Buxton FC battle for a point at leaders South Shields

Buxton FC achieved a thoroughly deserved 1-1 draw away to table-topping South Shields on a fourth consecutive wind-blown Saturday.

There was no disputing the visitors' right to a point as manager Gary Hayward's recruits, added to the good players he inherited, have been blended into a team which competed effectively throughout, making a nonsense of the 16 placings separating the two clubs.

The Bucks got off to a flying start with a superb sixth-minute Warren Clarke goal, which started with a good catch by Grant Shenton, and finished with the No.10 slotting a low cross-shot in off the far post from the edge of the area.

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Nor was this an isolated Buxton attack, despite facing a horrible near-gale, blowing from corner to corner, arguably at its worst in the first half. The Bucks battled hard, defended well and, like Shields, sought to play passing soccer on a grassy surface rapidly dried by the unrelenting wind.

Tom Elliott saw a flag-kick rebound from the angle of near-post and bar before the scores were levelled.

A two-minute stoppage for injury to Alex Byrne probably accounted for the visiting defenders being caught flat-footed, allowing midfielder Nathan Lowe to shoot home from 15 yards.

The second half proved goalless yet produced ample goalmouth action at both ends. Diego tested 'keeper Ryan Whitley then recently signed Reece King, enjoying a hard-working debut, sent a through ball that narrowly eluded the main striker.

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Sub Callum Chippendale went close from 20 yards, showing just what the team had missed during his five-month injury absence. Shields saw striker Gonzales fire into the side netting and Briggs glance a header just wide.