Evo-Stik Premier Division: AFC Fylde 5, Buxton FC 0
A COMBINATION of inadequate refereeing and 20 minutes of below-par defending either side of the interval sent Buxton to a comprehensive defeat in rural West Lancashire last Saturday.
Such an outcome was wholly unexpected after an opening 35 minutes in which the Bucks enjoyed a majority of possession and looked the better side, despite suffering a string of undeservedly unfavourable refereeing decisions which soon aroused the ire of the visiting contingent.
The visitors’ best move, after ten minutes, involving the debutant Ian Deakin, Jordan Thewlis and Grant Black, resulted in Kieran Lugsden finding the net, and the offside decision had to be marginal.
Eight minutes later, from a Kyle Nix corner, Marc Roberts fired in a powerful hook shot but directly into goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe’s midriff, then, as half time approached, occurred the events which changed the complexion of the match.
Deep in the home penalty area Lugsden was brought down from behind without response from referee O’Rourke and a minute later Fylde were ahead. Defending soundly at first, Black made an error allowing Joe Booth to score with a low drive from 15 yards.
The Bucks were still in contention as the second half began, however the prolific former Stalybridge and Halifax marksman, James Dean, soon bagged a hat-trick in eight minutes as Buxton’s rearguard failed to contain him.
His first goal, on 51 minutes, came courtesy of a free header from right-back Haslam’s cross and two minutes later he and Michael Barnes combined to create a shooting chance from ten yards, again leaving Deakin helpless.
With the visitors reeling from this double blow, Dean soon completed his hat-trick. The swirling wind perhaps deceived Deakin as he could only parry Richie Allen’s curling shot from the left and Dean was best placed to make it 4-0.
Substitutions on both sides were made without affecting the game’s situation, then Barnes made it 5-0 after 76 minutes. His shot was directed at Deakin but it deflected off Roberts, Buxton’s best defender on the day, to send the ball wide of the keeper.
The visitors pressed for a consolation goal and Steve Istead forged his way into the penalty area but Michael Towey couldn’t control his strong square pass and the chance was gone.
Buxton: Deakin, Black, Roberts, Haggerty, Sandwith, Lugsden, Towey, Istead, Nix (Keane, 70), Maxfield (Duncum, 70), Thewlis (Reed, 53). Unused substitutes: Stevens, Turner. Attendance: 331.