Penalty mars good display by defence

Evo-Stik Premier Division: Chorley 1, Buxton FC 0

A CONVERTED 72nd-minute penalty kick earned victory for early league leaders Chorley and condemned Buxton to a pointless first week of the season.

The Bucks had held their own against a team which had won 6-0 only days earlier, in a rather drab match which produced little goalmouth action in comparison with the thriller at Hednesford.

Manager John Reed gave a full debut to the experienced Karl Colley in place of Sam Liversidge in the heart of Buxton’s defence and it was his misfortune that it was he who conceded the penalty award to mar an otherwise sound display in an effective visiting backline.

Supported by a hard-working midfield unit, the defenders snuffed out the Magpies’ attacking threat in a first half in which the Bucks had the better of the play.

Colley headed over the bar from an inswinging Steve Ridley free-kick, then Pembleton did well only to miss-hit his shot at goal, followed by Matt Parry’s superb turn and fierce drive from 15 yards that skimmed the bar.

Slow to start, Chorley’s first real threat came on 25 minutes with a sliced shot from Foster’s pull-back before Foster’s chip from 25 yards over Scott Hartley cleared the goal.

Then on 38 minutes came Buxton’s best chance of the half after Grant Black had fed Pembleton on the right, Kieran Lugsden firing wide at the near post from the wide midfielder’s low cross.

After the interval Chorley clearly increased their attacking intent and, from a fine free-kick, Hartley punched clear only for Teague to get in a goal-bound shot which Josh Wilde cleared from the line.

Colley then had to make a well-timed tackle in the penalty area to thwart a passing move, but later made the mistake which cost his team a point. Foster was moving across the 18-yard line, searching for an opening, when Colley’s foul halted him and the striker was faultless from the spot.

Buxton had been disappointing in their lack of creative play after half-time. The two substitutions made did nothing to improve the fluency of the visitors’ attacks and it was left to three established players to produce the best opportunity of an equaliser as late as the second minute of added time.

Scott Maxfield’s throw from the left was flick-headed by Michael Towey, but Lugsden’s near-post shot passed narrowly wide.

There was little to choose between the sides but the formation, which had created enough openings to have won the game at Hednesford, on this occasion failed to force the home keeper to make more than several regulation saves.

Buxton: Hartley, Black, Colley, Agus, Wilde, Pembleton (Stevens, 77), Towey, Maxfield, Ridley, Parry (Cross, 82), Lugsden. Substitutes: Hadley, Taylor, Cardwell. Attendance: 855.