Togetherness and unselfishness of Buxton squad is big boost to title aim says boss Steve Cunningham

Buxton team manager Steve Cunningham said the togetherness of his side and lack of selfishness could go a long way in their NPL title bid after a 3-0 defeat of Radcliffe extended their lead to four points.

Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 5:57 pm
Hat-trick hero Diego De Girolamo in action against Radcliffe on Saturday.
Hat-trick hero Diego De Girolamo in action against Radcliffe on Saturday.

Cunningham said the moment Jamie Ward won a penalty but handed the ball to Diego De Girolamo to complete a first half hat-trick underlined the spirit in his camp.

“Jamie is our usual penalty taker, but after he was brought down in the box he passed the ball to Diego to notch up his hat-trick from the penalty spot,” sadid Cunningham.

“We had a bit of a meeting in midweek talking about doing the right things over the next seven games to make sure that, if we are going to get over the line we do it the right way and we do it together - there is no selfishness about it.

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“When you look at Jamie Ward passing the penalty over to Diego it shows that. It gave Diego that special moment of scoring a hat-trick which are very hard to come by at this level of football. So you can see the team's togetherness in that one moment and it was fantastic from Jamie as he is fighting to top the goalscorer chart himself.

“When you've got that, it's an even bigger advantage for the team.

“The players were together start to finish. We're in a great place but the hard work is by the lads, during training and when they put their bodies on the line in matches.”

De Girolamo's triple was the highlight of a superb first half by the Bucks.

“It was a bit of a mirror image to the Witton Albion game to be fair,” said Cunningham.

“We started off like a train, playing some really impressive stuff with a superb 45-minute performance from Diego with three goals, two of them fantastic long-range rocket shots that were virtually identical.

“We played some really impressive stuff in the first half.

“Without sounding disrespectful to Radcliffe the game was a bit of a dead rubber at half-time and the second half was a bit of a damp squib but very comfortable for us.

“It was job done, three more points are in the bag and we've kept another clean sheet. Teams have found it really hard to score against us in recent games. We're doing something right.”

Title rivals South Shields and Matlock Town managed only a single point between them, on Saturday and Cunningham said: “With the other results around us it turned out to be a really good afternoon, though we won't be taking anything for granted.

"We’ve not won any leagues yet. I know people were getting excited on Saturday with the results but we still hav seven massive big games and this was just another one chalked off.

The Bucks are four points ahead of South Shields and six clear of Matlock, although these closest rivals have a game in hand. Fourth-placed Scarborough Athletic are a further three points back.

“We had another 700-plus attendance and the support from the fans is a big bonus,” he continued.

“We know this weekend at Whitby will be tough and we've got injuries to contend with. But the next game is always the biggest of the season and that's how we will approach Whitby.”