Leek 1, Buxton Hockey Club 3
BUXTON travelled to Leek for their final pre-season game looking for a big win to set them up for the coming season.
The hosts started the game the better of the two teams and took an early lead with M Gee losing his man in the area and slapping into the net.
Leek had another couple of good chances but found S Thyer between the sticks in awesome form.
Buxton soon found their rhythm and got a hold of the game. W Orrit and J Wilton combined in the final third, with Wilton making his way into the “D” and smashing into the top corner.
Leek tried to reassert themselves but found Lomas and Mather impenetrable in centre defence.
After the break, Lowton and Orritt set up Browett to score his first goal in five seasons to give Buxton a deserved lead.
Leek pushed hard to get back into the match but Buxton kept attacking at pace down the wings, with M Lomas playing well down the left and L Saunders and D Bellingworth linking up down the right.
Buxton wrapped up a fine win when Curzon picked out Orritt, who calmly slotted home.
Buxton: S Thyer (GK), G Halliwell, S Lomas, W Mather, M Lomas, L Saunders, D Lowton, J Wilton, M Curzon, W Orritt, P Browett. Man of the Match: S Thyer.
Buxton Hockey Club 3, Derwent 4
BUXTON fell to a defeat against a team 54 places above them in the hockey pyramid. However, the fact they scored three goals against a better side will give them confidence for the upcoming season.
The game started at a terrific pace, Derwent pushing hard, zipping the ball around the field, but with Buxton threatening on the counter.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring, J Davy poaching one at the back post after a period of sustained pressure.
When Derwent doubled their advantage a few minutes later, M Chiu rifling into the net, it seemed that Buxton might be on the end of a thrashing but they held out until half-time.
After the break, the Bucks came out a different side, more determined, more eager and they pulled one back with a well worked goal, J Wilton and M Curzon exchanging passes on the left before Wilton set up D Lowton, who bagged yet another pre-season goal.
The momentum swung back Derwent’s way as J Davy grabbed his second from a short corner, but Buxton came back yet again, debutant L Saunders nipping in ahead of the keeper.
With Buxton’s defence of Mather, Lomas, Stewart and Bedingworth holding firm, and S Lowton providing boundless energy in midfield, it looked like Buxton might equalise but alas, the greater skill from Derwent proved decisive as J Davy struck a killer blow with his hat-trick.
Buxton played valiantly on and got a third goal at the death, courtesy of J Wilton, the final score of 4-3 reflecting an entertaining open game.
Buxton: S Thyer (GK), C Evans, W Mather, S Lomas, J Stewart, L Saunders, S Lowton, D Lowton, M Curzon, J Wilton, P Browett. Man of the match: W Mather.