Ilkeston 0-0 Buxton - Bucks held to stalemate in derby clash

Alastair Taylor went close for the Bucks on Saturday but couldn't break the deadlock.
Alastair Taylor went close for the Bucks on Saturday but couldn't break the deadlock.
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Buxton were held to a stalemate in this clash away at local rivals Ilkeston last weekend.

Martin McIntosh’s side now have just six games remaining in which to secure a play-off spot in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

However, this result leaves them five points shy of fifth-placed Skelmersdale before the midweek batch of fixtures.

Buxton frustrated their hosts last Saturday but failed to reduce the nine-point gap that separates the two sides.

The visitors were resolute at the back and could well have won the game had they not missed some good openings in the second-half.

Ilkeston will undoubtedly see this as two points dropped as they try to maintain their promotion push.

James Reid was first to threaten for the hosts with a free-kick from the edge of the area which had to be pushed over the bar by Bucks’ goalkeeper Arron Jameson five minutes in.

The Robins were having most of the possession although over-playing outside their own penalty area threatened to be their undoing on a couple of occasions early on.

Jameson was again forced into another stop on 18 minutes when Mike Williams hit a well-controlled volley that the former Sheffield Wednesday stopper saved low down.

The rest of the half was a scrappy affair with the Bucks failing to really test the Ilkeston defence.

Buxton began the second-half the brighter and Morecambe loanee Joe McGee should have scored early on.

McGee, who joined last week, received the ball in the penalty area but fired wide when in space.

Eddy Samba then fired low at Jameson from outside the box before Williams fired wide when in space in a similar position.

Ilkeston’s defending was shaky at times and Ash Palmer almost took advantage only to fired a great chance wide just after the hour mark when Ilkeston had failed to clear a ball into the box with anything like the conviction required.

The visitors came even closer on 66 minutes.

A cross into the area was fumbled by Jordan Smith and Alastair Taylor pounced but saw his volley go into the ground and then get headed off the line by Lawrence Gorman.

McGee then tested Smith again moments later but his shot was held at the second attempt.

Reid then fed Brad Fortnam-Tomlinson but on his weaker right foot he sliced wide of the target in what was one of the more promising Robins’ moves of the game, let alone the half.

Ilkeston rode their luck again when Bucks forward Bradley Barraclough’s shot deflected off fellow striker Liam Hardy’s heal and into the hands of Smith rather than past him.

The hosts put a degree of pressure on towards the end, Reid with a free-kick straight at Jameson, but once again it would go down as another day of frustration at home for Kevin Wilson’s men.

As for the Bucks, they now travel to Workington knowing a win is vital to keep alive their top-five hopes.

Bucks: Jameson, Ludlam, Green, Niven (Stevens 82), Palmer, Young, Taylor, McGee, Tuton (Burbeary 59), Hardy, Barraclough.