​First-half misfortune key to Bucks home loss

South Shields won the contest of two mid-table teams on Saturday with a goal in each half to complete a season's double over the Bucks, who thereby missed an opportunity to climb above the visitors and into the top half of the table.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

​The hosts were at their best in the opening quarter of the match and were truly unfortunate not to score in just the third minute as Diego De Girolamo, on his 200th Buxton appearance, worked an opening for himself but his firm, low, 17-yard drive remarkably struck both posts before rebounding to safety.

Thereafter they both made and missed scoring chances, notably in the 18th minute when a Connor Brown cross from the right found the otherwise outstanding Tommy Elliott, who, from six yards, placed his header into 'keeper Boney's hands when downwards and to either side was surely a goal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Buxton continued to enjoy a majority of possession but genuine misfortune again struck in the 34th minute when skipper Josh Granite slipped in the penalty area, crucially opening the route to goal for striker Blackett, who made no mistake, driving home via 'keeper Joe Young's left hand.

Before the interval, De Girolamo had two more opportunities to make his day extra-special but each time he shot over the bar. The first opening he created for himself, while the second was set up by Elliott, who produced arguably his best performance of the season and looking comfortably the best player on the pitch, was at the heart of virtually all Buxton's attacks.

The second-half had a fragmented opening and Buxton's chances of reversing their fortunes were lessened by the dismissal of midfield play-maker Jak McCourt, after a discussion of several minutes between referee and assistant.

Eight minutes later home manager Craig Elliott substituted an attacker, Jake Wright, for a defender, Granite, and the Bucks continued to press forward.

Hide Ad

Brown's dangerous cross from the right eluded everyone and a minute later centre-back Max Hunt powered a 30-yard effort narrowly wide but then his error allowed Blackett to run clear for a one on one.

Hide Ad

However, Young thwarted him and did so again when the same forward cut the ball back from the by-line. Nonetheless it was a case of third time lucky for Blackett in the 84th minute as Buxton continued to press forward, leaving gaping holes in defence. The striker once again found himself in the clear and on this occasion confidently doubled his team's advantage, effectively sealing victory.

The afternoon again proved the importance of the first goal scored in a Buxton NLN fixture and also showed, to the frustration of the Silverlands faithful, that currently their favourites are more effective on their travels, with the evidence of five wins in the last six fixtures, while at home they have won two, drawn two and lost two from the same number of NLN outings.

However, the abiding feeling from this encounter is that the first-half misfortunes were a major factor in the outcome.

Buxton went to Blyth Spartans on Tuesday (19th) and are at Southport next Saturday (3pm).