Buxton return to the top of the league

Greg Young (left) scored his third of the campaign.
Greg Young (left) scored his third of the campaign.

Buxton beat Stamford 3-1 on Tuesday to go back to the top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Second half goals from Greg Young, Liam Hardy and Shaun Tuton did the damage as Martin McIntosh’s men returned to the summit of the league table.

Given adverse circumstances afflicting them beforehand, this was arguably the Bucks’ best and hardest won victory of the season so far.

Fifth-placed Stamford, physically robust yet enterprising in attack, proved difficult opponents on a pitch not conducive to flowing football while the visitors had personnel problems which caused a radical change of formation.

With Jamie Green injured and his likely deputy Stuart Ludlam at work, there was no obvious candidate for the left-back spot.

Therefore McIntosh opted for a trio of centre-backs supplemented by wing-backs Stevens and King, both of whom admirably fulfilled their defensive and attacking responsibilities.

With the Bucks understandably taking time to settle to the different formation, the Daniels probed for openings on both right and left and it took a timely clearance by skipper Derek Niven to avert an early threat.

For the visitors a neat passing combination by Stevens and King set up Tuton but the ball didn’t sit nicely for him and a later 25-yard pot shot by the striker also cleared the bar so it was left to Hardy to come closest to a first half goal.

Good work on the left by the in-form Alastair Taylor midway through the half set up Hardy, whose 15-yard curling shot rebounded to safety from the bar.

Four minutes into the second period Buxton took the lead.

Williams’ corner was converted by Young with a trademark downward header - his third of the campaign.

However, the lead lasted less than ten minutes as some unconvincing defending allowed a cross from the left to be headed home unchallenged by Robbins at the far post.

Despite the setback the Bucks restored their lead in their next serious attack six minutes later.

Craig King’s cross from the left was headed back at the far post by Stevens for Hardy to apply the finishing touch.

From then on the Bucks looked more likely than their hosts to add to the score and both a Hardy header and a 22-yard shot by the increasingly confident King went close.

However it took a defensive mistake 20 yards out deep in added time to allow the Bucks to double their winning margin, with Tuton prospering as he rounded the ‘keeper for the third.

The win made it ten victories out of 11 for the Bucks, who will head to Fylde in the FA Cup on Saturday in buoyant mood.

Bucks: Jameson, Broadhead, Young, Palmer, Stevens, King, Williams, Niven, Taylor, Tuton, Hardy

Att: 242