Buxton 3-1 Grantham Town - match report

Buxton v Grantham. No 7 Matt Thornhill.
Buxton v Grantham. No 7 Matt Thornhill.

Ten-man Buxton showed great resilience to seal a well-deserved win against Grantham Town.

Goals from Mark Reed, Liam Hardy and Josh Davies made a mockery of the visitors’ having an extra man, after Ash Palmer was sent off before half-time.

Buxton v Grantham. No 11 Craig King.

Buxton v Grantham. No 11 Craig King.

Prior to kick-off there was a hailstorm that compounded an already-drenched surface, making passing difficult for both sides.

The first chance arrived on seven minutes when Matt Thornhill latched onto the ball inside the area but his effort flashed across goal and rebounded off a Grantham post.

Palmer then went close with a point-blank header from a Davies free-kick before Grantham ventured forward for the first time in the match; Greg Smith’s sidefooted curler just sailing over Andy Warrington’s crossbar.

Palmer, who had received a booking for a late lunge earlier in the half, was then given his marching orders for a handball near the byline.

After consultation with his assistant, the referee had no alternative but to produce a second yellow.

The sending-off forced McIntosh to bring on Spencer Harris as a replacement for Thornhill at the interval.

The first effort of the second half fell the visitors’ way when Jordan Hempenstall’s cross into the box was spilled by Warrington but Buxton were able to hastily clear.

The breakthrough then arrived when a long throw was launched into the area and the ball fell to Mark Reed, making only his third league start of the season, who took his time before slotting beyond Dan Haystead.

12 minutes later Grantham equalised as they took advantage of the extra man.

Lee Potts dashed down the left before swinging in an inviting and pinpoint ball, which Hempenstall met with a finely-planted header.

Buxton though didn’t rest on their laurels as they immediately retook the lead, thanks to Hardy’s lashed effort.

King did the groundwork on the wing before Hardy finished off from the right-hand side.

Neil Stevens then hit a shot just past a post after great hold-up play from Reed.

The third and crucial goal arrived five minutes from time when Davies produced an expert piece of skill to find the net from near the halfway line, after Haystead had drifted from his goal.

Buxton: Warrington, Stevens, Palmer, Brooks, Green, Davies, Niven, King, Thornhill (Harris 46), Hardy (Istead 77), Reed.