Vital win over the Villagers

Evo-Stik Premier Division: North Ferriby United 1, Buxton FC 4

Buxton’s travelling faithful last Saturday enjoyed not only their favourites’ first win at the seventh attempt on Humberside but also a vastly entertaining game of many, many scoring chances, the sole surprise being that no more than five goals resulted.

Curtley Williams was absent with a swollen knee so Scott Maxfield was once again deployed successfully in central defence, while Martin Pembleton adopted an infield role to such effect that the Bucks led after a mere three minutes from the match’s first corner. Steve Ridley’s kick was touched on by a defender to Kieran Lugsden who headed home from three yards.

Within a minute the striker had almost doubled his tally from a similarly constructed opportunity but keeper Wilson saved low.

At the other end Michael Towey made a vital tackle close to goal but it was nearly all Buxton in the first half as the visitors sought a so-important 2-0 lead. Highlights were a superbly accurate, 50-yard Maxfield cross-field pass, a thundering 25-yard drive, narrowly wide by Grant Black and a neat move involving Spencer Weir-Daley and David Taylor which set up Lugsden for another header that found Wilson’s fingers by the angle.

The Villagers were occasionally threatening but Towey was twice prominent in defence and a Black flying header likewise prevented danger. Then, just as it seemed a two-goal interval advantage had eluded the visitors Ridley netted from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time following a foul on Lugsden.

Facing a strengthening second-half wind, Buxton continued to make clear openings with Lugsden, soon to be withdrawn through injury, heading narrowly wide from Maxfield’s cross, while Pembleton fired wide after his own interception and a clever Weir-Daley touch had set him up. Substitute Kyle Hadley soon made a positive impact with a firmly-struck 20-yard drive but within a minute Ferriby were back in the hunt as Buxton’s Black got an unfortunate final touch after Scott Hartley had saved well from Bradshaw.

Neil Stevens and Chris Ovington were now introduced and all three substitutes made very useful contributions as yet more openings were created, and missed. The most glaring came after 67 minutes when a glorious ball from Ovington put Weir-Daley in the clear but remarkably he blazed over from 18 yards. The striker tried to make amends in beating two defenders to force a Wilson save, then he and Towey had shots blocked close to goal.

Meanwhile, Ferriby had chances to equalise. A rare piece of defensive nonsense allowed Harsley to shoot at an open goal but his 50-yard lob cleared the bar, while an equally rare error by man of the match Tommy Agus let in substitute Stirland but he made an awful hash of a shot at goal. Centre-back Paul Foot headed narrowly wide from a corner kick then Hartley saved brilliantly to thwart Bradshaw before the Bucks at last sealed victory in the final eight minutes of action. Ferriby had withdrawn right-back Williams in favour of another attacker but that allowed Ovington to advance along the by-line to present Stevens with an opportunity which he converted as he tumbled forwards. Finally, Weir-Daley joined the scoresheet with a flourish as he produced a convincing shot from a Stevens pass.

So Buxton earned full points against a side for once not superior in size in a quite extraordinary match that was delayed at the interval by the illness of referee Woodall, who had not endeared himself to the visiting contingent by his excessive fussiness regarding the merest glimpse of David Taylor’s unacceptably coloured under-shorts.

Buxton: Hartley, Black, Agus, Maxfield, Wilde, Pembleton (Ovington 64), Towey, Ridley, Taylor (Stevens 59), Weir-Daley, Lugsden (Hadley 48).Att: 229.