Derbyshire Senior Cup Semi-Final: Buxton FC 1, Mickleover Sports 1 (aet, Buxton win 4-3 on penalties)
BUXTON FC sealed a place in the final of the Derbyshire Senior Cup for the third time in four seasons last Wednesday after an epic battle with Mickleover Sports.
The Bucks victory, which had to be decided by sudden death penalties, means they’ll face Derby County in the final for the second time in two years, after the Championship side beat New Mills 4-1 in the other semi-final.
The home side, with new manager Martin McIntosh at the helm for the first time, dominated throughout and created a continuous succession of chances in the second half, and then again in extra time, but were unable to capitalise on their efforts.
The first half-hour of the game didn’t bring many openings from either side but things soon changed.
With 32 minutes on the clock, a fantastic Kieran Lugsden pass found the head of the onrushing Mark Reed who made no mistake to secure his 200th goal for the club.
But just a minute after the restart, Alex Steadman put the visitors back on level terms after beating Bucks keeper Scott Hartley.
This gave Buxton fresh impetus and they put Mickleover keeper Damon Clarke to the test a number of times as the game wore on.
But luck was not on Buxton’s side as efforts from a number of players, including Reed and Michael Towey, were repeatedly thwarted.
With the scores level after 90 minutes, a period of extra time followed during which the Bucks were again dominant and created a great deal of pressure on what became an increasingly frustrating night.
Lugsden, David Taylor, Reed and Towey all tried to give the Bucks the advantage and settle the game once and for all but it wasn’t to be as 120 minutes of play ended in a stalemate.
The first penalty fell to the visitors but was saved well by keeper Hartley and with Reed netting with ease, advantage went to Buxton.
But both sides skied their next spot kicks. However, Mickleover levelled with their third penalty while Neil Stevens sent his attempt high over the bar. Tommy Agus and Towey both buried their efforts but unfortunately the visitors were also on target for their fourth and fifth penalties so things were even at 3-3 after five spot kicks each.
The tension had by now reached breaking point but Hartley kept his cool to save Mickleover’s sixth and seventh attempts while Josh Wilde became the hero after beating Clarke to finally see Buxton through.
Buxton: Hartley, Black, Wilde, Stevens, Burgin (Liversidge 90), Agus, Ridley (Maxfield 57), Towey, Reed, Lugsden, Taylor. Attendance: 135.