A thrilling FA Cup tie was settled by a tale of two penalties as Buxton pipped old rivals Frickley Athletic 3-2 in their FA Cup first qualifying round clash at the Silverlands on Saturday.
After the Bucks had twice come from behind, both sides were offered the chance to win it from the spot – and it was Buxton’s Liam Hardy who emerged the hero.
On 63 minutes Frickley, relegated last season, had the chance to take the lead for the third time after Buxton’s Josh Meade fouled Thomas Dugdale at the far post.
However, home keeper Jan Budtz was able to get down and comfortably save Gav Allott’s poorly-placed spot kick.
Hardy then showed him the way to do it 14 minutes later after Joshua Nodder was adjudged to have handled Hardy’s shot at close range.
Nodder was red-carded and Hardy stepped up to show why he is the current top scorer in the Premier Division.
Despite missing the injured trio of Wilson, McGee and Ravenhill, Buxton began well with Alastair Taylor heading just over.
But it was Frickley who took a 33rd minute lead though former Buxton player Jacob Hazel as he tucked away a left wing cross.
The Bucks took just three minutes to reply as Luke Hinsley ran at his former club through the midfield before picking out Curtis Morrison for a far post finish.
However, two minutes from the break, Hazel had bagged a brace as he smashed home an unstoppable 25 yard free kick into the far top corner.
Crucially, Buxton then had a let-off as a defensive clearance struck the home bar from Dugdale’s corner.
The Bucks upped a gear on the restart and on 57 minutes were on level terms once again as Brad Abott put over a corner kick for Joe Maguire to net from close range amid a scramble.
The tide then turned on the two penalty decisions to see Buxton leading for the first time and, despite valiant heavy pressure from Frickley’s 10 men, the Bucks held out to make sure they were in the hat for the next round draw.
The game drew a crowd of 242 with most agreeing Frickley were the best visiting side they had seen all season and definitely promotion material.
BUXTON: Budtz, Meade, McWilliams, Hinsley, Maguire, Young, Doran (Smith 46), Abbott (Kaba 90), Taylor, Hardy (T. Williams 84), Morrison. Subs not used: J. Williams, Biggs.
FRICKLEY: Malkowski, Yates, Bailey, Patterson, Ible (Davies), Nodder, Bloor, Hazel, Hopewell (Wiles), Allott, Dugdale. Subs not used: Stancliffe, Baldwin, Burton, Fairclough.