Buxton chalk up first away league win in Spennymoor success

Buxton achieved a first NLN away win 1-0 at Spennymoor Town on Saturday at the expense of the hosts' first home defeat - and what a hard-earned three points it was, writes Tony Tomlinson.
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The Bucks certainly looked the better side in the first period when driving up the slope on the splendid grass pitch.

Sound defence and probing midfield play created scoring chances versus a Moors outfit which made too many mistakes on the ball and could have conceded more than one goal, but for the outstanding contribution of goalkeeper Bellagambi.

Curiously, Buxton expected to be facing him in Hyde's goal this weekend but his parent club Huddersfield Town had recalled him then sent him out again on loan, but to the north-east.

Connor Kirby - last touch for Buxton winner at Spennymoor.Connor Kirby - last touch for Buxton winner at Spennymoor.
Connor Kirby - last touch for Buxton winner at Spennymoor.

Though Town opened brightly enough, with ex-Ashton right-back Lufudu marauding forward, the visitors soon offered an attacking threat with newly-signed winger Sam Osborne showing up well in raids throughout the half, displaying a most welcome determination to go for goal when appropriate.

Scott Boden was an effective spearhead, despite the close attention of veteran home skipper James Curtis, who had played for Gateshead versus Buxton in the 2008 NPL play-off final.

Scott's piercing through ball on the turn freed the in-form Tommy Elliott for a central burst on goal that was ended by a foul and a penalty-kick award.

Sean Newton's kick was well-struck but the keeper made a fine low save, then Luke Burke's shot was on target but blocked for a corner.

Nonetheless, still pressing forward, Buxton took the lead in the 17th minute following Warren Clarke's cross to the far post.

Another superb save merely delayed the inevitable as first Boden then Connor Kirby looked to have forced the ball over the goal-line.

The Moors' response brought an excellent save out of Theo Richardson, followed soon after by a defensive header from the goal-line, while 'Ossie' Osborne showed his quality by weaving past two defenders into a shooting position.

Just prior to half-time, a totally-unexpected fumble by Bellagambi presented him with an opportunity to double his team's advantage but his 18-yards lob towards the open goal passed narrowly wide.

The second half soon offered the visitors another opening but the home 'keeper again denied them, saving with his legs from Kirby's 15-yard shot.

However, by the hour mark the much-improved Moors had established control and it took all the defenders' powers of concentration, tenacity and resilience to retain their team's clean sheet, aided by several impressive Theo catches.

The introduction first of the fit-again Shaun Brisley (on 74 minutes) stabilised the defence and then of striker Jason Gilchrist (on 77) provided renewed possibilities for attack.

Even when 'under the cosh', the Bucks occasionally created a threat.

Just past the hour the lively Osborne, profiting from Elliott's long, square ball, cut in to send a left-footed drive just wide of the far post and, late on, a free-kick 30 yards out brought shouts of "Newt, shoot" from the nearby assembled visiting faithful and they were perhaps only a tad disappointed by the burly defender's ferocious effort shaving a post with the keeper beaten.

The superbly entertaining encounter, with the outcome in doubt to the very end, even had excitement at either end in added time.

Theo seemed to stretch every sinew to leap, catch and hold a lofted cross, while his counterpart splendidly denied the unlucky Gilchrist, who had been played in by the tireless Lindon Meikle.

This second consecutive away success, again without conceding, was indeed a team success, with credit due to both the on-field and off-field staff.

An overnight stay yet again paid dividends, while manager Jamie Vermiglio's later substitutions were made at a crucial time.

Victory should indeed boost confidence ahead of next Saturday's big match, the Emirates FA Cup tie versus Hyde United.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​