Well-deserved win at Chasetown

Steve Istead
Steve Istead

Evo-Stik Premier Division: Chasetown 1, Buxton 3

BUXTON earned another well-deserved victory against a fellow struggler in the West Midlands last Saturday, making it four wins in the last five games.

As against Frickley, success was built on the solid foundation of a dominating first-half performance, but once again the Bucks had by the interval only one goal to show for their obvious superiority.

The previous Saturday it was an inspired goalkeeper who thwarted them but at Chasetown it was the frame of the goal which proved to be the Scholars’ best first-half defender! On no less than five occasions Buxton efforts found the woodwork as the home defence failed to cope with varied and inventive attacks.

The midfield trio of Steve Istead, Peter Davidson and Steve Ridley was so dominant that Kieran Lugsden was frequently able to join the front two and was responsible for one strike against wood, while Mark Reed won virtually every ball in the air against six-foot plus central defenders. Add to this Marc Roberts’ long throws and no wonder the travelling faithful were in raptures.

After an initial ten minutes’ sparring, the Bucks twice went close in a matter of seconds. Josh Wilde set-up Davidson to progress neatly along the byline, keeper Evans saved via the post and when the ball was half-cleared, Istead’s 19-yard drive rattled the bar.

Sluggish Chasetown, without a win in 2012, took 17 minutes to mount any form of attack and even then the visitors retaliated with Davidson’s goal-bound shot deflected wide.

However, the opening goal was only ten minutes delayed. Ridley’s persistence earned a free-kick 25 yards from goal and when the diminutive midfielder’s effort rebounded from the bar, Istead dived low and full-length to head home.

Only former Crewe trialist Jack Farmer, out on the right, posed any threat to the Bucks and one long, deep cross troubled Hartley before Bradley Barraclough, latching onto a defensive error, also struck a post with a low drive as half-time approached.

The opening to the second half therefore came as a considerable surprise with the Bucks surrendering the initiative and Chasetown in control for the first time.

After Teasdale had put a ‘free’ header wide of goal, Courtney Pitt, using all of his Conference experience, scored with a well-placed, 20-yard free-kick just five minutes in.

It took the visitors until the hour mark to re-establish their passing game and the substitution of Scott Maxfield for Ridley led to Buxton’s second goal just five minutes after his arrival.

Roberts met his well-flighted corner-kick eight yards from goal and scored with a firm header.

Chasetown responded vigorously and an inswinging corner was cleared from close to goal and substitute Grant Black performed similarly as the Scholars threatened only from set-pieces.

With three minutes remaining it was left to the classy Bradley Barraclough to seal Buxton’s victory.

He latched onto a long ball from Davidson to out-pace Teasdale and score with a low drive across Evans into the far side of the goal.

There was still time for two players to be dismissed; home substitute Smith earned a second yellow card for a foul while Maxfield saw red for retaliation after being clattered twice in a minute.

Nonetheless, the Bucks came home in high spirits, but Chasetown, despite the addition of ex-Aston Villa star Lee Hendrie, looked doomed to relegation.

Buxton: Hartley, Stevens (Black, 78), Hawes, Roberts, Wilde, Lugsden (Agus, 86), Istead, Ridley (Maxfield, 69), Davidson, Barraclough, Reed. Subs unusued: Payne, Turner. Attendance: 359.