Bucks exact revenge
By Phil Chadwick
Match Report kindly supplied by Paul Harper
A run of three consecutive victories whilst not conceding a goal came to an abrupt end for Witton Albion as they were beaten 3-0 against Buxton at Wincham Park on Tuesday evening.
A first half strike by Liam Hardy was added to by Callum Chippendale and Brad Grayson in the second half to give the Derbyshire side all three points and gain revenge following Albion's 5-0 win in the reverse fixture back in November.
Manager Carl Macauley had to ring some changes to the side which beat then league leaders Farsley Celtic three days previous. There was no Matty Devine or River Humphreys so Danny McKenna filled in at left back with Osebi Abadaki brought into the side on the wing.
The visitors got off to a quick start and caused a few problems to the Albion defence early on. Winger Jude Oyibo was the key instigator of those problems down the Buxton left, and on six minutes, his sharp turn and shot forced Greg Hall into a fantastic save to diver the ball over his crossbar.
At the other end, Osebi Abadaki was looking the danger man for The Albs, attacking his full back and firing in a low shot which was well saved by Buxton custodian Theo Roberts.
On 13 minutes, an excellent bit of football down the Albion left almost saw the hosts take the lead. It started with Danny McKenna, who at first seemed to stuck in a dead end. He kept hold of the ball before playing it inside to Rob Hopley, with the skipper playing a neat ball through to Tom Owens who saw his shot deflect up onto the roof of the net.
Buxton remained a threat and a dangerous cross had to cleared at the back post by McKenna before Liam Hardy tested Hall with a low driven effort from 15 yards which the Albion shot-stopper turned around the post.
Midway through the first half, McKenna had to be at his defensive best once again as Oyibo burst clear down the left and his shot was expertly cleared off the line by the makeshift Witton full-back.
Abadaki continued to cause problems down the Albion right and he saw a couple of shots blocked away from danger before the visitors made their pressure pay on 32 minutes.
A long ball forward was flicked on and into the path of Hardy. The striker twisted and turned his way past Luke Offord before firing a low shot past Hall, although the Witton number one did get a glove to it, he couldn't keep it out.
A couple of minutes later, Hardy forced another good save from Hall, this time from a header following a left wing corner while Abadaki was inches away from an equaliser at the other end after Hopley's flick on found him but his lob of the goalkeeper landed just wide.
And so a first half full of incident and chances came to an end with only the one goal scored as Buxton led at the break.
Albion began the second half well but failed to create any clear cut opportunities on goal. A couple of dangerous crosses went into the Buxton area but the decisive touch evaded the hosts.
At the other end, Hardy again forced Hall into a smart save when he drilled in a shot from the edge of the penalty area, the Albion 'keeper turning the ball around the post.
Midway through the second half, Buxton doubled the lead. A dubious free kick was awarded to the visitors down their left, and the ball in was met by a raised hand of Hopley inside the penalty area. A spot kick was awarded and despite Hall, producing his season’s fourth penalty save, blocking Hardy's effort from 12 yards, Callum Chippendale was quickly on hand to fire home from close range off the rebound.
Abadaki tried his luck from distance but couldn't direct his effort on target before a stunning strike sealed the points for The Bucks.
A free kick 25 yards out was struck sweetly by Brad Grayson to the top left corner of Hall's net. Game, set and match to the visitors who also enjoyed return fixture revenge, having been well beaten 0-5 on their own pitch back in November.
Albion kept going in search of a goal and James Foley fired wide on the volley before Abadaki shot over the crossbar from 12 yards.
It just wasn't to be. A good run came to an end, but Carl Macauley and his side will be looking to put themselves back on another series of good results when they host Scarborough Athletic at Wincham Park on Saturday afternoon.
Witton Albion (4-4-2): Hall; Gardner, Offord, Wardle, McKenna; Abadaki, Smart (Lingouba 81), Owens, Foley; Hopley (c), Jones. Subs not used: Wynne, Eastwood.