Buxton book cup semi date with Chesterfield as search for consistency continues
Martin McIntosh has seen the two differing sides to his Buxton FC team in the space of four days.
The Bucks boss revealed he and assistant Tim Ryan had to have strong words with their players after a draw with Coalville on Saturday.
Only for the squad to produce a much-improved display on Tuesday night to knock Mickleover Sports out of the Derbyshire Senior Cup.
McIntosh’s men now advance into the last four of the competition where they will face a Chesterfield XI at Silverlands on February 13.
“It was a major improvement from Saturday,” said McIntosh. “Both myself and Tim were really unhappy with the players’ performance on Saturday.
“We let them know under no uncertain terms. We wanted a reaction from Saturday and to be fair to the players they gave us that.
“The work rate was so much better last night and we need to try and get that consistency. The players were fabulous, it really was like night and day from Saturday.
“The problem we’ve had all season is consistency and stringing some wins together - that’s what we need to do to push up the league.
“If we go about our business the same way we did last night on Saturday then there’s every chance we will win. But if we turn up anything like last Saturday then we won’t.
“That’s the message to the players. We give the players a lot of pats on the back, we like to think we’re fair with them, but when they don’t perform we have to let them know.”
A goal brace from Ant Wilson and one from Joe McGee saw the Bucks to a 3-1 win over Mickleover in the cup - a trophy McIntosh and the club won in 2012.
“We’ve got Chesterfield in the semi final and we’ll play a strong side in that. It would be good to get to a cup final,” said McIntosh.
“They’re full time professionals so it’ll be a good test for us. We’re at home so I’m sure a lot of fans will turn out for that one as well.
“We played them in pre-season and I imagine they’ll play a mixture of younger players and those that aren’t in the first team but it’ll still be a test for us without doubt.”
Before that Buxton have two league matches to tackle, starting with a trip to an in-form Barwell side on Saturday who are five without loss.
Buxton drew 1-1 with Barwell in the reverse fixture at the start of December and have had close matches in previous seasons.
“They’ve beaten Stalybridge and beaten Workington away so they’ve been on a really good run.
“They’re always tight games with Barwell; they’ll be organised and hard working, and another difficult game away from home,” added McIntosh, who bolstered his squad with the capture of defender Nico De Girolamo.
De Girolamo, the brother of on loan Chesterfield forward, Diego, joined Buxton ahead of the 2-2 draw with Coalville and is a player McIntosh has had an eye on for a while.
He said: “When he was at Mickleover two years ago he did very well against us and was a player I really liked the look of.
“He was out of the picture at Matlock for a little bit so we’ve taken him. He’s someone I’m looking forward to seeing play for us - a really aggressive defender.”
The brothers might just come head-to-head when the two teams meet in the Derbyshire Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday 13th February (7.45pm kick off).