Comfortable victory lifts Buxton FC up to seventh

Buxton FC's Liam Hardy
Buxton FC's Liam Hardy

For all but the last quarter-hour, Buxton were the better side and deserved a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory versus a Whitby team arriving with proclaimed high hopes after a derby success over Scarborough.

Yet it was the Bucks who had much the better of the first half and their one-goal interval lead could easily have been a well-merited three.

The one they did score was a penalty-kick on the quarter-hour, impeccably put away by Liam Hardy after he had been fouled by centre-back Carling at the moment he fastened onto a headed flick by the excellent James Dean, who again did so much creative work both in the air and on the ground.

By then John Pritchard had already gone close with a fourth-minute, 20-yard free-kick just past the angle and soon after the goal it was the winger’s corner-kick that gave skipper Callum Chippendale, making ground rapidly, the chance to head flush against the far post at the Railway End.

The next clear opening, on the half-hour, was carved out by a penetrative Alex Brown run up the left, followed by an accurate, low cut-back towards James Dean, who was obviously disappointed to shoot over the bar.

Twelfth-placed but lack-lustre Whitby had ample possession but so well was home ‘keeper Theo Roberts protected by his resolute midfield and defence that it was the 78th minute before he was forced into serious action. A Leon Scott snap shot wide of the target was one of the few first-half visiting attempts on goal.

The Bucks made the perfect start to the second half by doubling their lead just five minutes in. A superb, fast-paced passing move started by Brown on the left saw Hardy unselfishly and skilfully set up the well-placed Pritchard for little more than a far-post tap-in.

Still pressing forward, Buxton went close to a decisive third goal as another accurate Pritchard free-kick from distance was heading for a top corner until clawed away by ‘keeper Norton. Hardy made a fast forward run but was fairly tackled by Carling, then the ‘keeper must have been relieved to see the ball run away as James Dean, at full gallop, headed towards him.

Whitby huffed and puffed but couldn’t get a goal back as Buxton move up to seventh.

BUXTON: Roberts, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Dean, Gee, Chippendale (Grayson), Young, Dean, Hardy (Meade), Pritchard (Coppin). Subs not used: Sephton and Oyibo