A blistering 25-yard Spencer Harris power drive earned Buxton victory at Marine on Tuesday evening for a third consecutive time there and a first back-to-back win since Christmas.
The points were hard-earned on a dry, lively surface which made ball control difficult, resulting in a lot of aerial play at which the Bucks more than held their own.
The Mariners had lost just once in nine outings to escape from the relegation places but were distinctly second best in the opening quarter as the Bucks showed greater control in developing their passing game and seven minutes passed before Myles Wright touched the ball.
However, the young ‘keeper was forced into superb action by striker Mitchley whose 16th-minute sharp turn and firm, low shot was heading for a corner of the net.
Five minutes later the visitors took the lead as a Jamie Green corner kick was half-cleared to the advancing Niall Doran 20 yards out and his firm shot was deflected beyond ex-Leek ‘keeper Cooper’s reach.
Marine’s response saw a corner kick cross the goalmouth untouched before Codling fired a 20-yard drive wide.
Otherwise Buxton’s lead looked comfortable until a 33rd minute defensive error allowed Marine to continue an attack on the right and when a low cross arrived in the penalty area, Chris Sharp, son of celebrated ex- Evertonian Graeme, swept the ball home.
The equaliser increased the home team’s confidence and ex-Mariner Joel Bembo-Leta had to make an important recovery to avert danger, but even so the Bucks consistently showed the greater composure when in possession.
Exchanges continued to be even after the interval but clear chances were at a premium at both ends. Brad Barraclough played Alex Wiles in for an early corner-kick before a Ricky Ravenhill block on Mitchley’s progress set up a promising move featuring Doran, Barraclough and Wiles but it petered out on the right flank.
Then Marine twice threatened as first a long crossfield ball freed Sharp but he narrowed his angle and could force merely a corner, while Mitchley again managed a quick turn but shot wide.
By this stage the introduction of Ash Worsfold meant the preceding 4-2-3-1 system was abandoned in favour of the more usual 4-4-2 and ten minutes later the Bucks found the decider with a memorable goal worthy of winning any game.
From an attack on the left a loose ball fell to Harris in the inside-left channel and his waist-high drive arrowed into the net.
Chris Salt headed convincingly but narrowly wide at a corner and substitute Ash Burbeary could have done better in a late two-versus-two counter-attack as to the end Buxton sought to double their advantage, while for Marine both Mitchley and Codling wasted openings with wayward shots as time ran out.
Buxton: Wright, J Bembo-Leta, Salt, Young, Green, Taylor, Ravenhill, Harris, Doran (Burbeary 59); Wiles (Worsfold 68); Barraclough. Unused subs: Buckley, Grayson, F Bembo-Leta.