Buxton 3-2 Trafford - REPORT

Martin McIntosh.
Martin McIntosh.
  • Bucks edge five-goal thriller at Silverlands
  • Barraclough grabs brace after coming off bench
  • Taylor sees red late on for hosts
  • Buxton trim gap on fifth spot down to six points

On the day that the world-famous Cheltenham festival kicked off, Buxton picked up the pace in their hunt for a play-off spot after a 3-2 win over Trafford.

The two sides were neck-and-neck for much of the contest but the hosts just had enough in the tank to earn a vital win.

An early goal from Alastair Taylor, who was later dismissed, combined with a brace from substitute Bradley Barraclough was enough to deliver a first home win for the Bucks since Boxing Day.

Trafford led 2-1 at one point but they simply couldn’t hold onto the lead as they edged a step closer to the drop.

On a bitterly cold night, it wasn’t long before the hosts had the initiative when Taylor galloped into the box and netted from Ash Burbeary’s centre.

Taylor looked impressive for the Bucks and could have had a hat-trick if only his finishing had been more precise.

The Bucks, showing four changes from the defeat to Ashton three days prior, failed to string together any cohesive moves after their opener and the front two of Liam Hardy and Mark Reed were feeding off relative scraps for the entire first 45 minutes.

As for Trafford, they were never at the races in the first half but they upped the ante after the break and raced out of the blocks in search of an equaliser.

They bossed possession after the re-start and home boss Martin McIntosh would have been concerned at that fact - especially for a side that was 14 points adrift of safety at kick-off.

Those fears were deepened when the visitors propelled themselves into a 2-1 lead with two fortunate Jeff King strikes in a matter of minutes.

First, King’s effort took a wicked deflection on its way past Jameson before the ‘keeper spilled a cross straight into the path of the midfielder and he finished coolly.

Buxton didn’t trail for long though. They hit back quickly to ease any fears of a meltdown when sub Barraclough finished off a well-worked move inside the area.

Trafford players and management protested that there was a handball in the lead-up to the goal, but the referee was having none of it.

Barraclough then put the hosts 3-2 in front when he stabbed a shot home at the second time of asking after his initial attempt was blocked and came back to him.

Taylor, who had earlier been booked, then received his marching orders for an altercation that prompted a melee near the end.

Luckily, the Bucks held on for the win as they kept up their chase for a top-five spot - no photo finish required.

With the winning post in sight, it promises to be an eventful final few furlongs for the Bucks.

Bucks: Jameson, Ludlam, Palmer, Meynell, Green, Taylor, Burbeary (Barraclough 64), Niven, Nelthorpe (Stevens 66), Hardy, Reed (Tuton 55)

Subs not used: Ryan, Byrne.

Att: 171