Buxton's 16 game unbeaten run in Northern Premier League is ended by Lancaster City
Buxton’s 16 unbeaten run was unexpectedly ended following a 1-0 defeat at 12th-placed Lancaster, writes Tony Tomlinson.
The Bucks made three scoring opportunities in the opening 20 minutes when they had every chance to stamp their authority on the match, but spurned them all.
Then another went begging after Lancaster had taken a 30th minute lead during their best spell of the afternoon which lasted a mere five minutes.
The travelling faithful expected a second-half recovery but the hosts matched the Bucks, who dominated possession but fashioned only limited clear openings.
On a bobbly grass pitch Lancaster scrapped more effectively as the visitors rarely displayed their usual fluency in passing and found it increasingly difficult to trouble City's veteran centre-backs who were dominant in the air.
On a murky, damp afternoon Buxton began up the slight slope and after a quiet opening Jamie Ward twice found ample space on the left, first producing a dangerous pull-back from the by-line and then a superb cross which Warren Clarke should have converted at the far post.
On the quarter-hour a piercing, lofted Tommy Elliott free-kick found James Hurst, deputising for the recently unwell Matt Curley, but his firm header cleared the target. Five minutes on and Ward zig-zagged to create space for a low cross-shot that narrowly missed the far post.
Surviving these scares, Lancaster produced a briefly convincing attacking spell, with Teague sending over a dangerous, curling cross to force a corner, then his team netted on the half-hour.
A lofted free-kick exerted pressure, Charlie Bailey did very well to hook the ball back into the goalmouth and Lewis Fensome headed home firmly from six yards. Buxton returned to the attack for Elliott's through ball to free Diego De Girolamo, whose flick allowed keeper Dowling to block his effort.
There was no visible change after the interval with Teague's well-executed overhead kick passing close to goal but Buxton were denied a very promising situation by the worst refereeing mistake seen in many a while.
A swift counter-attack was developing when in midfield Chris Dawson rode a minor foul to continue in possession whereupon referee Topp inexplicably and totally unnecessarily blew for a Buxton free-kick.
The visitors introduced two substitutes with little result, apart from an increasingly urgent search for an equaliser.
Hurst's long, diagonal pass for Ash Chambers set up the substitute striker for a fiercely-struck drive that Blackburn Rovers loanee Dowling tipped away for a corner-kick, from which Ben Middleton's diving header narrowly cleared the bar.
These proved to be the Bucks' last serious goal attempts as the Dolly Blues did well to retain possession for much of the four minutes of added time. So there were no last-minute heroics as at Warrington, Kettering and Radcliffe.
Buxton : Richardson (T); Hurst, Granite, Middleton, Fox; Dawson (Tear), Meikle, Elliott (Chambers); Clarke, De Girolamo, Ward. Unused subs Hinds, Dillingham, Curley.