Buxton FC beaten after Darlington 1883 fightback

Buxton scorer Liam Hardy.
Buxton scorer Liam Hardy.

Sadly for Buxton, lightning didn’t strike twice for the Tuesday evening visit to Bishop Auckland as they were beaten 3-1 by Darlington 1883.

The went north for a Trophy replay 27 months ago with young ‘keeper John Stanway performing miracles in a penalty shoot-out as his team recovered from a three-goal deficit to win.

On this occasion it was the Quakers who came from behind to secure victory, though 2016’s young ‘keeper Myles Wright did everything that could be expected of him and more.

With Matt Glennon’s loan period up last Saturday and Ash Burbeary unavailable, there were recalls for Wright and Niall Doran as well as Alex Wiles, who came into a five-man midfield.

The chosen system certainly proved appropriate as Buxton faced a stiff end-to-end wind in the first half and though the home side enjoyed a majority of possession.

Iit was the visitors who mostly went closer to scoring,a part from a 37th minute Thompson 25-yard shot which hit a post and rebounded to safety.

The Quakers had a massive twin escape on 15 minutes when a glorious Wiles pass sent Alastair Taylor through the middle to round ‘keeper Peter Jameson only to see his narrow-angled,low drive cleared from the goalline.

Almost immediately Jameson was forced into a save and, from the follow-up Wiles, headed against the underside of the bar but without reward.

All Buxton’s best attacking play came on the left via the triangle of Jamie Green, Doran and Wiles and it was the left-back’s superb 28th minute curling cross, which allowed the unmarked Liam Hardy to head home from eight yard,only to be flagged offside.

Finally, just before the interval, Jameson ploughed into and over Hardy to get to the ball, without the deserved penalty award being made.

What followed was bizarre as the ‘keeper immediately set up a rapid counter-attack, requiring a fine Glenn Belezika intervention to prevent a goal.

Curiously, with Hardy still prostrate at the other end, referee Matthews allowed the resulting corner-kick to be taken and the striker was still grounded as Buxton’s own counter-attack approached him, with Taylor’s rising drive close to scoring.

The home side’s main first-half threat came from Thompson’s wind-assisted shooting and after robbing Spencer Harris in midfield he forged through the middle to fire low at Wright.

After Jameson had been allowed to steal 10 yards for a midfield free-kick, he fired a fierce effort that the ‘keeper clung onto at the second attempt.

At the start of the second half Wright had to make a brave save among feet, but it was his team which took the lead only three minutes in thanks to Hardy’s expert opportunism.

The ball was played forward to him and from fully 30 yards his instant, lofted drive cleared Jameson to hit the roof of the net.

The goal, however, served to inspire`Darlo’, who equalised within four minutes, before dominating the remainder of the match and eliminating any further threat by the visitors, who simply couldn’t contain some persistent attacking play.

When a corner-kick wasn’t fully cleared, ex-Ramsbottom striker Gaskell netted from close range and, nine minutes later, Hunter’s long-struck free-kick was inexplicably headed home by the diminutive but unmarked Cartman.

Wright was standing up well to the pressure and he made a fine low save to deny Thompson yet again, but he was given no chance with the Quakers’ third goal in the 81st minute, which resulted directly from the inexperience of substitute Ethan Hedley.

He tried to work the ball out of his penalty area at a corner-kick instead of clearing his lines and was robbed by corner-taker Galbraith who fired firmly into the far side of the goal.