Evo-Stik Premier Division: Buxton FC 1, Chorley FC 3
TWO GOALS in six second-half minutes were enough for high-flying Chorley to brush aside Scott Maxfield’s valiant Buxton FC at a wind-swept Silverlands on Saturday.
Despite a fifth goal in successive games by on-loan striker Bradley Barraclough to cancel out Chris Denham’s earlier deflected free-kick, the Magpies secured a useful three points in their push for promotion after the break with goals from Adam Roscoe and Steve Foster to leave their struggling hosts still searching for a first home league win in four months.
The result itself seemed to hinge on a sequence of events on the hour-mark. With the scores level at 1-1, new signing Peter Davidson missed a gilt-edged chance after running onto and controlling a high ball before firing wide of a gaping goal.
Soon after, defender Tommy Agus was forced to leave the field with a facial injury, prompting a reorganisation in the Bucks ranks as David Taylor entered the fray and Maxfield moved back into defence as cover.
Garry Flitcroft’s men took full advantage, and on 69 minutes Mark Ross’ right-wing cross sought out the towering Roscoe at the far post to head the Magpies back into the lead.
And any hopes of a second Buxton revival were swiftly nipped in the bud when Steve Foster – Chorley’s hero from the penalty spot in the last league meeting between the teams – notched up his 18th goal of the campaign with a cheeky lob which bamboozled keeper Scott Hartley by creeping into the top corner off the underside of the crossbar. That was 3-1, and a league double over Buxton.
It was a disappointing end, and perhaps an unfair reflection of the part Buxton had played in an entertaining opening 45 minutes, deservedly going in level at the break.
Debutant Davidson almost made his mark as early as the first minute but seemed to scuff his shot from inside the area following a cross by the in-form Barraclough.
However, on five minutes, Barraclough brought down Denham on the edge of the area, and the lively opposition striker quickly dusted himself off before firing a low free-kick past keeper Hartley, with the aid of a slight deflection.
Michael Towey saw his goal-bound chip touched over the bar by custodian Russ Saunders, whose opposite number Hartley did well to smother an effort from the edge of the box by Denham.
The Buxton equaliser on 18 minutes came as the visitors’ numbers were temporarily reduced by injury, but there was little sympathy from Grant Black as he whipped in a cross for Barraclough to beat Saunders with a header at the far post.
Despite playing into a fierce gale in the first half, Buxton continued to create chances up until the break, Saunders having his palms stung by Barraclough after the striker was skilfully set free down the right by Neil Stevens.
At the other end, chances fell to James Vermigilo and Foster, the latter only being denied by the woodwork during one of many forages forward.
Buxton: Hartley, Black, Wilde, Agus (Taylor, 61), Burgin, Maxfield (Liversidge, 77), Stevens (Reed, 77), Davidson, Barraclough, Towey, Baxendale. Subs not used: Bradbury, Billard. Attendance: 310.