Derbyshire Senior Challenge Cup Final
Buxton FC 0, Derby County FC 5
BUXTON’S Derbyshire Senior Cup campaign ended in a whimper on Wednesday night as they were thumped 5-0 by Derby County, who lifted the trophy on their return to the competition after a 25-year absence.
Against a strong Derby line-up, the depleted Bucks were pinned back in their own half for the majority of the 90 minutes at Chesterfield FC’s b2net stadium, struggling to create any real clear-cut scoring chances.
With one eye on Saturday’s crunch league clash against Nantwich Town, manager John Reed left Kieran Lugsden, Steve Ridley, Scott Maxfield and Grant Black on the bench and gave starts to Sam Johnson, Danny Kirkland, Greg Moseley and James Askey.
Despite conceding five times, one of which was an absolute howler, Buxton keeper Scott Hartley pulled off save after save to deny The Rams as the defence of Askey, Josh Wilde, Tommy Agus and Sam Liversidge was put under intense pressure.
The Bucks made the worst possible start by conceding with less than two minutes on the clock. Lee Croft’s low, seeking cross across the face of goal eluded everyone except Callum Ball, who was left with a simple tap-in, although Hartley did get a touch before it found the back of the net.
The Buxton custodian twice denied Alberto Bueno, one a fierce shot which was palmed away, before Derby doubled their advantage on 15 minutes when Jeff Hendrick mopped up the rebound from a Ben Pringle effort.
Struggling to retain possession, the Bucks created an opening when Mark Reed sprayed the ball out wide to Danny Kirkland on the wing, but his cross was comfortably claimed by keeper Ross Atkins with the club’s all-time leading scorer waiting in the midst.
Hartley continued to soak up the pressure, clearing a Connor Doyle pass into the box and then punching away a Croft corner, before he made a howler of a backpass to leave Doyle with an open goal.
The keeper had to be quick to recover, denying both Croft and captain Russell Anderson in quick succession, while at the other end Mark Reed saw his low effort from an acute angle comfortably collected by Atkins.
Leading 3-0 at half time, Derby continued their onslaught after the break, despite the introduction of Kieran Lugsden and Steve Ridley for Mark Reed and Neil Stevens respectively. Hartley saved from Bueno and Wilde cleared off the goal-line, before the keeper guessed the right way to block a Jeff Hendrick penalty following an infringement in the box.
Derby substitute Alex Witham saw a stinging shot touched onto the post and Hartley made two further fine saves, before Arron Cole volleyed home goal number four after latching onto a right-wing Croft cross.
Hartley twice denied Pringle, before a rare Buxton forage forward saw Chris Ovington head a Ridley cross into the side netting.
But with two minutes remaining, Hartley pushed a Pringle shot into the path of Hendrick to complete the scoring.
Buxton: Hartley, Askey, Wilde, Agus, Liversidge, Stevens (Ridley, 57), Ovington, Moseley, Reed (Lugsden, 45), Johnson (Maxfield, 76), Kirkland. Subs not used: Black, Eley. Attendance: 664.