Evo-Stik Premier Division: Buxton FC 2, Blyth Spartans 0
A FLUKE goal by keeper Ian Deakin set Buxton on their way to a comfortable win over Blyth Spartans on Saturday.
Showing no signs of tiredness following their midweek FA Cup heroics, the Bucks took the lead in the 20th minute when Deakin’s high kick from well inside his own half took a wicked bounce over the Spartans’ red-faced custodian Conor Grant.
Mark Reed doubled Buxton’s lead 12 minutes later when he rose above defender Darryll Donnelly to calmly head home a Grant Black cross which was whipped in from the right.
A two-goal half-time lead was no more than the hosts deserved after a dominant opening 45 minutes which began with Michael Towey dragging a low shot wide, and Reed flailing at a Marc Roberts long throw into the box.
The striker then was close to connecting with a Black cross - a carbon copy of the move which would produce the second goal - while Kevin Sandwith’s cleanly-struck volley from 25 yards went wide of the target.
For the Spartans, under the temporary leadership of coach Paddy Atkinson following the departure of Tommy Cassidy in midweek, Craig Farrell fired over the bar on the turn, as did Shaun Vipond from the edge of the area following a corner-kick clearance.
The visitors rallied in the second half, but despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession created little to worry Deakin as Buxton sat back and resolutely defended their two-goal advantage.
Farrell curled a 25-yard free-kick around the Buxton wall but wide of the target, while Steve Istead’s fierce strike was blocked, and keeper Grant made a gutsy punch clear to take the ball off the head of Reed after Towey’s volley deflected into the penalty area.
The Spartans frontman had sight of goal again just before full-time but again failed to find the target, and the match concluded with Bucks substitute Scott Maxfield stinging the palms of Grant from 25 yards.
Buxton: Deakin, Black, Sandwith, Istead, Haggerty, Roberts, Keane, Towey (Stevens, 78), Reed (Maxfield, 78), Morris (Hopkins, 90+1), Duncum. Att: 342.