Bucks’ disappointing display on their travels

Kendal v Buxton. Photo: Peter Holme.
Kendal v Buxton. Photo: Peter Holme.

Kendal Town 1 Buxton 0

If Buxton’s players were disappointed by the end of their play-off chances with Fylde’s win on Thursday evening, it showed in a lacklustre display in the Lake District last Saturday.

Kendal needed to win to keep alive their Premier Division survival campaign and a lone second-half goal earned full points which proved in vain as a result of Grantham’s victory.

Manager Martin McIntosh made three changes after Wednesday’s draw.

Ian Deakin was able to resume in goal while Marc Roberts and skipper Steve Istead were rested, allowing David Haggerty to return to match action and Neil Stevens to resume in midfield.

Nonetheless, Buxton’s performance throughout was more disappointing than any given the lack of quality of the opposition in an otherwise successful season.

The determined Cumbrians, playing first down the slope, soon forced Deakin into a low save, but his team had a good opportunity to open the scoring as early as the fourth minute.

Grant Black and Matt Thornhill combined on the right for the latter to cross, but Lee Morris shot wide from close range and for the visitors that was as good as it got until early in the second half.

As ever, Black did his best to prompt attacks on the right, and while Sam Duncum’s pace had the beating of right-back McGahon, his crosses failed to create scoring chances.

The Bucks occasionally promised to develop attacks but their cause was hindered by Freeland’s heavy, but unpunished, challenge on playmaker Thornhill, who had to be substituted at half-time.

The second half was only two minutes old when Buxton had a chance to take the lead. Morris got a touch to Jamie Green’s free-kick but goalkeeper Clifton clawed away a close-range volley by Kieran Lugsden, who was soon replaced by all-time leading scorer Mark Reed.

A goal, however, came at the other end as Altrincham loanee Danny Mitchley evaded the attentions of Haggerty to net with a low shot via the diving Deakin’s right hand.

The advantage could have been doubled 20 minutes later when a Haggerty error let in Clark, but his low cross-shot passed wide of the far post.

The Bucks did mount some pressure on the goal, particularly at set-pieces, but Ash Palmer and Morris headed over the bar and Black poked wide after Palmer had got his head to yet another Scott Maxfield accurate corner-kick.

On other occasions, keeper Clifton showed sure handling to thwart threats as Buxton went home both goalless and pointless.

Buxton: Deakin, Black, Palmer, Haggerty, Green, Stevens (Maxfield, 73), Thornhill (Istead, 45), Towey, Duncum, Morris, Lugsden (Reed, 50). Unused substitutes: Roberts, Turner. Attendance: 165.