Buxton boss highlights defensive contribution in club record run

Buxton FC boss Martin McIntosh
Buxton FC boss Martin McIntosh

Martin McIntosh highlighted the contribution of Buxton’s defensive unit after his side extended their unbeaten home run into 2017.

The Bucks’ eight wins and three draws from 11 Evo-Stik Northern Premier fixtures from August is the first time the club has reached the New Year campaign without defeat since joining the league in 1973.

That record was extended to 12 on Bank Holiday Monday with a narrow 1-0 win over mid-table Micklesover Sports thanks to a 90th-minute Bradley Grayson penalty, the striker’s 13th goal of the season.

McIntosh was pleased with the points, if not the performance, as the third-placed Bucks reduced the gap to leaders Rushall Olympic to three points with their match at home to Coalville Town postponed.

The Buxton boss said: “I think the three points were more important than the performance, which I thought was slightly under-par from our boys. We have to perform better than that in order to be more comfortable in games.”

On the current home run, he added: “It’s really pleasing. I think the centre-halves of Danny Burns, Greg Young and Joel Bembo-Leta, who has been playing there a lot too, I think the three of them have been terrific.

“Jamie Green at left-back and Matty Williams at right-back. Whoever has been playing there, that back five has been absolutely terrific.

“I think out of the 26 games we’ve played we’ve got 12 or 13 clean sheets so there is no doubt we are doing something really good defensively. If you’re going to do anything in the league you have to keep clean sheets.”

A crowd of 364 were in attendance at Silverlands on Monday to watch Buxton and McIntosh is hopeful a push for the league summit will have more flooding through the gates.

“There’s no doubt at home we are the strongest in the league so far, hopefully we can continue that, and with the fans the way they’ve been at home it’s definitely helped us. We do ask to get more through the gate.

“We had 360-odd the other day, we want to get up to that 5/600-mark really. But that’s up to us to start doing better away from home as well and hopefully we can get up to the top of the league.

“Third in the table is not bad at all, I’m not complaining at the moment, although over the last four matches we’ve only won one game so we need to start picking up more points to get us even higher,” he said.

Their scheduled match last Thursday (December 29) at home to Grantham Town was postponed, which gave Buxton a week between action and McIntosh said they were better for it.

“It might have been a blessing with the postponement on Thursday,” he said. “It gave us a chance to train and re-group which we did on Thursday night. I think on Monday we were a little bit fresher than we might have been.”

Buxton are next in action on Saturday (January 7) at Halesowen Town. Halesowen, 19th in the table, had their scheduled trip to Hednesford Town postponed on Monday.

“You can either be fresh or you could be rusty for not playing matches for quite some time. We’ll go into the game positive and we have to do better away from home. We’ve lost six games, all of which have been away. We must do better away in order to climb the league,” added McIntosh.