Buxton beat Hednesford to stay top of table


Buxton came behind at fourth-places Hednesford to earn full points and stay top of the top.

You could however have got long odds on this outcome after 10 minutes of this enthralling, eventful encounter as the Bucks trailed by one goal and, without exaggeration, it could have been 3-0

Town’s goal arrived after three minutes and was disappointing in its ease for a visiting team that has only conceded a goal in every other league game.

Left back Bramall advanced unchallenged on the left and his curling, lofted cross led to midfielder Carline shooting home comfortably from eight yards.

Soon afterwards Danny Burns’s fine tackle six yards out probably prevented another goal and from the resulting corner kick Carline planted a free header over the bar.

The Bucks seemed hard done by in the 17th minute, Jamie Jackson, on his first start of the season, was undeniably brought down for an obvious-looking penalty award, but referee Lamb gave Town a free-kick for an alleged, but invisible, prior foul by the Buxton striker.

The home side returned to the attack with right-winger Logan (ex-Rochdale) the most threatening of the four-pronged forward line. One shot was touched wide for a corner kick then his screamer of a shout passed narrowly wide.

However a 26th minute refereeing decision, this time in Buxton’s favour, changed the nature of the match for the rest of the afternoon.

A fine Jan Budtz save allowed a Niall Doran rapid break on the left and when he was fouled 19 yards out at the corner of the penalty box, centre-back Flanagan was sent off, causing a major Town reshuffle and reducing their goal threat to occasional, though Logan’s penetration continued until his surprising half-time substitution.

Buxton equalised in the 34th minute. Brad Abbott’s superb, long, cross-field pass set Doran away again on the left and when his low cross arrived in the penalty area, Jackson had time to miss-kick before recovering to shoot low into goal.

The visitors were now establishing sufficient control to mount concerted attacks with well developed passing moves and in the 43rd minute the ever-dangerous Doran produced an accurate pullback for Abbott to flash a 15-yard thunderbolt against the underside of the bar.

Hednesford’s interval double substitution for the pace of replacement striker Matthews but he could make now headway against Joel Bembo-Leta and Singh looked more likely to score against the odds as the Bucks generally held sway.

Another fine Abbott pass set Alastair Taylor away for a firm shot that went close but the former suffered a 78th minute injury in collision with ‘Keeper Crane following a mistake by home defender Williams. Six minutes later the Bucks netted the simplest of winning goals, with the unmarked Evan Garnett, capping his best performance to date, heading home unmarked from six yards.

Even then the action wasn’t over. Substitute Fabrice Bembo-Leta was only on the field for a total of 10 minutes yet in that time he dragged a low shot wide from Jackson’s square pass then played Jamie in for a low shot that rebounded from a post.

Bucks: Budtz, Williams, Green, Ravenhill, Burns, J Bembo-Leta, Taylor, Abbott, Garnett, Jackson, Dora. Subs: Brooks, Everington (BA), F. Bembo-Leta (Taylor) Grayson.