Bucks book their place in county cup semis

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DCFA Senior Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Buxton FC 2, Belper Town 0

BUXTON FC must now be favourites to reach their second Derbyshire Senior Cup final in three seasons after a straight-forward 2-0 win over Belper Town in Wednesday night’s quarter-final tie at the Silverlands.

The Bucks, who lifted the trophy back in 2009, comfortably brushed aside free-scoring Evo-Stik First Division South side Belper thanks to first half goals from Mark Reed and Michael Towey.

The result now sets-up a semi-final clash at the Silverlands against Borrowash Victoria of the East Midlands Counties League – who earlier this week were surprise 2-1 victors over Glossop North End.

And while the league campaign might be Bucks manager John Reed’s top priority, the prospect of a money-spinning final against Derby County or Nicky Law’s Alfreton Town now surely cannot be ignored.

Reed made five changes on Wednesday evening to the team which began the last match against Retford United, reinstating captain Gregg Anderson in the heart of the defence and awarding starts to James Askey, Sam Liversidge, Kamahl Whight and Danny Kirkland.

Both teams made a slow start - the Bucks taking time to adapt to the change in personnel - and the first shot in anger didn’t come until the 12th minute. Belper forward Daryll Thomas broke clear of the Buxton defence and dribbled around Scott Hartley, but the keeper did just enough to force him wide and the shot hit the side-netting.

Hartley was equal to a tame effort from ex-Buxton player and Belper captain Jon Froggatt minutes later, while a shot from the edge of the area by Thomas, after skipping past Tommy Agus, bounced comfortably into his arms.

The Bucks took the lead in the 36th minute with their first real goalscoring opportunity. Reed found Whight to his right, who fired a blistering drive which was parried by keeper Alessandro Barcherini back into the path of the leading scorer, who finished with aplomb for the eighth time in six games.

Their lead was doubled four minutes later, after Reed was brought down by defender Lee Thompson some 20 yards from goal.

Agus dragged his fierce, low free-kick wide of the four-man wall, but Towey was on hand in the box to deflect the shot back across goal, finding the back of the net for the third successive game.

Belper, who had scored 11 goals in their last three matches, rarely threatened to make inroads into the 2-0 scoreline. Froggatt tried his best to salvage something for the visitors in the second half, having a shot charged down after good work by Thomas, and then a shot blocked by Hartley when one-on-one with the keeper.

Substitute Russell Peel fired wide of the target following a well-executed move by the Belper captain, and then a curling shot from another second-half addition, Paris Simmons, was pushed behind by Hartley, who kept another clean sheet.

For the Bucks, meantime, Towey headed wide at the near post from a corner by sub Scott Maxfield, who also saw a couple of shots sail wide of mark, and Neil Stevens stung Barcherini’s palms with an effort straight at the keeper.

Tempers flared late on in the game when a strong challenge by a Belper player resulted in a melee of players, but all this did was delay the inevitable Bucks victory which, in the long run, may prove to be more useful than memorable.

Buxton: Hartley, Askey, Agus (Wilde), Anderson (c), Heywood (Maxfield), Liversidge, Stevens, Towey, Reed, Whight, Kirkland (Lugsden). Substitutes not used: Black, Ridley. Attendance: 117.

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