Buxton’s disappointing start to the new season extended to a third consecutive defeat at Ewen Fields on Monday as they lost 3-1 to Hyde United.
But a marked improvement in the second half renewed hope for better results and there is no doubt the Bucks were unfortunate with two penalty decisions, both controversial, going against them, condemning them to defeat when a recovery was likely.
However, the Tigers were the better side for most of the first half, despite the visitors having the advantage of scoring first.
Buxton couldn’t add to their lead and a poor spell prior to half-time allowed Hyde to net twice in 11 minutes for an interval advantage.
Eight goals have been conceded in those three defeats and there was early evidence of defensive insecurity as Nico De Girolamo’s first-minute error set up Dyche at the edge of the penalty area but he wastefully shot over the bar.
Then Tongue planted a far-post free header wide of goal before Grant Shenton dived and held Noble’s low,25-yard effort.
Yet it was the Bucks’ who took a 17th-minute lead with a first serious attack.
Reece Fishwick, making his full debut, delivered a well-directed, lofted cross to win a corner, taken by Ash Young, with Nico De Girolamo heading home firmly at the far post.
There were 2 further opportunities in quick succession. Firstly Brad Roscoe’s header at another Young corner went too high, then a second good-quality Fishwick lofted cross saw the onrushing Alex Brown volley off target.
Accordingly the one-goal lead looked brittle, particularly when Pratt on the right got the better of Billy Priestley to fire in a low cross that narrowly eluded O’Brien in front of goal. Nonetheless the lead was erased in the 34th minute as Pratt cut in from the left to net with an 18-yard deflected shot. Hyde then went very close as Pratt again got a shot away, Shenton saved well and ex-Port Vale striker, Dan Turner, fired into the side-netting.
Just before half-time, United’s perseverance paid off. Left-back Brownhill made an incisive run to cross low, Shenton parried but Dyche netted at the second attempt.
Ryan Jennings replaced the ineffective Diego De Girolamo at half-time and played a significant role on the ball as the Bucks’ showed at their most convincing and threatened on several occasions. Hardy’s pass released Fishwick on the right to fire into the side netting from 19 yards before a trio of free-kicks from promising positions by Young and substitute Brad Grayson forced keeper Mewitt to save at full stretch.
However,a crucial refereeing decision at either end decided the match’s outcome.
A Jennings shot clearly struck a Hyde defender’s arm but the poorly-positioned and therefore probably unsighted referee Porter made no award, yet in the 75th minute he penalised Buxton for a challenge on Dyche when there was obvious doubt whether man or ball was contacted first.
Turner netted from the penalty spot.
The visitors continued to press forward with Jennings evading challenges on the right to fire low across the face of goal, but Priestley couldn’t force the ball home, then both Hardy and Callum Chippendale had telling shots blocked as time ran out.
BUCKS: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, N De Girolamo, Priestley, Young, Chippendale, Hibbs (Grayson), N De Girolamo (Jennings), Hardy (Kilner), Fishwick. Unused Subs: McQuade, Hickman.