Buxton FC look to maintain pressure on Evo-Stik NPL Premier high-fliers after beating Nantwich Town

Buxton FC v Lancaster, joint manager Paul Phillips
Buxton FC v Lancaster, joint manager Paul Phillips

Buxton FC are in sight of the top five in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division after a morale-boosting win over high-flying Nantwich.

The Bucks came from behind on Tuesday night to win 2-1 to strengthen their seventh-placed position and move to within five points of Gainsborough Trinity with a game in hand.

Manager Paul Phillips can see his side closing in on the play-off shake up but has set his sights on reining in those teams a little further up the table, with nine games yet to play.

It begins with a trip to Basford United on Saturday, then a League Cup semi-final followed by a trip to Grantham Town, before sixth-placed Scarborough Athletic visit Silverlands.

Phillips said: “With the talent and the ability we have in that dressing room, we should be in there fighting, and we need wins to do that.

“We’ve got Basford coming up, which will be tough, and then Scarborough, which will be a massive six-pointer.

“They are a point in front of us so if we can rein them and Gainsborough in, then the next ones for me are the likes of Nantwich and Farsley. We need to finish as high as possible.”

Tuesday night’s victory over Nantwich, now fourth in the table, saw Buxton come from behind thanks to goals from Nico De Girolamo and Liam Hardy.

“I thought we played really well and having spoken to their manager it could have been four or five if we had taken our chances,” said Phillips. “Their keeper played very well, we hit the woodwork a couple of times too, but all-in-all I thought it was a very good performance.

“We had a long trip on Saturday, which makes Tuesday night’s display all the more pleasing, with the way we got the ball down and played.

“Diego [De Girolamo] had a real presence about him after being out for 12 weeks or so.

“Apart from the first 15-20 minutes, when I thought we were a bit sloppy, I thought we really got to grips with the game and controlled it. It was a great three points, which we needed, against a very good team.”

It follows two solid away performances from Buxton who have notched up a win at Witton Albion and a draw at South Shields in the last seven days.

Phillips said: “The lads put in a professional performance at Witton and set their stall out well there then went to South Shields and had to weather the storm a bit. Theo [Roberts] has been outstanding in the net, at South Shields, and we could have had one or two goals ourselves at the other end.

“We just didn’t quite have the ammunition with the players we had missing to get behind them and bring players on later on like they did to refresh the game.

“It was a good point on Saturday and then to play Nantwich, who are third or fourth in the table, it just shows the calibre of the lads we have in the dressing room. To play the amount of games and to get the amount of points they did, I’m really proud of the lads and the squad.”

Buxton now turn their attentions to an away trip to Basford, who they have beaten by the odd goal in the reverse fixture and their League Cup tie.

“It’ll be a tough test and hopefully one we’ll go in to with maximum confidence because they can see the target they’re trying to aim for is now in sight.

“Any slip could cost us but if we can get another three points it puts pressure on those teams above us,” added Phillips.