Evo-Stik Premier Division: Buxton FC 0, FC United of Manchester 4
JOHN Reed’s Buxton FC slumped to their fifth successive league defeat on Saturday as FC United of Manchester secured an emphatic victory – their first at the Silverlands for three years.
A dejected-looking Bucks team was picked apart by a well-organised FC United side which grew in confidence as the match wore on, eventually running out comfortable 4-0 winners.
The visitors made a statement of their intent as early as the 12th minute, when the dangerous Mike Norton fired wide of goal on the turn after being played in by Richard Battersby.
Seconds after having a penalty appeal turned down when Matthew Wolfenden went to ground in the shadow of Sam Liversidge, FC United took the lead when Carlos Rocca’s corner found the head of Adam Jones.
Buxton were looking increasingly vulnerable in the air, Lee Neville just heading off-target for the visitors, yet there was faint hope at the other end as Nicky Platt was forced to clear a Scott Maxfield shot off the line and keeper James Spencer spilled a number of seemingly easy collects.
The Bucks’ best period of play concluded with Jack Cross, on for his full debut after Steve Ridley failed a late fitness test, whipping in a corner on his left foot which missed a gathering of heads in the box but fell to Liversidge who dragged his ambitious first-time volley wide.
It was all FC United after the break, with the lively Rocca having a second penalty appeal waved away and Jones again getting the better of Liversidge in the air from a set-piece, only this time his header rebounded off the far post. Then Wolfenden turned Liversidge on the left before cutting inside and firing a low shot which was blocked by Scott Hartley.
The visitors did eventually double their advantage on 66 minutes through a Norton header, before crucially Spencer pulled off a double save to deny Josh Wilde and Michael Towey after a cross had been headed on by substitute David Taylor.
From this point on, FC United hit cruise control. After Rocca had stung the palms of Hartley and Norton had headed agonisingly wide, substitutes Steve Torpey and Danny Grimshaw combined with the latter finishing in style when one-on-one with Hartley.
Then Torpey himself added gloss to the scoreline in added time, stroking the ball home after a blistering Rocca run down the wing, to leave the Bucks still searching for their first points of the season.
Buxton: Hartley, Black, Wilde, Agus, Liversidge (Colley, 81), Maxfield (c), Pembleton, Towey, Parry (Taylor, 61), Lugsden, Cross (Stevens, 46). Subs not used: S. Johnson, Hadley. Attendance: 904.