FT: Buxton 0 FC United of Manchester 2
The second superbly pulsating meeting between these clubs inside four days provided a vastly entertaining occasion for the bumper Silverlands crowd on Wednesday evening.
The teams had the added incentive since Sunday of the prospect of a visit to lower-ranked opposition in the final qualifying round of the prestigious competition.
Buxton lacked key players in the injured trio of leading scorer Liam Hardy and midfield regulars Ricky Ravenhill and Alastair Taylor, while the visitors were likewise shorn of Wolfenden and Brown but nonetheless the teams provided an evenly contested, open game of much attractive passing football.
Each side had periods of supremacy but the outcome was unpredictable until the goals arrived in the last quarter-hour, with United’s clincher scored on the break as the Bucks pressed for an equaliser.
The home side made a lively start, enjoying ample possession and constructing attacks with accurate passing at pace. Glenn Belezika made a long run out of defence, squared low but Niall Doran’s curling shot was blocked then Alex Wiles went close before visiting ‘keeper Carnell was made to scramble.
There followed a promising spell for the Red Rebels but from a left-flank move Byrne’s shot passed high and wide, Lynch headed wide at a corner and a 33rd-minute header ruled out for offside.
Before half-time Buxton mounted a response but the weaving Bradley Barraclough’s progress to goal was effectively blocked. However, the Bucks returned to the attack after the interval and created arguably their best chances of the evening by troubling Carnell with power drives that he couldn’t hold.
The first on 53 minutes by Wiles rebounded from his chest to the diving Warren Burrell, whose firm header flew back into the ‘keeper’s arms. The second by Belezika similarly troubled Carnell but Ash Burbeary’s follow-up shot was blocked.
In between Doran and Burbeary created an opening but a defender stopped Wiles’s shot then Burrell’s fierce effort earned a corner-kick.The visitors responded with dangerous attacks of their own.
Phil Barnes parried substitute Cooke’s drive and following a left-wing move, fellow substitute Birch blasted not far wide from 25 yards.
By three-quarter time FC United had gambled on the introduction of all three permitted substitutes but unlike Buxton on Sunday had the good fortune to see out the game without injury.
The Reds continued to threaten and made the breakthrough in the 75th minute. Daniels beat Jamie Green on Buxton’s left and from the corner of the penalty area curled his shot past Barnes into the far side of the net.
The Bucks fought back, Wiles had a promising shot deflected to Carnell while Doran’s shot was blocked and a corner-kick was forced from which the ‘keeper got in a solid punch to set up a rapid United counter-attack on their right and Madeley fired into the far top corner to seal victory in the 89th minute.
Buxton’s effort had again been second to none and was well appreciated by the Silverlands faithful but the remarkable home hoodoo for the two clubs abides - just one home win each in 17 competitive meetings and a friendly.
Buxton: Barnes, Belezika, Bembo-Leta (J), Young, Green, Wiles, Buckley, Burrell, Doran, Burbeary, Barraclough. Subs not used: Niven, Bembo-Leta (F), Ryan, Jameson.