Late downpour denies Buxton in bizarre end to game at Scunthorpe United

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Frustrated Buxton have told by the National League North they must replay Saturday’s game after a bizarre end to the fixture at Scunthorpe United saw it abandoned in added time due to a huge downpour with gallant 10-man Bucks leading 2-1.

It was Buxton's first time at the league leaders' Glanford Park and they were so close to a memorable victory that would have ranked as their best yet in 55 NLN fixtures.

Cruelly, it was the weather which caused referee Bancroft to curtail proceedings, but with so little time left to play, Buxton could not understand why the official did not wait a while to see whether conditions would improve.

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Only three years ago Buxton waited an hour at Warrington before the decision to abandon was made.

Connor Brown - controversially sent off before half-time.Connor Brown - controversially sent off before half-time.
Connor Brown - controversially sent off before half-time.

A violent thunderstorm, accompanied by occasional lightning and torrential rain, had, from about 4.30 pm, bombarded the pitch to such an extent that it was eventually awash, with the ball unable to move at all normally and a huge lake, three or four inches deep,had formed.

Yet this was far from being the only dramatic feature.

Against the backdrop of a fiercely partisan and intimidating home crowd, out of which came several plastic bottles and a coin hurled in the direction of Buxton keeper Max Dearnley, the visiting contingent did its very best to offer support in the face of adversity.

Two crucial refereeing decisions threatened to cost the visitors dear.

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On the stroke of half-time Connor Brown was fouled from behind on his own by-line yet then found himself sent off for his reaction,with the foul and its perpetrator unpunished.

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So Bucks, a goal to the good,were forced to play the entire second half with 10 men, mounting a heroic rearguard action until a second controversial decision in the 81st minute cost them their lead. The outstanding Dearnley, on this showing a worthy successor to the transferred Theo Richardson, caught a lofted cross but lost possession only when barged by home substitute, the newly-signed Richie Bennett, and the ball rolled over the line.

Nonetheless the Bucks almost immediately mounted a convincing break on their right to force a corner and from the superb Connor Kirby's lofted delivery, Max Hunt powered forward to head downwards and into the net.

Yet the two controversial decisions afflicting Buxton followed a first that had been responsible for the visitors' opening goal.

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A long diagonal pass to Jake Wright by another outstanding Silverlander, Tommy Elliott, resulted in a corner kick from which home midfielder Shrimpton was penalised.

With regular penalty-takers Jak McCourt (injured) and Diego De Girolamo (substitute) unavailable, Wright took the responsibility but only after a medical emergency in a stand caused a delay of several minutes.

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His shot was saved but the rebound was eventually forced home by Xander McBurnie for his first Buxton goal, timed at 43 minutes.

Even without such decisions the opening half was action-packed, with the Bucks far from over-awed by the occasion, though they had to survive two early close calls.

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A weak defensive back-header looked to cause a big threat but an offside flag proved a saviour, then Brown, at a post, made a vital clearance.

Meanwhile,a fascinating duel was developing on the right as experienced Sam Minihan was tasked with curbing ex-Scarborough loanee Wilson, as the winger's team enjoyed a majority of possession. Rival centre-backs, Luke Shiels and Will Evans,were two of the 10 players to see yellow for fouls.

At the interval, Buxton made the enforced sacrifice of midfielder Eoin McKeown in favour of centre-back Hunt and his presence was essential as the Iron dominated possession and pumped crosses towards goal, with Dearnley making a spectacular dive, catch and hold from a Shrimpton effort.

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Jordan Burrow replaced Wright at the hour and 11 minutes later Josh Granite returned after injury, in place of Curtis Weston, to play a valiant part as his team held firm despite intense pressure. Almost immediately he produced a vital header to divert a Wilson cross, then the home winger fired a low diagonal shot across the face of goal, untouched by all.

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Then came the two goals in three minutes before more home pressure followed, with Dearnley making another fine save and Shiels, at full stretch, diverting a dangerous ball over the bar.

Added time brought more drama as the Iron were correctly awarded a penalty for a foul, but Dearnley earned even further credit by saving striker Danny Elliott's kick.

Two minutes on came the decision to abandon but if the Bucks had completed a remarkable win, they would have stood sixth in the table instead of the current 13th.

By the same token,victory would have been the second time in six months that they had toppled a table-topping club, the first being the excellent 1-1 draw at King's Lynn in February.

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It is understood that the referee's report to the FA will now be forwarded to the NLN for a decision to be reached about the outcome.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​