BUXTON manager Martin McIntosh has praised his side’s fitness and commitment following the extra-time victory over Hednesford Town in their FA Cup Third Qualifying Round replay on Wednesday night.
After second-half goals from Mark Reed and Dave MacPherson, it was a Lee Morris penalty in extra time which clinched the Bucks a 2-1 win and a trip to high-flying Guiseley in the Fourth Qualifying Round on Saturday October 20.
Morris’ decisive goal came minutes after the dismissal of Buxton captain Steve Istead for his second bookable offence, although the visitors also lost Ben Bailey under similar circumstances late on in the tie.
McIntosh said afterwards: “This is a huge result for the club. The character the lads have shown in this tie, both home and away, has been absolutely magnificent.
“It shows the work we have put in throughout pre-season on the training ground. You could see how fit our lads were, with ten men and 25 minutes to go in extra time, and I think that’s what carried us through.
“Having said that, we created enough chances to win two games. In the second half I thought we were by far the better side. They looked out on their feet at times, they looked tired, and I thought we were grinding them down.
“We created four or five good chances and never took them. Normally Mark Reed would stick them away, but we just need a bit more composure and be more clinical in front of goal. That could have saved us extra time tonight.”
McIntosh’s men now have three days rest before they return to Evo-Stik Premier Division action with the visit of mid-table Blyth Spartans to the Silverlands on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), before making the trip to lowly Eastwood Town the following Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).
The manager added: “It has been a great night for us, but we’ve got other work to do now. It’s all about keeping our feet on the ground. Saturday is going to be another tough game and we want to make sure that we keep the momentum going.”