Buxton let two-goal lead slip at Stalybridge

Stalybridge Celtic 4, Buxton FC 2

WITH a number of first-choice players missing last Saturday, Buxton had done exceptionally well by half-time to have outplayed their superior-status hosts and establish a two-goal lead.

Virtually at full strength, Celtic were surprised by their enterprising visitors who led after 19 minutes courtesy of a Kieran Lugsden header from a left-wing cross by midfielder David Taylor.

The striker doubled his tally and his team’s advantage a quarter-of-an-hour later, tapping in at close range.

Michael Towey, in an unusual forward role, pulled the ball back from the right, Neil Stevens had a shot blocked and Lugsden was in position to find the net.

Barely two minutes into the second half, the Blue Square North side found the perfect response as Phil Marsh took advantage of a defensive error. Towey went close on the hour, but shortly afterwards Celtic’s Greg Wilkinson netted a fine equaliser with a flashing 20-yard half volley.

The hosts now took virtually full command and substitute Connor Jennings rattled the frame of the goal, before Chris Ovington fouled him for a penalty kick which Jennings converted.

With three minutes left, Scott Hartley pulled off a fine save, but Dennis Sheriff fired home the loose ball.

Buxton: Hartley, Black, Liversidge, Cardwell, King, Stevens (Cross), Taylor (S Johnson), Maxfield, Parry (Ovington), Towey, Lugsden.

l Buxton reached last night’s High Peak Cup final with a 4-1 success at Chapel Town last Thursday. Matt Parry (2) and an own goal did the damage, with ex-Barnsley teenager Taylor scoring an exquisite fourth before Chapel netted their consolation.