Relieved Buxton end league run without victory

Callum Chippendale, whose clever work helped to set up Buxton's winning goal for Ash Young.
Callum Chippendale, whose clever work helped to set up Buxton's winning goal for Ash Young.

A much-improved performance at Stafford Rangers saw Buxton end their run without a win in the Premier Division of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

Not since early October had Buxton tasted league success. But Ash Young’s cracking 49th minute goal, in front of a crowd of 481, rectified that and lifted them back into the top ten of the table.

It had to be done the hard way, but with six frontline players absent through injury and Joe McGee unavailable, that was acceptable.

In fact, with excellent displays from the likes of shot-stopper Theo Roberts, newcomer John Pritchard and Scott Sephton, the only surprise was that only one goal was scored.

Ample goalmouth action made the game a pleasing spectacle, and more clear chances were created by Buxton than of late, so it was unfortunate that the finishing of lively striker Liam Hardy was off-key.

Rangers were also guilty of a bad miss when Jake Charles, grandson of the late, great John Charles, veered wide and allowed Roberts to make one of several good saves. But Hardy twice had the chance to make Charles pay in the last five minutes of the opening half, only to fire wide.

Buxton had played some fluent stuff in that half, forcing eight corners and engineering other chances for Brad Grayon, Greg Young, Tom Dean, Pritchard and Sephton.

When the goal finally came, it was deserved and it was a beauty. Clever contributions by Chippendale and Pritchard set up Young, who found the net with a rasping 22-yard drive that went in off a post.

The advantage could have been doubled when Pritchard skipped past a defender to deliver a cross for Hardy who, with his back to goal, applied a flicked header that thudded against the ‘keeper.

Instead, for a remarkable tenth time this term, Buxton couldn’t build on a one-goal lead, and had to rely on sound, committed defence to repel added urgency from Rangers in the final half-hour.

BUXTON LINE-UP -- Roberts T./ Roscoe, Brown, Sephton, Young G., Dean T., Chippendale (Coppin), Young A., Grayson (Meade), Hardy (Omotola), Pritchard.