Lightning strikes twice as late goal costs Buxton away win

Buxton FC, Mark Reed
Buxton FC, Mark Reed

Frickley Athletic 3, Buxton 3

Lightning never strikes twice, or so it is said, but on Saturday Buxton supporters begged to differ.

For the second time in four days their team entered injury time with a lead, only to go home with merely a draw.

Teenage loan goalkeeper Andrew Mills dropped a lofted punt forward and Frickley substitute Hinsley prodded the ball into goal to break Buxton’s hearts.

What’s more, the visitors just five minutes earlier had missed a good opportunity to extend their lead to 4-2.

The Bucks mounted a counter-attack on the right with Neil Stevens in possession but the midfielder was unable to seek out the predatory Mark Reed.

The visitors’ performance was mixed. They took a tenth-minute lead, then conceded two goals inside six minutes through slack defending, and continued to disappoint their supporters until half-time with a below-par performance on a dry, bumpy pitch.

The second half was very different following the introduction of the influential Lee Morris as the Bucks soon equalised, then went ahead again in the 73rd minute only to be denied at the end.

The opening strike saw Reed find space to head home a typical Marc Roberts long throw.

However, just two minutes later, Athletic were level. A long cross from the left found Yates beyond the far post but Mills was able to parry his first shot. The ball rebounded to the Frickley forward, who made no mistake.

Four minutes on and there was a genuine shock as Buxton conceded a truly soft goal to ex-Silverlander Chris Wood.

His nondescript, low cross-come-shot from the left squirmed across the penalty area to enter the net untouched at the far post.

Thereafter, Frickley struggled in the air in defence, notably when under threat from the frequent Roberts’ long throws, but retained their lead to the interval.

The introduction of Morris for the injured Lugsden lifted the Bucks, who equalised within ten minutes. Steve Istead had already struck the underside of the bar from 18 yards when another Roberts long throw gave Stevens the opportunity to head home powerfully, under the angle of post and bar, from 15 yards,

Buxton now looked well set to advance to victory and it came as no surprise when the in-form Reed bagged his second goal of the game - his seventh in his last three outings.

Morris got his head to a Sandwith free-kick and Reed nodded home from close range.

To their credit, Frickley battled hard for an equaliser but even after the home side’s late let-off the Bucks looked likely to seal the victory as they threatened to create a three-versus-one counter-attack only for referee Smith to halt them for an undetectable offence.

Frickley took advantage and the Mills error cost Buxton dear.

Buxton: Mills, Black, Roberts, Sandwith, Green, Stevens, Istead, Towey (Thornhill, 73), Maxfield, Reed, Lugsden (Morris, 45). Substitutes: Duncum, Deakin. Attendance 229.