Buxton 1-2 Ilkeston - match report
Nine-man Buxton were hit with a double blow in stoppage time during a highly-charged Bank Holiday affair with Ilkeston.
The Bucks led early on through Lee Morris, with his fourth of the campaign, but the dismissals of Scott Maxfield and then Morris gave Martin McIntosh’s side a huge handicap as they fought bravely before conceding twice in injury time.
The game started with Buxton playing with a confident aura about them following their unbeaten start to the season.
McIntosh made one alteration to the side which started the 1-1 draw at Frickley, with Matt Thornhill making way for Neil Stevens.
The first real opportunity of the game fell to the visitors when Chris Palmer saw his free-kick pushed away by Andy Warrington in what was the first of a hatful of saves by the experienced stopper.
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Derek Niven then saw an angled effort come back off a post before the Bucks made the breakthrough.
Niven’s shot was charged down by an Ilkeston defender and the ball fell kindly to Morris who slotted past Rob Peet to make it 1-0.
After a period of scrappiness by both sides there was then the first sign of tensions boiling over when Grant Black and Laurie Wilson having to be separated by interjecting players.
Buxton continued to pepper the Ilkeston goal in pursuit of a second and had a further chance when Tim Ryan hit a rasping free-kick just wide.
Shortly after Ryan hobbled off to be replaced by Ash Palmer in his first outing of the season.
Ilkeston then saw James Reid hit a post before Warrington had to react in lightning speed to deny Antwan Russell from close range.
The second half began with Ilkeston by far the brighter side.
Gary Ricketts was denied by a superb one-handed stop from Warrington when he looked destined to score.
That was followed by another feisty encounter on the byline which resulted in player-assistant Scott Maxfield being shown a straight red card.
Despite such a big blow to the home side’s hopes of holding on for the win, nobody could have predicted that another dismissal would follow shortly after when the referee sent off Morris for a seemingly off-the-ball incident.
Down to just nine men Buxton were forced to put their ever-decreasing numbers behind the ball for the last 30 minutes.
What followed was an onslaught on Warrington’s goal as Ilkeston created chance after chance. However, McIntosh’s men stayed defiant despite wave after wave of attack.
Eventually the home side buckled but it was in cruel fashion that the two goals from Ricketts came in the very final throes of the match.