Evo-Stik Premier Division
Buxton FC 2, Whitby Town 1
BUXTON made hard work of their first league win of the season on Saturday as goals from Marc Roberts and Mark Reed gave them a 2-1 victory over Whitby Town in an entertaining clash at the Silverlands.
Manager Martin McIntosh had demanded a big reaction from his players following the disappointing 4-1 midweek defeat by Marine, and this was delivered immediately.
It took only four minutes for the Bucks to open the scoring, and when the goal came the beauty was in its simplicity; Kevin Sandwith’s corner-kick being met by a bullet header from the towering Roberts at the far post.
Seconds earlier, an identical opportunity had presented itself but this time Whitby’s Graeme Armstrong was on hand to scramble the ball away with Reed well-placed.
Buxton’s all-time leading goalscorer wasn’t to be denied for long, and four minutes later he made it 2-0 with a clinical finish from the penalty spot after his attempted overhead kick in front of goal had found the hand of a Whitby player.
The hosts’ first-half dominance continued as they allowed the Seasiders little time on the ball and profited from a series of free-kicks conceded by the clearly-frustrated visitors.
The lively Jordan Thewlis caused the Whitby defence problems with his pace, and when he was presented with a long ball over the top he immediately danced around two defenders before teeing-up Sam Duncum who headed the chance straight at the keeper. Thewlis fired wide with a similar attempt minutes later.
For Whitby, an indirect free-kick on the edge of the Bucks’ six-yard box, after an alleged back-pass, was charged down, before Armstrong glanced a Nathan Mulligan cross in the direction of David McTiernan who couldn’t direct his subsequent effort on target.
But on the stroke of half-time, Whitby were awarded a free-kick after Mulligan was seemingly quick to go to ground under a challenge from David Haggerty. The striker curled the set-piece from some 20 yards into the top left-hand corner of Steve Collis’ goal to halve the deficit.
Buoyed by this goal, the visitors made more of a fight of it in the second half but came up against a resolute Bucks defence and an inspired Collis – one highlight was the keeper’s excellent one-handed diving save to deny Armstrong.
The Bucks still looked dangerous on the break, while chances fell to Kyle Nix, in particular from a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area which was blocked after Whitby keeper David Campbell was deemed to have handled outside the area.
With the clock counting down, the Bucks endured a few nervy minutes as the Seasiders cranked up the pressure in search of an equaliser, but the home defence held firm to seal their first three points of the new Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign, albeit at the third attempt.
Buxton: Collis, Black, Sandwith, Istead (Maxfield), Haggerty, Roberts, Nix, Keane, Reed (Towey), Thewlis, Duncum (Lugsden). Unusued substitutes: Hall, Turner.