FC United slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Buxton on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,147 supporters.
A defensive mix up between Adam Tong and Sam Ashton allowed the Bucks to take the lead in the 53rd minute through Gavin Knight and the visitors hung on for victory.
After earning a place in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy in midweek, the Reds looked to get their league endeavours back on track with a victory over struggling Buxton. However, the visitors hadn’t read the script.
The Bucks started the brighter of the two, testing the United defence from the off. The Derbyshire side were also forced into a substitution within the first five minutes, with Grant Black replacing the injured Sam Liversidge.
A good move from FC United saw Carlos Roca receive the ball on the right and beat his man as he dribbled down the wing and sent a decent cross into the box, forcing a clearance over the bar from a defender.
In the first clear-cut chance of the game, coming in the latter stages of the half, a first-time ball from Joe Yoffe into the path of Simon Carden saw the midfielder charge goalwards and unleash a shot that was almost certainly headed for the back of the net. However, Scott Hartley produced a great save - tipping the ball onto the cross bar denying the Reds in what was the first real test for either keeper.
Jerome Wright had the chance to put United in front as the half came to an end. A decent ball in was headed across the box by Tong and Wright did well to squeeze a shot in ahead of the defender, however Hartley made another good stop down to his right. In the same burst of pressure, Wright picked out Roca across the area and the winger’s shot on goal was scrambled off the line by the Buxton defence.
Ashton was forced into action early into the second half, making a good punch out from a Buxton shot on goal. Minutes later he was picking the ball out of the back of the net.
A mix-up in the defence between Tong and Ashton proved to be FC’s downfall on 53 minutes. Buxton played the ball out to Gavin Knight wide on the right wing and the attacker took advantage of the confusion in the United defence, lobbing the FC United keeper to leave the Reds chasing the game.
United were denied what appeared to be a blatant free kick on the edge of the Buxton area as Phil Marsh was brought down by Hartley who had rushed off his line to close down the striker. All appeals were however waved away by the referee.
Just before the hour mark, Simon Carden was replaced by the returning Adam Carden who resumed his place at right-back, changing the formation. Ludovic Quistin was able to assume his natural position on the left side at full-back, pushing Simon Garner into the central midfield.
As FC looked to fight back, Jamie Mack and Dave Neville were later introduced for Garner and Marsh as United looked to shake things up. Good build up from the Reds saw Carden cross the ball to Wright and Yoffe at the back post. Neither could push the ball beyond Hartley and a scrambled clearance was made.
With 10 minutes of the game remaining, United were still failing to find the target and the visitors continued to push forward. As the full-time whistle blew, a distinct air of disappointment shrouded Gigg Lane after what was an under-par performance from the Reds.
Report by Victoria Fullen.