Goals in either half give Buxton a winning start to the 2015/16 season

Buxton v Darlington (red), Buxton scorers Liam Hardy and Ash Burbeary
Buxton v Darlington (red), Buxton scorers Liam Hardy and Ash Burbeary
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Goals from Ashley Burbeary and Liam Hardy gave Buxton a winning start to the 2015/16 season over Darlington 1883.

A pulsating, end-to-end encounter was played out in an electric atmosphere generated by the 708 attendance inside Silverlands.

Buxton v Darlington (red), Ricky Ravenhill

Buxton v Darlington (red), Ricky Ravenhill

Martin McIntosh’s Bucks displayed counter-attacking skill added to defensive resolution and character.

Make no mistake, this powerful Darlington outfit, packed with good players, will enjoy another successful season in the mould of other re-formed clubs like Telford, Halifax and Chester.

The Quakers mostly enjoyed a majority of possession but their attacks foundered on a home defence hastily constructed after a series of late-summer setbacks in team-building.

Skipper Greg Young was immense throughout and new keeper, Phil Barnes, had a brilliant second-half spell which included an instinctive point-blank save from hot-shot Nathan Cartman and two full-length dives to thwart goal-bound headers.

Buxton v Darlington (red), Alastair Taylor

Buxton v Darlington (red), Alastair Taylor

Buxton made a promising start with Young threatening to score with a glancing header not far wide after just five minutes, but the proceedings temporarily took a worrying turn with a serious facial injury to visiting midfielder, Adam Nowakowski, suffered in an accidental clash of heads.

Soon afterwards Buxton took the lead from the first of two game-changing defensive errors.

Ash Burbeary latched onto a failed clearance at a corner to score low from ten yards and Alastair Taylor went close to doubling the advantage two minutes later with a 20-yard firm drive just wide.

Midfielder Warren Burrell also looked a scorer but his explosive shot was well saved at the expense of a corner. At the Railway End, the visitors pieced together a string of passing moves with Thompson and full-back Gibbons firing in right-flank crosses that threatened but evaded everyone and Bucks led 1-0 at the interval.

Only two minutes after the break the visitors allowed Liam Hardy a free header at a Burbeary free-kick and the striker made no mistake to give Buxton a welcome cushion as the Quakers battled hard to hit back.

Young made a vital interception to thwart substitute Dowson before Barnes enjoyed his purple patch which, on reflection, may well have ensured full points for the Bucks.

Referee Watson provided a controversial moment with a quarter-hour left by penalising Barnes for holding onto the ball but the home goal survived the free-kick from 15 yards out.

Late on, rapid Buxton counter-attacks produced openings for Hardy and substitute Bradley Barraclough but neither could hit the target.

However, the Silverlands’ faithful could take huge encouragement from the performance of a re-built team featuring nine debutants, six of whom were in the starting 11 - in the biggest summer reconstruction in 13 years since the arrival of Kenny Johnson and Ronnie Wright.

Buxton: Barnes; Bembo-Leta, Gascoigne, Young, Green; Abadaki (Doran 55), Ravenhill, Burrell, Burbeary (Barraclough 55);Taylor; Hardy (Worsfold82). Subs not used: Williams, Jameson.

Attendance: 708.