gartside, Mirams, Ball, Mallaband, Harris, G Burgess, Broome, Grindey, Moss, J Burgess, Clark. Buxton Town man of the match: Jack Grindey.