Polish stopper frustrates Bucks as winning run ends

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Buxton’s winning run came to an end on Tuesday night as Frickley Athletic ran out 2-0 winners, writes Tony Tomlinson.

The game may have ended in defeat but there have been past occasions when less pleasing performances have brought victories.

The Bucks enjoyed a majority of possession and carved out by far the more openings in attack but couldn’t beat the outstanding Polish keeper Seb Malkowski.

The visitors had just taken a 33rd minute lead when he pulled off one of the saves of the season to deny a ferocious 35-yard drive by George Grayson that was swerving away towards the top corner until the ‘keeper turned the ball onto the face of the bar.

Malkowski has been a key member of a Frickley side that has lost just three of its last 19 league matches to be one of the division’s form teams that is heading for its highest league placing in ten years.

Stand-in ‘keeper Tom Stewart had been recalled by Harrogate Town so Myles Wright returned after a three-week absence.

However,the ‘keeper’s only mistake enabled the visitors to double their advantage just short of the hour as a mis-hit shot by winger Williams deceived him. That error gave Frickley an important cushion which they held to the end.

Ex-Buxton striker Jacob Hazel showed his confidence early on with a drive powered over the angle but Buxton made their own bright opening down the slope.

Ricky Ravenhill set up Niall Doran for a cross that Greg Young couldn’t keep under the bar, then the lively Nicky Walker headed a visitor’s clearance over the top following a dangerous Jamie Green corner-kick.

With the Bucks otherwise on top, Young at the other end had to make a saving tackle and Hazel, allowed to turn, shot wide but Athletic took the lead as Davie,escaping his marker Grayson, headed home at close range from an Armstrong free-kick.

From the re-start the Bucks continued to probe for an equaliser with Walker forcing Malkowski into a good save from a 25-yard shot, but the second goal set them back.

Nonetheless they persevered, with substitute Chris Salt heading at the ‘keeper from a cross by Green.

Alastair Taylor robbed Davie on the right but showed too much of the ball to Ible, while Doran outpaced Parkinson only to find Malkowski with his cross.

Frickley continued to offer a threat with Wright saving low from Hazel while Hinsley back-heeled a Parkinson corner-kick into the side-netting, but the Bucks too were still creating chances as Walker and Brad Barraclough went close late on, but Frickley held out for the points.

Buxton: Wright, J Bembo-Leta, Young, Green, Grayson (Salt 52), Taylor, Ravenhill, Harris, Doran (Wiles 81), Walker, Barraclough. Unused sub: Worsfold.