Buxton’s unbeaten home run is ended by Spennymoor Town

Buxton's proud home record of 13 games unbeaten, dating back to January, was ended in Saturday's 2-0 loss to Spennymoor Town, but they may well play worse and win, writes Tony Tomlinson.
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A fourth-placed Spennymoor side produced a classic away performance in a good-quality game between teams concentrating on building attacks by passing football.

The visitors, however, proved themselves sounder in defence and sharper in attack with a goal in each half.

After early FA Cup exits for both clubs, both to successful NPL Premier teams, there was certainly something to prove, with the added spice to the mix of Spennymoor being managerless following the resignation of Jamie Chandler, while the Bucks lacked a host of players.

Josh Granite lashes the ball through a crowded Selby box.Josh Granite lashes the ball through a crowded Selby box.
Josh Granite lashes the ball through a crowded Selby box.

Brown was serving the second of his three-match suspension, McBurnie was unwell and five more were injured - McCourt, Osborne, Hull, Elliott (knee) and Wright (shoulder).

Yet manager Craig Elliott was able to name a side with a better balance in 4-4-2 mode.

AFC Fylde loanee Tom Walker, made his home debut on the left, but joined the injured list late in the first half after suffering a damaged ankle, while Sam Smart was restored to the right flank.

Despite such adverse circumstances, Buxton enjoyed as much as 63 per cent of the possession without being able to penetrate the resolute Moors defence, whose kingpin was veteran centre back James Curtis, who had played for Gateshead in Buxton's 2008 NPL play-off final.

A typical example of his importance was seen at quarter-time when a fine Connor Kirby diagonal pass found Walker, whose skilful trick set up his dangerous low cross only for Curtis to intercept.

Home striker Jordan Burrow worked valiantly to create openings with intelligent headed flicks but his team-mates couldn't profit from them.

Yet the visitors netted twice. The first, on 28 minutes, came as midfielder Rob Ramshaw produced a fine header high into the net from an accurate left-flank cross, immediately after the hosts had escaped narrowly, twice clearing from the goal-line after a dangerous corner kick had caused mayhem in the home goalmouth.

Victory was sealed in the 79th minute in unfortunate fashion for Buxton, rather typical of their ill-luck in recent weeks.

Right-back Sam Minihan, regularly prominent in home attacking moves on his flank, was cautioned for a foul 18 yards out and so his recovery was delayed, while the quickly-taken free-kick to the Moors' left gave Sam Fielding the space to cross accurately for ex-Burnley striker Will Harris to net from 10 yards.

Buxton did make chances, the best two being created when 1-0 down.

Just after the interval, Minihan cut to the by-line to deliver a lofted cross that was only half-cleared to an unmarked Burrow whose low volley was saved. Arguably the striker had time to set himself before shooting.

Then on 70 minutes, again on the right and featuring Minihan, Kirby's penetrative pass played him through but he squared the ball instead of shooting from eight yards.