Buxton FC joint-manager Paul Phillips has said reigniting their play-off push is so important he’d gladly swap their Integro League Cup quarter-final win for three points over Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday.
The Bucks advanced to the last four of the competition on Tuesday night after a penalty shoot-out win over Marske United, after the match had finished 3-3, in only their second game in three-and-a-half weeks.
Inclement weather had seen a handful of fixtures postponed up and down the country, including the re-arranged cup tie with Marske and last weekend’s scheduled Evo-Stik NPL Premier match away to Witton Albion.
Phillips was pleased to get competitive minutes under the belts of some of the players as well as a performance to set them nicely ahead of this coming Saturday’s crunch match with play-off rivals Gainsborough.
“We hadn’t played for two weeks so it was a chance to get 90 minutes into the legs, 60 minutes for others,” said Phillips. “It was a good exercise for us and we’re through.
“We’ve not won a trophy for a while so it’s a chance for us to chase silverware.
“But I’d swap that win for a win on Saturday and a couple more league wins as well.
“I think Saturday is a massive six-pointer. It’s a game we really need to win to get on the coat tails of those above us with games in hand.
“We went to their place and put on a solid display [winning 2-1 in December].
“We’ll be better for the 90 minutes on Tuesday night.
“We couldn’t even train with the ground under snow last week. There was a lot of rustiness and a lot of people blowing but we are better for it.”
Brad Grayson gave the hosts the perfect start with a goal inside the first minute of the cup tie but they were pegged back when Marske’s Glen Butterworth levelled the scores just before half-time.
Buxton must have thought they had booked a semi-final spot when Thomas Dean and Diego De Girolamo gave them a two-goal cushion but an injury to Alistair Taylor saw the hosts reduced to 10 men for the remaining 15 minutes.
Inevitably the visitors’ pressure told and goals from Adam Wheatley and Andrew May inside the last eight minutes saw the tie through to penalties where Buxton scored all four of their spot kicks, while Marske missed two to see the home side advance.
Phillips said: “Alistair’s injury knocked us for six.
“At 3-1 the game was dead with 15 or so minutes to go, they’ve thrown caution to the wind and we’ve been a little soft in the way Alistair’s injury has knocked us.
“We’d used all our subs so couldn’t bring anyone on.
“But all in all, we’re through to the semi-final and we’ve scored three goals at home.”
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Taylor replaced the injured Gary Gee in the first half but went down and had to come off with what looked to be a recurrence of his knee injury.
“He went down with no-one near him,” said Phillips. “He heard a big click in his knee and coming back from three-and-a-half months out you fear the worst.
“Everyone sends their best wishes to Alistair and you hope he can recover. We’ve got to look after him and as a football club I know we will do.”
Buxton play host to Gainsborough at Silverlands on Saturday.
Buxton, ninth in the table and on 40 points, have two games in hand over sixth-placed Gainsborough, on 49 points.