Buxton boss Martin McIntosh has warned his play-off chasers to beware of any complacency when second-bottom strugglers Ilkeston FC Visit the Tarmac Silverlands this Saturday.
Buxton hung onto second place in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division with a 1-1 draw at Spennymoor Town last weekend and Ilkeston arrive this weekend with new boss Shaun Goater at the helm, having won his first game in charge two matches back before a defeat last night.
McIntosh can see his old friend Goater in a similar position to himself when he arrived at Silverlands and knows how tough his task will be to keep the Robins up.
“I know they won 1-0 last weekend, though they lost 2-0 at Hednesford at home,” said McIntoish.
“But we have lost eight times in 34 matches in this league and the problem is the majority of those matches we’ve lost have been against teams at the bottom.
“In this league it counts for nothing where anyone is in the table and on anyone’s day they can beat anyone. We know we are in for a really tough game on Saturday.”
On Goater, he added: “I played against him a few times when he was at Manchester City and he is a really good guy. He is one of the most likeable people in football without a doubt.
“He is a good lad and we wish him well after Saturday.
“When I took over Buxton we were second bottom in the league and I think we won the last 11 out of 14/15 matches.
“He is in a similar position and will have to do the same because it’s really difficult at the bottom with Frickley and Corby doing well.
“It is a huge task for him and he will need all the experience he’s had in football.”
The gap from Buxton in second to Workington in eighth is still just three points and McIntosh added: “Any team that can go on a run at this stage of the season would certainly help them get into the play-offs. So we are hoping we are that team.
“We are unbeaten in five games and in quite a good position right now. We just have to keep on performing and picking up the points.”
Buxton will be at full strength on Saturday apart from midfielder Ricky Ravenhill, who is serving a suspension.
On Saturday Bradley Abbott put Buxton ahead at Spennymoor, punishing a handling error by the keeper.
But the home side levelled on 32 minutes when Andrew Johnson was left unmarked 10 yards out and netted the equaliser.
Johnson then hit a post and forced a good save from Jan Budz before the break as the visitors clung on.
But a disciplined defenbsive show in the second half secured Buxton the draw.
“Saturday was a really hard-earned point against a good side at a difficult place to go,” said McIntosh.
Not many teams will go to Spennymoor and get anything so we were quite happy with a point.”
On Tuesday night Buxton then saw off Newcastle Town 1-0 in the Integro League Cup third round, thanks to a Bradley Grayson goal just before half-time.
“We won the game and thankfully have no problems with anyone in terms of injuries which was the most important thing,” said McIntosh.
“We also got a clean sheet and won so we can’t complain.
“It was a strong side though we had to make some changes as there were three or four lads that weren’t fit.”