Buxton boss Steve Cunningham not panicking after Matlock Town knock Bucks off top spot

Steve Cunningham insists there is no reason to panic after Buxton were knocked off top spot following defeat to Matlock.

Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 2:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 2:20 pm
Steve Cunningham is not worried by back-to-back defeats for Buxton and says there is plenty of football to play just yet. Buxton were knocked off top spot in the NPL table after being beaten by new leaders Matlock Town.

Buxton slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Causeway Lane to make it two league defeats in a row for the title-chasers.

But the Bucks boss believes his side have more than enough to keep up their title push once injured players return to fitness.

“We are working with 13-14 players week in week out and there are players playing with injuries,” he said.

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“We were leading both times in the two games we lost, so it's not like we are getting battered.

“The number of players we can’t use at the same time is frustrating, but the team and the players who have come in have done well.

“We have lost three games out of the ten since we took over, but you have to look at it in context and say we were top of the league and down to the bare bones.

“We are just in a dip at the moment where it's not going our way. Every team has dips but there is plenty of football still to be played.

“It’s not like there are five games to go and we have dropped off. I have every confidence in this team, we just need to get some fresh faces in.”

Buxton had hit the front through Bradley Jackson before a 30th minute red-card for James Hurst, after two quick bookings, turned the game against the visitors.

“When you have Ben Turner and James Hurst both on the pitch, you have a chance of competing against Matock’s style of play,” added Cunnigham.

“Matlock are very good at that style. We matched them for the first 30 minutes, but the red card, and Ben Turner getting injured five minutes later, totally changed the complexion.

“We were in total control and under no pressure, but you can’t compete with them after that and we were second best in the second half.

“The referee was poor, but we can’t blame the referee. The referee hasn’t even seen the first yellow card, but to do what he (Hurst) for the second one is daft.

“He has apologised to the team. He knows he didn’t need to make that tackle and he felt he let us down.

“Questions have been asked about this team, especially away. We are a technically gifted ball-playing team, made for surfaces like we have at home.

“When you play away on poor pitches, questions have been asked. You have to look at how we played at Matlock, with ten men, and they answered those questions.

“We have heart and character in that team now, it was a tough defeat to take because with 11 men on the pitch we would have won the game.”