Evo-Stik Premier Division
Frickley Athletic 2
BUXTON dropped two more precious points in Yorkshire last Saturday as the push for a play-off place faltered further.
For a third consecutive game, the Bucks took a lead but failed to build on it to kill off their struggling hosts.
Thrashed 7-1 at the Silverlands in October, Frickley is a club in crisis as its 23-year Premier Division status is at considerable risk following recent home defeats by fellow strugglers Ossett and Retford, and this was a match Buxton should undoubtedly have won, but Athletic rallied in the second half and it took a classy late effort by Mark Reed to glean a point.
However, in a game of little quality overall, what may be remembered longest is the almighty 82nd minute goal-line scramble which should have given the visitors full points.
From a left-flank corner kick, Reed prodded the ball over the line, as could clearly be seen from the right touchline terracing, but the officials’ view was obscured by a considerable mass of bodies and Buxton’s last chance for a winner had gone.
With Kieran Lugsden and Steve Ridley suspended, Sanasy partnered Reed in attack, while Neil Stevens, who was one of Buxton’s few successes, was restored to midfield in a 4-3-3 system which soon established supremacy playing up the slope.
The visitors led from the 15th minute, courtesy of Stevens’ second goal of the season. Sanasy got an important first touch, Reed laid the ball back and the midfielder placed his shot home from 12 yards.
The Bucks should have doubled their advantage less than two minutes later. Unmarked eight yards in front of goal, Chris Ovington headed wide from an accurate Stevens left-flank cross, but thereafter Buxton lost their way and failed to create another opening until after falling behind in the 69th minute, despite dominating possession for the rest of the first half.
With Frickley showing little attacking method, there was little to rouse the crowd.
That was until Athletic’s surprising revival, inspired by their one quality player, Ash Burbeary.
Twenty-five yards out and with his back to goal, he turned and fired powerfully past Hartley’s left hand.
Four minutes later, Frickley netted again to raise their home goals tally for the season to a mere ten.
This sudden turnabout ushered in the match’s most exciting spell as the Bucks were provoked into a positive response.
Substitute Kamahl Whight both out-muscled and outpaced Colliver but he shot weakly at goalkeeper Simpson.
It was therefore left to Reed to equalise in the 79th minute from a free kick 25 yards out.
With the visiting contingent fully expecting a Tommy Agus power drive, Reed curled a sublime effort around the wall and inside the far post to cap a typically hard-working personal performance.
Soon afterwards, Whight did well in the air to set-up Michael Towey and his prodded effort under Simpson was indeed goal-bound, but a marginal touch off the keeper’s body produced a corner kick rather than a winning goal.
From the ensuing corner came that remarkable scramble, but Frickley’s creaking defence, featuring former Buxton veteran Gavin Smith, managed to hold out.
Buxton: Hartley, Black, Anderson, Agus, Wilde, Towey, Maxfield, Stevens, Ovington (Pembleton, 45), Reed, Sanasy (Whight, 45). Substitutes not used: Askey, Liversidge. Attendance: 214.