Halford keen for Bucks to maintain momentum

Steve Halford says Buxton's season could be defined by the matches coming up over Christmas and new year.
Steve Halford says Buxton's season could be defined by the matches coming up over Christmas and new year.

Buxton joint-manager Steve Halford says gaining more positive momentum going into the Christmas period could be crucial to the club’s season.

Two league wins in a row have put the Bucks backin the mix for a play-off spot, the latest being a 5-0 beating of Mickleover Sports last weekend.

And with key trips to high-flyers Gainsborough Trinity and Warrington Town to come before Christmas, Halford says it’s vital that positive momentum continues.

He said: “Such is the nature of this division, the run of games around Christmas and new year can either have you languishing in mid-table by the middle of January or right up there with the top sides.

“We’ve recovered from a difficult spell and put to gether a good run of results in both league and cup - Tuesday night’s loss at Alfreton aside - and we really need to push on now if we want to achieve anything this season.”

Saturday’s win over Mickleover was in stark contrast to the previous three home games that had all seen Buxton defeated, including by the same scoreline to Witton Albion, and Hallam felt that a win of that nature had been on the cards.

He said: “To an extent that had been coming, as we’d not been taking enough chances in the previous games and had been punished.

“We scored at the right times and finished the opposition off, which we hadn’t done enough beforehand.

“The defeats had been frustrating but it hadn’t been for a lack of trying - we’d been a bit unlucky at times and were also on the wrong end of some poor decisions.

“So it’s pleasing to get these wins but now we’ve challenged the lads to make it three, four, maybe five. We’re not getting above ourselves but it’s a crucial period coming up and one in which Paul (Phillips) and I have often had a lot of success.”

Tuesday night saw Buxton beaten 2-0 in the Derbyshire Senior Cup quarter-final at Alfreton Town, with Halford adding: “The league remains the main focus but we want to do well in the cups so it’s a shame we went out.

“But we were able to give some game time to members of the squad who haven’t played as much which is important, because with a squad like ours we have to keep everyone fit and ready to play.”

Meanwhile, with captain Greg Young having left the club to join up with former Bucks boss Martin McIntosh at Frickley, Halford says he and fellow boss Paul Phillips now face a poser as to whether to recruit a new face to replace him, or allow a current squad member the chance to step up.

He said: “We’ve got players who I know can fill that void but they have to be able to perform immediately given the games we have coming up.

“So it’s that, or we opt for a bit more experience and try and bring somone in who can fit in straight away.”