BUXTON Football Club ended their rollercoaster season in style by defeating Derby County to lift the Derbyshire Senior Cup for the second time in four years.
A fabulous second-half strike by Mark Reed was all that separated the sides at a sodden B2net Stadium, with the Rams twice rattling the woodwork and having a goal chalked off for offside.
Wednesday night’s Derbyshire Cup decider was the Bucks’ third final appearance in four seasons, and saw the Silverlands side gain revenge for last season’s 5-0 drubbing by Derby.
And manager Martin McIntosh was delighted with his side’s performance, at the end of the season which saw them successfully battle to secure their Evo-Stik League Premier Division status.
He said: “It’s good for the supporters who have come on a really horrible night , weather-wise, and I’m also delighted for the players because they have worked so hard, and although we have remained in the division it’s nice just to give them a little bit of a lift tonight, a little bit of reward for their efforts at the end of the season, it’s fantastic for them.
“We worked hard. Derby played a pretty young side, but they are good footballers and I think we stopped them playing. That was the gameplan. We set out to press them high up the pitch and to try and win the ball back quick, and it paid off for us.
“It was a superb finish (by Reed). Since I’ve come in he’s scored about 11, 12 goals and he’s been fantastic. He was really confident in front of goal tonight.”
Talking through his goal, Reed said: “I just picked it up from the centre-half and they just kept backing off and backing off and I just hit it nice and early, knowing it was a skiddy surface, and just tried to hit the bottom corner, and luckily it went in.
“It was a sort of an unknown quantity, who we’d be playing tonight. It could have been the first team, it could have been the reserves, so we knew we would be up against fit, young lads and a mixture of first-teamers possibly. First half we did well, contained them a bit, and I think we had every chance to go on and win the game in the second half.”
The striker added: “It’s a great way to end a good second half to the season. We’ve deserved to get something for the fans, to put a few smiles on people’s faces again after what was a tough season.
“It’s good to pay people back, not just those who put money into the club every week, the fans and that, but other unsung heroes in the club. I think tonight is for people like them, to enjoy having a bit of the boasting rights around Derbyshire.”