McIntosh’s men make it three wins in a row

Buxton FC v Barwell (green), Buxton manager Martin McIntosh
Buxton FC v Barwell (green), Buxton manager Martin McIntosh

Buxton made it three wins in a row with a 2-1 success at home to Marine on Saturday.

All three of those wins have come at the Silverlands, memories of the Bucks’ initially poor record at home now seemingly extinguished as they again aim to make their home ground a fortress.

This victory needed plenty of grit to achieve in a feisty encounter against a side that hadn’t won any of their previous 11 games in all competitions.

But it will be a welcome one for Martin McIntosh and his men, who face league leaders Shaw Lane on Monday ahead of a mouth-watering FA Cup tie at home to National League side Gateshead on Saturday.

Despite the form book suggesting Buxton would be the side to set the standard early on, it was those from Merseyside who began the brighter.

Indeed, it took the visitors just five minutes to open the scoring with the first meaningful attack of the game. Buxton gave the ball away in midfield and Danny Mitchley was able to make progress down the left before crossing for George Lomax to head home from six yards out.

Sam Smith nearly levelled for the hosts four minutes later but his shot from a tight angle was deflected past the post.

Things went decidedly quiet for a while after that, aside from a lively tackle or two flying in, before Marine midfielder Billy Smart embarked on a run that saw him shoot low at Jan Budtz from 25 yards when he had perhaps better options to either side of him.

Mitchley shot wide from a similar position as Marine continued to threaten, the game being quite even in terms of possession but the visitors - perhaps surprisingly based on recent form - looking more confident on the ball.

At the other end, Joe McGee cut inside and shaw his effort deflected wide, and it was from the resulting corner that Buxton would draw level.

Brad Abbott swung the ball in from the left hand side and after a flick on in the six-yard box, Luke Hinsley was on hand to nod home at the back post from a couple of yards out.

Smith might have done better on 35 minutes when the ball fell to him in space on the edge of the penalty area, his shot several yards wide of the post when the goalkeeper should really have been tested.

Curtis Morrison came a little closer on the stroke of half-time, just moments after Marine’s Adam Hughes had retired hurt, the winger’s shot finding the side netting as the half drew to a close.

Marine nearly went ahead early in the second when recent sub Chris Lomax fed his brother George in the six-yard box but the ball got stuck under his feet and was cleared.

At the other end, Joe Maguire’s header was tipped over the bar by keeper Ben Barnes following an Abbott corner, Mitchley then shooting straight at Budtz at the other end following a neat Marine move.

It was Buxton, however, who would get their noses in front just before the hour mark. A mistake by the visitors saw a back pass fall short and Liam Hardy, just on as sub, nipped in to beat Barnes to the ball and then slide it home from a very narrow angle.

McGee was inches wide moments later after powering through the middle to shoot from just outside the box, Buxton now starting to get a foot-hold on proceedings as Marine began to get frustrated.

Chances then became few and far between, other than the odd weak shot from each side that troubled neither keeper.

Marine sub Seb Bradshaw came as close as anyone, his stoppage time shot rolling just wide of Budtz’s left-hand post, the visitors ultimately unable to salvage a point from the encounter as their awful run of form continued.

Buxton: 1 Jan Budtz, 2 Jake Williams, 3 Andy McWilliams, 4 Ricky Ravenhill, 5 Joe Maguire, 6 Greg Young (c), 7 Joe McGee, 8 Brad Abbott (Liam Hardy 55), 9 Sam Smith (Ant Wilson 82), 10 Luke Hinsley, 11 Curtis Morrison

Subs not used: Danny Burns, Josh Meade, Alpha Kaba

Marine: 1 Ben Barnes, 2 Peter Wylie, 3 James Edgar, 4 Adam Hughes (Liam Tongue 45), 5 Kenny Strickland, 6 Billy Smart, 7 Michael Brewster (Seb Bradshaw 70), 8 Vincent Bailey, 9 Danny Mitchley, 10 George Lomax, 11 James Murray (Chris Lomax 49)

Subs not used: Adam Freeland, Germano Mendes

Ref: Paul Tomes (Sheffield)