No help from the Dabbers as Lennon does it again

Evo-Stik Premier League

Nantwich Town 1, Buxton 1

AN 83rd minute goal by Nantwich’s Michael Lennon, so often a thorn in the visitors side, took Buxton’s play-off prospects out of their own control.

Both teams needed to win, and the outcome was an action-packed encounter whose result was in doubt to the very end.

The Bucks made a promising start with chances made immediately. A Towey cross from the left narrowly evaded Reed, then, from a Black cross the striker’s header was caught by keeper Platt.

Thereafter Nantwich, in peril of relegation, settled into a passing game and a couple of quickly-taken free kicks almost paid off. From the first Carter’s firm, low drive forced a fine save by Hartley and from the second he pulled his shot wide of goal.

In response the visitors fashioned a neat move on the right and from Stevens’ accurate cross, Ridley headed wide, then Reed again narrowly missed contact close to goal. However, the Dabbers established a clear majority of possession in the second quarter and left-back McDonald blazed high and wide to end a left-flank attack but it was mostly Scott Hartley and more poor finishing which kept the scoresheet blank by half time. The keeper produced a string of impressive saves.

Buxton benefited from the interval and dominated the third quarter of the match. Ridley’s pass put Lugsden away but three defenders combined to thwart him fairly before Maxfield and Black successively sent over threatening crosses and from the second leading scorer Mark Reed was most unfortunate not to score.

His trademark salmon leap and header struck the inside of the post to rebound into the hands of the grounded Platt on the line. Nonetheless only two minutes later and ten minutes into the half, the Bucks were ahead, courtesy of an expertly-struck Reed penalty after home midfielder Carr had handled a Black throw-in.

Pressing on, Lugsden rounded two defenders for Platt to parry his goal-bound shot then Reed fired a fierce hook shot over the bar from 12 yards and Ovington marked his arrival with a near-successful chase for a long ball.

In the 83rd minute, substitutes Flynn and ex-Crewe veteran Rodney Jack combined to set up Lennon and the prolific marksman finished clinically with a low shot across the keeper.

Almost immediately Hartley saved with his feet to deny Jack’s shot and close to full time parried a Flynn drive to ensure a point for Buxton.

Buxton: Hartley, Black, Liversidge, Agus, Wilde, Stevens, Towey, Maxfield, Ridley, Reed, Lugsden (Ovington 69). Subs not used: Askey, Johnson, Moseley and Maguire. Att: 517.