Buxton 2 Belper Town 0
By David Laughlin
Belper Town went out of the Derbyshire Senior Cup at the quarter-final stage but gave a battling performance against Buxton at the Silverlands.
In many ways the Nailers deserved more from the game after matching and sometimes out playing their Evo-Stik Premier Division rivals.
Belper were still without key defender Matt Plant although Craig Laight was fit enough to partner Richard Adams in the centre of defence, and except for one or two odd lapses defensively, the Nailers looked much more secure than of late.
Andy Rushbury came in on the left side of midfield instead of Russ Peel, and for the opening 30 minutes or so Belper took the game to their hosts.
Darryl Thomas (pictured) had time to place his shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 9th minute but sent the ball straight at Bucks’ ‘keeper Scott Hartley.
Soon afterwards he had an even better chance after a defender on the opposite side of the penalty area played him on, but after taking the ball around Hartley he his touch was too heavy and it ran out of play.
Jon Froggatt nearly scored against his former club when he ran almost 30 yards before striking a powerful shot that the ‘keeper saved and after another period of good honest endeavour and rising frustration from the Buxton ranks, Lee Thompson had Hartley sprawling to save a flashing drive from 20 yards.
The Bucks had posed little threat to Belper but in the 36th minute luck was on their side when Kamahl Whight ran through, and although Ali Barcherini pulled off a magnificent save, the ball fell kindly for Mark Reed who only had to tap the ball in.
The goal livened up the home team and the Nailers had some defending to do, however the Bucks second goal in the 40th minute was very fortunate as Michael Towey knew little about the involuntary deflection off Matt Heywood’s free kick that crept just inside the post.
A 2-0 half time deficit was an injustice as far as the Nailers were concerned and to their credit came out gamely in the second period and did their best to get the goal that would surely have sparked a comeback.
However Buxton are a good side, hence their lofty position in the Premier Division, but despite this the Nailers gave as good as they got, and when they had the chance they played good football going forward.
The first 15 minutes of the second period were low key but Ruben Wiggins –Thomas; another former Bucks’ player nearly reduced the arrears with a shot that was well saved at the near post.
Jon Froggatt looked set to score with only Hartley in front of him in the 65th minute, but the Buxton ‘keeper prevented a Belper resurgence with another important stop.
Buxton intermittently fired in the occasional shot that whistled uncomfortably past the woodwork in the latter stages, and Paris Simmons nearly sneaked a goal in the 82nd minute with a teasing shot to the far post, however the ‘keeper once again made the save.
A moment of madness from Aaron Pride saw him red carded for a two footed tackle on Kieran Lugsden with 5 minutes to go, and with his departure went Belper’s challenge and it is Buxton who progressed to the semi final against Borrowash Victoria.
Buxton FC: Hartley, Askey, Agus (Wilde 45), Anderson, Heywood (Maxfield 68), Liversidge, Stevens, Towey, Reed, Whight, Kirkland (Kirkland 60). Subs not used: Black, Ridley.
Belper Town: Barcherini, Pride, Thompson, Darker, Laight, Adams, Wiggins-Thomas, Thorpe, Froggatt, Thomas (Peel 68), Rushbury (Simmons 59). Subs not used: Wood, Jenkins, Carney.
Referee: J Thornhill (Ilkeston)