|Venue||Gigg Lane, Bury, BL9 9HR, Gigg Lane|
|Competition||EvoStik League Premier Division|
|1 (1)||-||2 (1)|
|Wolfenden 6|| ||Reed 21 (pen)|
|1 James Spencer|
2 Kyle Jacobs (capt)
3 Lee Neville
4 Jake Cottrell
5 Adam Jones
6 Greg Stones
7 Carlos Roca
8 Matthew Wolfenden
9 Richard Battersby
10 Nick Platt
11 Stephen Johnson
14 Daniel Grimshaw (for 7, 72 mins)
15 Cedric Krou (for 10, 80 mins)
16 Astley Mulholland (for 9, 57 mins)
|1 S Hartley|
2 G Black (capt)
3 J Wilde
4 N Stevens
5 A Hawes
6 M Roberts
7 K Lugsden
8 M Towey
9 M Reed
10 B Barraclough
11 P Davidson
12 S Istead (for 11, 55 mins)
14 T Agus (for 8, 84 mins)
15 S Payne (for 10, 90 mins)
|FC United threw away an early lead through Matthew Wolfenden to slip to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Buxton at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,279 supporters.|
The Reds made the perfect start with Wolfenden scoring his 18th goal of the season, making him the second highest scorer in the Evo-Stik Premier Division behind Steve Foster of Chorley who has 20 for the season, five of which have come via the penalty spot.
However, rather than building on their good start, the Reds seemed to ease off the gas and allowed the Bucks to come back into the game. Mark Reed got a deserved equaliser via the penalty spot in the 21st minute after being brought down by Adam Jones before Bradley Barraclough snatched the winner 17 minutes from time.
Despite a rather lacklustre display, United did have chances to rescue at least a point with Jones going close three times, Wolfenden having a strong shout for a penalty turned down and a close range header well saved in the dying moments before Lee Neville blazed the rebound wide.
But Buxton can certainly come away feeling like they earned the vital win. The relegation threatened side pressed United from the off, never allowing the Reds to settle on the ball and if it wasn’t for some good saves by United goalkeeper James Spencer, they could have netted more than twice.
Within a minute of United taking the lead, Reed curled a free-kick into the side netting to give the Reds an early warning that Buxton would not simply roll over. On 12 minutes, Adam Jones had a 30-yard pile-driver well held by Scott Hartley but after that, it was the visitors who looked the most threatening with Spencer being called into the action to deal with shots and half chances more often than United would have liked.
On 18 minutes, a long throw from Marc Roberts dissected the United defence with ease and luckily for the Reds, Reed stumbled into the ball and pushed it wide from five yards out when really he should have got the equaliser.
However, Buxton’s number nine soon made amends when he won and scored a penalty. Spencer made a good one-on-one save from Peter Davison, who had surged into the box to meet a cross first time, and the rebound fell to Reed. With Spencer ready to try to pull off a second save and Neville covering on the line, it was a rash decision by Jones to slide in from behind and the referee had no option but to give the penalty.
The Buxton striker slotted the spot-kick home with ease, finding the right-hand corner with Spencer diving the wrong way. It was also a refreshing change that Reed and his teammates didn’t feel the urge to celebrate in front of the FC United faithful in the Manchester Road End but instead picked up the ball, congratulated each other and made their way back into their own half.
Spencer was called into the action again just after the half hour mark when he had to be a full stretch to tip a low curling free-kick from Kieran Lugsden, which looked destined for the bottom corner, around the post.
Down at the other end, two minutes later and United should really have had a penalty of their own. Wolfenden was shoulder-barged in the back as he tried to get on the end of a cross from the right. Referee Mr Denton indicated he had seen the challenge but presumably he thought that it was shoulder-to-shoulder as surely anything else would have been a spot-kick.
The last chance of the first half came seven minutes before the break when Carlos Roca whipped in a corner. Jones got on the end of it with a trademark bullet header but Hartley was well positioned to save.
Into the second half and United really started to come alive after the early introduction of Astley Mulholland for Richard Battersby. Buxton left-back Josh Wilde had to make an excellent last ditch sliding tackle to prevent Mulholland from getting a shot on goal following a clever one-two with captain Kyle Jacobs down the right.
With 20 minutes to go, Reed headed over the bar when he probably should have done better but thanks to his teammate, Barraclough he wouldn’t be left to rue the missed opportunity. The forward made it look easy as he broke down the left wing, glided through the United defence before cutting across into the six-yard box and firing the ball low and hard into the United goal to make it 2-1.
Despite all of Buxton’s good play, United should still have found the equaliser and on balance a draw would probably have been the fair result. However, Hartley denied United twice in the last 12 minutes from point-blank range to give Buxton the victory.
First Jones got on the end of a free-kick from Neville from the left and then, deep into stoppage-time, Neville was again the provider as he swung a teasing cross in to the back post which was met with a cushioned header by Mulholland for Wolfenden to nod goalwards. It looked like a certain equaliser but Hartley scrambled across his goal-line to save the day and Neville blazed his volley on the rebound high and wide. And that was that.
Website man of the match: James Spencer. Unfortunately, it was a bad day at the office for most of players in a Red shirt but United’s goalkeeper probably came out of it with the most credit. He could do little about both goals and commanded his box for the rest of the match.
Report by Matthew Haley