Boss praises side’s second-half spirit

BUXTON FC’s player-manager has praised his side’s fighting spirit which earned a vital away point against high-flying Northwich Victoria.

Scott Maxfield expressed delight at the way his players reacted to going a goal down midway through the second half of Saturday’s match, culminating with Bradley Barraclough’s 90th-minute header which snatched a share of the spoils.

Praising his on-loan striker, Maxfield said: “Bradley took his goal really well, and he almost scored a real wonder goal at the start of the second half. He looked sharp throughout and caused the Northwich back-four no end of problems.

“I have tremendous belief in the players and I was very pleased with their reaction to going a goal down. I thought we were unlucky not to snatch a victory.

“There are still aspects that I feel we can improve on, but I think this result shows just how far we have come since we played them in the Trophy.”

The player-manager also explained his changes to the formation and starting line-up for the match at Northwich.

“I didn’t think the people who weren’t selected have been performing,” he explained.

“I always select a team and a formation to win a game, and I pick players on form rather than reputation.”

This Saturday, the Bucks face a difficult test away at Bradford Park Avenue, midway through a difficult run of tough fixtures which have included trips to Matlock Town and Northwich, and with a home fixture against Chorley to follow.

Goalkeeper Scott Hartley should be available for selection at Bradford after completing a three-match ban following his red card in the 4-3 win at Whitby Town before Christmas.

“It hasn’t been an easy run, but the lads proved on Saturday that they can compete at that level,” Maxfield added.

“There’s only so much that I, as a manager, can do after they cross the white line. Levels of desire and concentration come from within.

“If we can raise our game to the level we did on Saturday then I am confident we will stay in this league.”