A superb second half strike by Liam Hardy got the new Silverlands era off to a positive start and gave Buxton their first win of the season on Bank Holiday Monday, in a 1-0 victory over Hyde United.
Hardy’s goal was totally befitting the magnificent occasion that was the unveiling of the major changes around the ground during the summer - not least the prestine 4G playing surface.
Many of the 712-strong bumper crowd, including Cheshire League championship-winning player Robin Hughes, expressed their delight in and gratitude for the new-look stadium.
Until the 54th-minute the exchanges had been evenly contested but the introduction of Bradley Grayson only a few minutes earlier after skipper Greg Young had suffered a back injury in a tumble proved decisive.
Grayson’s midfield performances had been a revelation pre-season and the Bucks had certainly missed his incisive play during his injury absence and how that was shown when his fine pass released Hardy to net from 20 yards with the kind of power-drive he relishes.
The quality of the goal lifted his team-mates but all wasn’t plain-sailing thereafter as 10 minutes later a Josh Meade error presented visiting striker Pratt with Hyde’s best chance but he shot wide.
Buxton had again made changes after Saturday’s Workington expedition, with Brown restored to the five-man defence in place of the unavailable Alastair Taylor, while winger Jude Oyibo replaced Gee. Hyde’s advantages were in having had a comfortable 5-1 FA Cup home win over Sheffield FC two days earlier, plus having experience of a very similar surface at their own Ewen Fields.
Generally, however, United, not committing anything extra to attack late on, failed to disturb the composure of the sound home defence that also benefitted from any number of offside decisions versus Hyde attackers.
BUXTON: Roberts, Meade, Brown, N Degirolamo, G Young, Dean, D Degirolamo, A Young (Grayson), Chippendale, Hardy (Coppin), Oyibo (Gee). Subs not used: Ravenhill and Budtz.