Buoyant Buxton burst the Lancaster City bubble with an impressive 3-1 away win in the Premier Division of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League on Saturday.
Since New Year’s Day, Lancaster had gone on an unbeaten run of seven league games to climb away from the relegation zone.
But in front of a crowd of 258 at the Giant Axe, the Bucks engineered their fourth success on the road of the campaign to stay eighth in the table, albeit fully 14 points off the top three.
Curiously, there were few signs of what was to come in the opening quarter of the game because Buxton were decidedly second best.
Although goalkeeper Adam Bruce was rarely threatened, they had to defend resolutely against the in-form Dolly Blues, until the match was transformed by an unexpected breakthrough goal in the 27th minute.
It came from the penalty spot after a foul on Callum Chippendale had been inadvertently conceded by the vastly experienced, on-loan Lancaster midfielder, David Norris. Bradley Grayson converted the kick expertly.
The goal did the Bucks’ confidence no end of good, and four minutes later, it was 2-0 as a stooping Tom Dean, unmarked eight yards out, met a Grayson corner with a firm, downward header.
Thereafter, Buxton assumed command and always looked the side most likely to score again. Indeed they went close before the break with a speculative 45-yard effort from James Dean and then a 30-yarder from Chippendale that went wide.
The pattern continued in the second period and, just four minutes in, the visitors made it 3-0. A long ball forward reached James Dean, whose intelligent, headed square pass set up strike partner Grayson, who produced a composed low finish for his 40th goal for the club past ‘keeper Jack Sims, who is on loan from Blackpool.
Lancaster endeavoured to respond, but Buxton looked remarkably unruffled and more sound defending thwarted the hosts’ efforts, with ‘keeper Bruce making two excellent, high catches to avert danger.
On the break, substitute Liam Hardy forced Sims to rush from his line to head away, and when Lancaster’s goal did finally arrive, it was no more than a 90th minute consolation. The attack promised little, but the ball eventually found its way to Ryan White, who found the net.
This Saturday, Buxton are at home to struggling Hednesford Town.
BUXTON LINE-UP -- Bruce/ Roscoe, Brown, De Girolamo N., Dean T., Sephton, Chippendale (Baguley), Young, Dean J. (Hardy), Grayson (Coppin), Pritchard. Unused subs: De Girolamo D., Oyibo.