Late drama as spot kick secures Buxton draw with leaders AFC Fylde

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Buxton boss Craig Elliott was delighted to see his side's unbeaten run stretch to 10 games with a dramatic late home draw with National League North leaders AFC Fylde on Tuesday night.

The Bucks twice had to come from behind in an entertaining game, with the second equaliser a last-gasp penalty.

But it was a good value point against full-time visitors, consolidating a mid-table place while AFC Fylde remain top.

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Elliott said: “I'm happy to get a point against a team I think will go on and win the league and probably the best team we've played since I came in.

Diego De Girolamo - late hero for Buxton on Tuesday night.Diego De Girolamo - late hero for Buxton on Tuesday night.
Diego De Girolamo - late hero for Buxton on Tuesday night.

“I'm proud of the lads and their togetherness and fighting spirit.

“They deserve a lot of credit. I don't think it was our best performance by a long way but we are 10 unbeaten and we've had some really tough games.

"We went behind right at the start but the reaction was good from our lads and we came back with a really exceptional goal by Tommy Elliott, who was playing through an injury. He showed bravery to play and put his body on the line for the club.

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“The second half tended to be scrappy with little for either keeper to do.

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“They scored from a set piece but we kept going and deserved to equalise with the penalty. It was a fair result. I don't think either team did enough to win.”

The Bucks went behind after only two minutes when a 30-yard shot went in off the crossbar.

Half an hour later Tommy Elliott was perfectly placed to head home Max Conway's pinpoint cross. That's how it stayed until 69 minutes, with the visitors netting from close range after prolonged pressure.

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But Diego De Girolamo, on as a substitute, stepped up in the dying seconds of the contest to convert his penalty in typically confident style.

With players coming back from injury and the team's form excellent, Elliott admitted he has a few headaches on naming a side right now.

“Team selection is difficult,” he said.

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“These lads are pulling together and it's hard to leave anyone out.

“But no one is sulking. Everyone is buying into what we are doing and I wish there was more of the season left.

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“We are looking up and going in the right direction. We need to keep our standards and see how long we can remain unbeaten.

"There's a good spirit throughout the squad and we're looking forward to the next challenge, away to Banbury United on Saturday.

“They ran out easy winners here in November, so we want to turn the tables and keep our unbeaten run going.”