Derbyshire Senior Cup Semi-Final
By Jonathan Dodds
Buxton FC 2...................................
Borrowash Victoria 1....................
A money-spinning decider against a Derby County XI at Chesterfield FC’s B2net Stadium now awaits the Bucks after goals from Kieran Lugsden and Mark Reed secured the 2009 winners a 2-1 victory in Wednesday night’s fiery semi-final clash.
But the Evo-Stik Premier Division high-flyers, reduced to ten men in the first half when Steve Ridley was sent off, had to dig deep to hold off a spirited late comeback by their lower-league opponents.
After a slow start, the game exploded into life when Lugsden poked home a high Josh Wilde ball into the box, following a flurry of corners.
The Bucks were just about deserving of their 28th-minute lead after creating the best of any early chances. Lugsden forced a good save out of Borrowash goalkeeper Danny Tollerfield at chest height after latching onto a ball over the top, and winger Chris Ovington, on his full debut, volleyed wide from the edge of the area.
The visitors, riding high in the East Midlands Counties League Premier Division, attempted to hit back immediately.
Steve Banks on the left wing whipped in successive crosses from the by-line; the first was saved by Scott Hartley at the feet of Paulo Piliero, but the second was headed just wide by Karl Demidh, stooping low in the box, with the keeper beaten.
Minutes later, Ridley was shown a straight red for what, at first sight, seemed an innocuous challenge, but Buxton manager John Reed admitted afterwards there could be no complaints after the midfielder had stamped on a Borrowash player.
This set the tone for the remainder of the match as strong tackles began to fly in and players from both sides finding their way into the referee’s notebook.
In first half stoppage time, a challenge by Steve Banks on Mark Reed, which led to both players being booked, left the Bucks boss remonstrating with the referee as the teams left the field.
Despite being a man down, Buxton had continued to carve out chances, notably Reed heading a Tommy Agus cross wide and then seeing a powerful grasscutter smothered by Tollerfield.
The frontman finally netted in the 61st minute, when a cross-field pass by Wilde to Grant Black was delivered with precision into the box for Reed to easily head home with the surrounding defenders ball-watching.
Borrowash were given a lifeline ten minutes before the end when unmarked substitute Lee Sutton raced onto a ball by Demidh and beat Hartley low to his right.
The goal prompted the visitors to pile on the pressure.
Another substitute, Nick Ghislanzoni, came within a whisker of connecting with a cross into the box, while Agus was forced into a goal-saving clearance after Hartley spilled the ball under pressure.
This was as close as Borrowash came to an equaliser, leaving the Bucks to see out the four minutes of injury time and begin dreaming of the possibility of more silverware.
Buxton: Hartley, Black (c), Agus, Liversidge, Anderson, Stevens, Ovington (Askey, 64), Ridley, Reed, Lugsden, Wilde. Substitutes not used: Whight, Kirkland, Johnson. Attendance: 177.