MATCH REPORT: Stourbridge 3 Buxton 0

Buxton v Darlington (red), Ash Burbeary
Buxton v Darlington (red), Ash Burbeary

What eventually became a convincing victory for promotion-hunting Stourbridge, with all three goals coming in the last half-hour, hinged on events at either end around the hour mark.

Ash Burbeary’s angled 18-yard drive came back off ‘keeper Gould’s chest to be grasped at the second attempt before another Buxton attacker could take advantage.

Then when Stour replied, Myles Wright was impeded in taking a cross but no foul was awarded and immediately afterwards the home side took the lead as Richards, previously kept quiet along with experienced co-striker Hawley, rolled in a shot for a soft opener.

Prior to this the Glassboys seemed tense as their play-off push had faltered with midweek defeat versus rivals Ashton, but their opener relaxed them and further goals followed.

The first in the 71st-minute as Hawley lobbed the advancing ‘keeper from a narrow angle and then 16 minutes later when Scarr’s 15-yard drive beat Wright at full stretch.

Buxton’s disappointment was complete in the very last action when Gould, close to goal, barged into first Niall Doran then fellow substitute Ash Worsfold in pursuit of a loose ball with even the Stourbridge contingent amused and puzzled that a penalty had not been awarded-shades of Whitby in reverse.

Despite the result, the visitors were generally well served by their back four.

Joel outplayed free-scoring winger Lait, who was first cautioned then substituted, while on the opposite flank Jamie Green contained Dodd,arguably the best winger in the division.Chris Salt was dominant in the air and Greg Young made several important interventions.

Spencer Harris and Ricky Ravenhill grafted hard in centre midfield but the former found himself overworked when the latter was sensibly substituted, being probably one foul away from dismissal after seeing yellow at the end of the first half.

Newcomer Nicky Walker,with his experience at a higher level, showed that on another day when his team-mates could create clearer openings,his pace and composure on the ball would pay off.

A strong corner-to-corner wind, later accompanied by rain and briefly hail, limited the quality of play on view but facing the elements Stourbridge started strongly with several minutes of concerted pressure and immediately Wright made a superb save to finger-tip a powerful low Broadhurst 18-yard drive away for a corner.

Defending doggedly in numbers, the Bucks held on to establish a foothold and after Barra’s 20-yard drive had forced a corner, Wright’s long clearance landed just ahead of the onrushing striker.

In a continuing spell of majority possession, Ravenhill and Burbeary set up the overlapping Green for a low pull-back from which Harris’s powerfully accurate shot was blocked.

Yet, at the other end, Broadhurst’s high-struck free-kick freakishly caught in the wind almost to cause embarrassment to Buxton, then Scarr placed a free header wide at a corner.

The visitors opened the second half in promising style with Joel advancing on the right and Walker sending a deliciously teasing and curling cross from the left but without it finding a colleague.

Burbeary shot across the face of goal but when the Glassboys took the lead they held the initiative thereafter.

BUXTON: Wright; Bembo-Leta(J), Salt, Young, Green; Ravenhill (Bembo-Leta(F)70), Harris; Wiles; Burbeary (Doran 82), Barraclough (Worsfold 69), Walker. Subs not used: Grayson, Ryan.