McIntosh happy with form as crunch time approaches

Buxton boss Martin McIntosh hailed a satisfactory week’s work as a valuable draw with Blyth was followed by progress into the League Cup semi-final.

Saturday’s 2-2 draw with the league leaders was the second time this season the Bucks had taken points off Alun Armstrong’s men and ensured they stayed firmly in the play-off race.

That was then followed by a 3-2 win at AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the cup on Tuesday night, two goals from Bradley Grayson and a third of the season for Dan Burns doing the damage.

McIntosh said: “I don’t think anyone will catch Blyth at the top but we’ve taken a point against them twice this season and not many teams will be able to say that.

“It was a good and competitive match and even though we were two ahead at one point we could quite easily have come away with nothing.

“The goal they got just before half-time gave them a real boost and they created lots of chances in the second-half, although we weren’t without our own opportunities to win the game.

“The only gripe I’d have is that I can’t fathom how we weren’t awarded two penalties which, having seen the video of the game, looked nailed on.

“The second one in particular was poor because it was a clear handball on the line but none of the officials were placed well enough to see it.

“But overall we’re happy with the point and it keeps us in a strong position.”

Tuesday’s tie saw Buxton field a strong line-up in Northamptonshire, the match seeing three penalties awarded but McIntosh’s men eventually prevailing.

He said: “It was a tough night as some of the lads had travelled for four hours to get down there and that’s always tough for a midweek game.

“For the first 15 minutes or so we looked a bit jaded but we then kicked in to gear and the application the players showed was fantastic.”

Despite being pleased to have progressed, McIntosh was left concerned about the scheduling of the semi-final, which is due to take place on Thursday, April 6 against as yet unknown opponents.

He said: “We always respect competitions like this because the sponsors put a lot of money into it and we’re grateful for that.

“The downside now is that we’ll have to play a semi-final two days after a league game with Ilkeston and two days before an arguably bigger league game against Stourbridge given the league situation.

“That gives us a dilemma because the league is the priority and yet we’ll have to be very careful how we approach the game with regard to potential injuries and so on.

“It ends up not being fair on the sponsors either because there’s a risk other teams will have a similar problem and it could reflect in the strength of the teams put out.

“It’s something we’ll deal with when we get to it but it seems to me to be a bad time to play it.”

The Evo-Stik League transfer deadline is today (Thursday) with McIntosh potentially looking to bring in another new face or two to bolster his squad.

He added: “I’ve got great backing from the chairman who has asked me what I need and that’s a huge help.

“There are a lot of games to play in the next six weeks so I may well need to add some more faces to strengthen the squad depth, but as always I only want the right kind of players that will help our cause.”

Buxton travel to Rushall Olympic this weekend.