CONFIDENCE is running high in the Buxton FC camp after a third successive Evo-Stik Premier Division victory, according to manager Martin McIntosh.
The boss was delighted after watching his side’s 7-0 demolition of Stocksbridge Park Steels at a soggy Silverlands on Boxing Day, a result which moves Buxton to within four points of the play-offs with games in hand over the teams above them.
With Lee Morris and Kieran Lugsden both suspended for the Stocksbridge game, Mark Reed and Matt Thornhill took their places in the starting line-up and both went on to score hat-tricks, while second-half substitute Kyle Nix crowned his return from injury with a goal.
Strugglers Stocksbridge, meantime, finished the game with nine men following a red card for the returning Tommy Agus on the stroke of half-time, and the loss of Will Senior following a triple substitution shortly after the interval.
“I was happy to win the match and to get some goals; it’s always good for your goal difference,” McIntosh said.
“It was also great to see the confidence of the players, with Reedy (Mark Reed) and Matt (Thornhill) both getting goals, and also to welcome back Kyle Nix who also scored a really good goal.
“Overall, I thought it was a great performance, not just by them but by everyone. There was also another clean sheet, which Ian Deakin and the back-four will be delighted with.”
McIntosh said the fitness levels of his players - which showed no signs of holiday fatigue - were a major factor in the win, as was the way his side mastered the tricky pitch conditions.
“The conditions were not ideal, but it was the same for both teams and it comes down to how you deal with them,” he said. “I felt we looked sharp, very fit.
“We’ve beaten Witton and North Ferriby in the last few weeks. We didn’t play on Saturday (at Whitby) but the lads came in and we trained seriously hard and I think that showed today.”
With more rain forecast over the next few days, Buxton officials face a race against time to prepare the Silverlands pitch in time for Saturday’s visit of high-flying Hednesford Town, before the Bucks head to near-neighbours Matlock Town for a New Year’s Day derby fixture. Both games kick-off at 3pm.
Added McIntosh: “I think we are becoming more and more stronger and confident at home. Hednesford will be the same as any other team, they won’t relish coming here, especially with the pitch like this.”
Buxton officials are appealing for help to assist groundstaff to prepare the Silverlands pitch in time for the Hednesford fixture.
Volunteers are asked to turn up at the ground during working hours today (Thursday), tomorrow (Friday) and on the morning of the match.
Chairman Tony Tomlinson said: “The work will be mainly treading divots, so no previous experience is required. Just turn up with old shoes and a garden fork, that will be fine!”