Matlock 1-1 Buxton - match report

Matlock Town v Buxton.
Matlock Town v Buxton.

Ten-man Buxton were denied victory away at local rivals Matlock Town on Easter Monday, after a late equaliser from the hosts.

A brave and battling performance from a depleted Buxton earned Martin McIntosh’s side a point, but it could have nearly been all three.

Matlock town v Buxton.

Matlock town v Buxton.

Lee Morris opened the scoring on the hour mark only to see red later on in the game, before Oscar Radford popped up to earn a share of the spoils for Mark Atkins’ men.

Buxton went into the match with a wafer-thin squad, as Steve Istead was injured and Stuart Ludlam was sitting out the second of a two-match ban.

That meant McIntosh chose the same starting XI that beat Droylsden 48 hours before their trip to the Autoworld Arena.

For almost an hour the evenly-contested affair was bereft of goalmouth action.

The hosts’ Shaun Tuton had an early effort deflected wide before Craig King’s probing down the left forced a few Buxton corners.

All in all it was a forgettable opening 45 minutes, but the Bucks suffered another blow to their numbers just after the re-start.

Jamie Green, such a dependable player at left-back, suffered a hamstring strain that saw him replaced by 16-year-old James Handley.

The youngster provided an instant attacking boost to the team and within 10 minutes of entering the field he provided the assist for Morris to score his 22nd of the campaign.

A piercing cross by the substitute was met by the head of Morris, whose looping header made it 1-0 as it nestled into the corner of the goal.

However, the joy was to be short-lived for Morris as minutes later he was given his marching orders.

After conceding several first-half free-kicks and a booking as a result, Morris was shown a second yellow card for a coming-together with a Matlock player in the middle of the park.

Despite the setback, Buxton produced some enterprising play which almost resulted in a penalty.

Matt Thornhill, who shook off a knock sustained against Droylsden, was sent crashing to the turf but the referee waved play on.

With the clock ticking down and Buxton looking to hold on for a valuable away win, Matlock sent on Massiah McDonald in what proved to be an inspired substitution.

The forward threatened the Bucks’ goal on several occasions before eventually setting up the late leveller.

His shot on goal could only be parried by Andy Warrington, and it fell into the path of Oscar Radford who gleefully netted from close range.

Another blow for McIntosh was the late injury to Ash Palmer, which hampers the manager’s efforts to field a team for the visit of title-chasing Chorley this coming Saturday.

Bucks: Warrington, Green (Handley 49), Palmer, Brooks, Stevens, Thornhill, Niven, Davies, King, Morris, Reed (Ryan 89).

Att: 434.