McIntosh keen to push on and secure play-off place

Martin McIntosh wants to see Buxtons players grasp the opportunity of securing a play-off place.
Martin McIntosh wants to see Buxtons players grasp the opportunity of securing a play-off place.

Martin McIntosh says it’s crucial Buxton capitalise on their play-off hopes being firmly back in their own hands.

Ten points from the last four games have pushed the Bucks back up to fifth place with five games still remaining, a 1-1 draw with Stourbridge on Saturday and then a 2-0 win over Ilkeston on Tuesday securing the latest of those points.

And boss McIntosh is now keen to cement their play-off place as soon as possible.

He said: “Given where we were four games ago, I looked at those four games and said to myself that I wanted at least ten points from them.

“We’ve achieved that, and fully deserve to be where we are.

“There’s still a long way to go, but we’re back in a position where it’s in our own hands and we have to maintain this form until the end.

“When you look at our season, we’ve been every bit as good as those above and around us given we’ve taken four draws from the games with the current top two, Blyth and Spennymoor, and have taken four points off Stourbridge and beaten Nantwich too.

“Over the whole season, Blyth’s consistency has got them where they are and they’ll be deserving champions, but there is very little to choose between the rest of the promotion-chasers.

“We have a great defensive record with lots of clean sheets so we have a great platform to build on.”

Tuesday’s game against Ilkeston had initially been under threat given the Robins squad boycotted their trip to Workington on Saturday, but with assurances given to the Northern Premier League that they will be able to finish their season, they arrived at Buxton as planned and put up a good fight before being beaten.

McIntosh said: “Their players deserve great credit given the circumstances they’re playing under and defensively they made it very tough for us, even though they didn’t create too much going forward.

“It was a lesson in patience and perseverance for us and thankfully we did what we had to do. We weren’t at our best but deserved to win.”

Buxton will travel to Bamber Bridge on Thursday night (6th) to contest the Integro League Cup semi-final, with Grantham Town awaiting the winners.

McIntosh has acknowledged that the league takes priority over cup competitions, but remains keen to pick a team capable of winning in Lancashire.

He said: “I’ve got to utilise my full squad whilst at the same time picking a team I think can win the game.

“It’s a balance between keeping the key players fresh for Saturday and also giving some of those not playing as regularly some game time.

“The players we have here wouldn’t be in my squad if they weren’t good enough, so I’m confident we can win the game whoever plays.”

Coalville Town will be the visitors to the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium on Saturday, the Leicestershire team having beaten the Bucks earlier in the season.

That will be followed by the long trek to Workington on Tuesday night.

McIntosh said: “The Workington one is a bit strange as we were due to play them on a Saturday but because Halesowen didn’t want to travel and play them on a Tuesday, we have to instead.

“They’re still in the play-off hunt so it’s another game of great importance, as is Saturday’s as we aim to maintain our excellent home record.”