FC United of Manchester 1-1 Buxton FC - match report

Liam Hardy, pictured recently in action against FC Halifax, scored Buxton's equaliser from the penalty spot against FC United on Tuesday evening.
Liam Hardy, pictured recently in action against FC Halifax, scored Buxton's equaliser from the penalty spot against FC United on Tuesday evening.

Buxton extended their unbeaten sequence away to FC United of Manchester to seven matches on Tuesday evening, with a deserved draw at Stalybridge.

The contest was evenly fought throughout, but there was more quality and excitement in the second half after a rather more ordinary opening period than is usual between these two teams.

Unchanged from Saturday’s start to the season, the Bucks twice threatened early, with Stuart Ludlam lobbing on to the roof of the net after home keeper David Carnell dropped the ball under pressure, then Liam Hardy fired low but directly at the custodian.

Ex-Liverpool and Accrington winger Craig Lindfield was a threat on the right for United from his crosses. First James Knowles headed wide, then Matthew Wolfenden forced Arron Jameson into an instinctive save but from the resulting corner kick Knowles diverted the ball home from close range some 11 minutes prior to the interval.

Buxton responded impressively, twice going near to an equaliser before half time.

Ash Palmer’s firm header from a Jonathan Williams inswinging free-kick brought the best out of Carnell, followed by a clearance off the line by a United defender.

Despite these near misses, manager Martin McIntosh made a change early in the second half, introducing record goalscorer Mark Reed, whose different style eventually led to the equaliser.

His aerial prowess was soon seen as he brought colleagues into play, and a flowing four-man move created an opening but Williams’ shot lacked direction.

A further change switched Craig King to the right but FC United threatened again through striker Daniels, before the Bucks exerted the spell of pressure that led to the equaliser.

Reed’s bullet header from a Jamie Green free-kick found a defender on the line, but seconds later the striker was brought down close to goal and United centre-back Andy Pearson saw red. Hardy struck home the resulting penalty kick in the 77th minute.

To their credit, United, against the odds, pushed for victory by introducing attacker Astley Mulholland, but despite now having more of the play it was the Bucks who went closest to seizing full points.

Carnell made a possible vital catch under pressure at a corner kick, and a Hardy shot flew low across the six-yard box.

Buxton: Jameson, Ludlam, Palmer, Young, Green, Istead (Stevens, 81), Williams, Niven, King, Tuton (Reed, 50), Hardy. Unused substitutes: Taylor, Ryan, Reay.