Winless Buxton drop more late points against Curzon Ashton

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Buxton continued to search for a first win of the season after being held 1-1 at home by Curzon Ashton on Saturday, writes Tony Tomlinson.

After going goalless on Tuesday at Warrington despite enjoying much of the possession Buxton manager Craig Elliott revamped the attack at home to Curzon, but the hosts, after taking an early lead, couldn't secure a first win of the season as undefeated Nash equalised late to salvage a point and their third draw.

From Tuesday's back five, Max Hunt was on the subs' bench as Buxton deployed a four-man defence, while in midfield, with Tommy Elliott unfit, Jak McCourt returned after injury at the expense of Craig Weston.

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But it was at the front where a different unit was tried. Sam Smart was restored on the right and Eoin McKeown was given a full and home debut on the left, with Diego De Girolamo central, but Diego often busied himself in a deep-lying role.

Sam Smart - put Buxton ahead.Sam Smart - put Buxton ahead.
Sam Smart - put Buxton ahead.

Josh Granite and Sam Osborne have yet to recover sufficiently to be available.

The outcome was a disappointing encounter with far too much disjointed, scrappy play and, though there was a stiff breeze, the conditions could not be blamed as neither side impressed and at no point established true authority.

The match started evenly and without meaningful incident. So the Bucks' goal on 17 minutes came out of the blue but showed quality as they attacked the Ashwood End.

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Jake Hull's long, low forward pass picked out Smart centrally and he rounded keeper Mason to net impressively.

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Much encouraged, the hosts should have doubled their advantage within five minutes but Xander McBurnie fired against Mason's legs from eight yards after he, McKeown and Zaine Francis-Angol had combined superbly deep on the left.

That moment proved pivotal as a two-goal lead would likely have allowed a more relaxed and confident approach, but it never happened.

Meanwhile Nash offered little first-half threat with home keeper Max Dearnley in commanding mode.

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The only shot of note came on the stroke of half-time with a 25-yard effort by the long-serving Mahon, fired directly at him.

Exchanges were mostly even after the interval with the hosts unable to create much of a threat but gradually the visitors enjoyed a majority of possession without the guile to carve out openings. However, Nash's 79th-minute equaliser, like Buxton's, came as something of a surprise with centre-back Matthews rising highest to power home an inswinging corner-kick.

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By far the most exciting spell of end-to-end action came in the eight minutes of added time.

For Nash, Stefan Mols sent a glancing header from a right-flank cross wide of the far post, but the Bucks went closer still.

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Determined work by substitute Jake Wright saw a defender's sliced clearance heading for a top corner only to be cleared from the goal-line, then Curzon's Richards power-drove a 25-yard effort wide of goal.

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