‘Bucks will be fresher for second Celtic clash’

Paul Phillips believes his Buxton side will go into a second visit to Stalybridge Celtic in the space of seven days far fresher than the clubs’ first meeting last Saturday.

A 1-1 draw in the league at the weekend saw Celtic score an injury-time equaliser, the Bucks having played for the last half-an-hour with ten men following Brad Roscoe’s red card.

But with Buxton having played that match with something of a hangover from a long FA Trophy trip to King’s Lynn three days earlier, which included extra-time and a 4am arrival home, joint-boss Phillips hopes that when the two sides meet again this weekend in the next round of the Trophy, the Bucks will be in better shape.

He said: “The King’s Lynn trip had an effect and perhaps led to us being more jaded than we might normally have been, although for the first hour of the game I don’t think Stalybridge really troubled us too much.

“Then Brad Roscoe was sent off for a stupid challenge which changed the game as they then threw everything at us.

“Brad has done really well for us this season but we were disappointed and he’ll be dealt with accordingly, as Liam Hardy was for his red card at King’s Lynn. These incidents can cost you points and cup runs and can’t be allowed to happen.

“So when that occurred we needed to manage the game better and in the end it’s cost us.”

The result extended Buxton’s winless run in the league to five games, although only one of those was a defeat - the 4-0 loss at leaders Scarborough.

Phillips said: “We haven’t been getting many wins but you could turn it round and say we’re unbeaten in three games and have come up against some very good sides recently, with Scarborough the only game where we lost and even then we didn’t play badly at all.

“So we could do with turning these draws into wins. We’ve dropped 11 points from winning positions this season and had we not done that we’d be top, although that’s easier said than done of course.

“We’ve had lots of injuries and suspensions and the lads have coped really well. We may need to bring in another striker as we are a bit light on options in that department but we’ll go to Stalybridge expecting a different kind of game to last weekend.”

Tuesday night saw Buxton overcome Heanor Town 3-1 in the Derbyshire Senior Cup thanks to goals from Diego De Girolamo, Brad Grayson and Dan Hopkins.

The result sets up a trip to National League North side Alfreton Town in the third round on a date yet to be confirmed.

Phillips said: “It was good to be able to make some changes and give some of the younger lads some game time, as well as some of the fringe players who needed minutes.

“Given the number of games we’ve had recently and the nature of them, it was important to give a few a rest, aside from players like Liam Hardy who is suspended for the next two games so was worth putting in against Heanor.”