A Dominic Taylor hat-trick ensured Buxton Town clinched a place in the quarter finals of the Derbyshire Junior Cup following victory against local rivals Blazing Rag on Saturday.
Town captain Lee Smith was a terrific presence throughout and his performance inspired the hosts as he led by example.
Craig Owen was lively and his excellent workrate and skill caused Rag lots of early problems as he had defenders backing off him.
Despite Buxton’s dominance, Rag could have taken an early lead after good work from Rick Carr on the left saw him pick out the unmarked Luke Davin at the far post, but Davin drove his shot inches wide.
Town then took the lead in the 14th minute when two of their youngsters combined as Ben Richardson flew down the left before picking out Taylor who showed great composure in the box before finding the corner of the net.
Two minutes later and the prolific Taylor was at it again. This time Owen whipped in a cross with pace from the right and Taylor glanced a header past the despairing dive of Rob Eyre.
Owen continued to be a threat and another of his mazy runs saw him pull the ball back for James Roberts but his shot at goal was blocked.
The second half saw Rag put Town under a good period of pressure but they struggled to find a way past a solid back four with Will Lomas and James Wilding both in no mood to concede chances.
As Town began to get back on top again Owen did well down the right before picking out Scott Heathcote, whose shot drifted just wide.
Owen himself then came close as his shot went wide before the game was effectively wrapped up in the 73rd minute.
Taylor set off on a fantastic run leaving six defenders in his wake as he rode the challenges before clashing with the Rag keeper.
The referee waved play on as the ball fell kindly to Heathcote who smashed it into the empty net.
Minutes later and Taylor completed his hat-trick as Leon Owen’s defence splitting pass saw the winger leave the defender behind, before a ricochet saw the ball come back off Taylor and land in the net.
Taylor then turned provider as Town were now rampant and he sent Craig Owen clear, but his shot rebounded back off a post.
Rag then forced Town’s goalkeeper Gould into a couple of saves late on but his clean sheet remained intact as they reached the last eight.