Grandstand finish for seven-goal thriller

Buxton 4, Nantwich Town 3

SEVEN goals, including three in the last ten minutes, a saved penalty and a grandstand finish lifted what had earlier seemed a regulation home victory into a thriller.

The Bucks had built a three-goal advantage by the interval and any reward from the game seemed beyond mediocre Nantwich’s reach. However, the visitors gradually whittled down Buxton’s lead to one goal and it took a very special strike from debutant loanee Spencer Weir-Daley to ensure full points. The Rob Earnshaw look-alike and centre-back Curtley Williams, likewise recruited from AFC Telford United, both made a good impression as the home team dominated the first half.

It took only nine minutes for the Bucks to establish a lead, Scott Maxfield’s diagonal ball was flicked on by Weir-Daley into the path of Kieran Lugsden, who provided a composed curling finish just inside a post. By contrast the Dabbers needed twice as long to fashion a shot at goal but the warning was clear as Buxton’s bi-annual nemesis Michael Lennon had a low drive saved. A quarter-of-an-hour later the Bucks doubled their advantage. Weir-Daley played in David Taylor again doing well throughout, the ball rebounded from ex-Macc and Walsall keeper Jonny Brain and Weir-Daley rolled the ball into the gaping goal.

Nantwich rarely threatened while playing up the slope but Josh Wilde needed to make a fine, saving tackle to thwart Adaggio before Taylor netted his side’s third goal 30 seconds before half-time. Grant Black’s long cross was missed at the back post by ex-Macc defender Matt Lowe and David Taylor hammered the ball into the roof of the net.

A quiet opening to the second half was banished by a 57th minute penalty kick for the Dabbers. Lennon turned Williams but was then fouled by the centre-back, only for Scott Hartley to save Lennon’s low-struck spot-kick. However, the marksman was denied for a mere 10 minutes as he galloped away on a break down the left and beat the keeper with a lofted cross shot. Even then there was little to alarm the Silverlands faithful as Buxton hit back. Maxfield and Weir-Daley created the opening but Brain saved Lugsden’s firm drive at the near post then, with eight minutes left Town netted a second. Giant ex-Crewe and Northwich centre-back Mat Bailey joined the attack to scramble the ball home at close range and to counter his aerial threat, Buxton introduced Brandon Cardwell, their own giant, for his debut.

The action then switched to the top of the slope as Weir-Daley, freed of Bailey’s attentions, netted spectacularly from 25 yards but even then Nantwich weren’t finished with substitute Maguire scoring his side’s third goal with a firm header to set up a grandstand finish in the final five minutes. The home defence stood solid and a first home win of the season was the outcome.

Team: Hartley, Black, Williams, Agus, Wilde, Pembleton (Cardwell 86), Ridley, Maxfield (Stevens 86) Taylor, Weir-Daley, Lugsden. Subs: Parry, Hadley and Ovington. Attendance: 323.