​Bucks prove too strong for Banbury

​Against visitors Banbury United, Buxton convincingly broke the sequence of the away team always winning in meetings between these two currently in-form clubs, running out 3-1 victors.
Josh Granite (centre) tries to clear as Banbury threaten on Saturday. Photo: BUFC.Josh Granite (centre) tries to clear as Banbury threaten on Saturday. Photo: BUFC.
Josh Granite (centre) tries to clear as Banbury threaten on Saturday. Photo: BUFC.

The Bucks made just one change in the starting line-up from Tuesday's winning Derbyshire Senior Cup semi-final side versus Matlock Town, as Curtis Weston replaced the suspended Jak McCourt, and they scored in the 16th minute from the first chance they created.

A superb pass from the left flank by recent signing Adam Livingstone picked out Jake Wright and he netted at the near post to put his side in control, a control it never looked likely to lose.

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Banbury had spells of possession in an otherwise mediocre first half, though there were outstanding individual moments such as most promising newcomer Ben Andreucci's 40-yard, accurate diagonal pass to Sam Minihan on the right.

Then in the third minute of first-half added time, the Bucks doubled their lead and again it was a fine pass by the teenaged Bolton Wanderers loanee which created the opening.

He found Wright in space to his right and when the striker let fly, goalkeeper Jack Harding parried his shot only for Wright to regain possession. The 'keeper then clearly brought him down, the penalty was awarded and Connor Kirby netted majestically from the spot.

As the second half opened, Banbury had ample possession in attacking the Ashwood End but Buxton defended in numbers, trying to respond on the break, and on the hour created the decisive third goal from a four-man, right-flank passing move, involving Minihan, half-time substitute Eoin McKeown and Andreucci, that cut the Puritans' defence to ribbons, giving Kirby an easy tap-in for his brace.

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The visitors continued to press forward but were denied by good defending in general and by Josh Granite in particular in one attack, while Buxton continued to look dangerous but a Joe Ackroyd cut-back from the by-line passed behind the on-rushing Andreucci and McKeown.

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All six substitutes were deployed but it was the visitors' misfortune to be reduced to ten men from the 79th minute by injury to substitute Albert Wood.

Nonetheless, the Puritans played better with ten than 11 and striker Ken Charles netted on 88, but the consolation goal came too late to be significant.

So the Bucks completed a first double of the season and are now undefeated in five National League North and Derbyshire Senior Cup matches in climbing one place to 14th.

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There can be no doubting the contribution to the recent improvement of the four additions to the staff; Joe Young, Livingstone, Ackroyd and Andreucci, with all four departments of the team benefiting.

In the coming week, Buxton have fixtures versus the relegation-threatened duo of Gloucester City at home on Tuesday – played after the Advertiser went to press – and Darlington away on Saturday.