Eastwood Town 1 Buxton 5
It was a case of men against boys at Coronation Park on Tuesday night as a depleted Eastwood side were sunk by a strong and well-organised Buxton team .
With injuries sustained in Saturday’s win at Matlock forcing several inexperienced players to take their place in the Eastwood squad, there were debuts for the returning Jay Smedley as well as youngsters Laurence Zisaruk-Gibson and Michael Ricketts.
Meanwhile, Buxton fielded six players in their starting eleven who had played for the Badgers within the last 18 months.
It took the visitors only six minutes to open the scoring with a textbook goal, when Sam Duncum went past Josh Raven and delivered an inch perfect cross for Steven Istead to volley home at the far post.
After two Buxton efforts were cleared off the line on 12 minutes, the second goal arrived after 14 when Lee Morris, no relation to Eastwood’s former player/coach, was on hand to nod home Duncum’s cross with the defence nowhere to be seen.
Gregg Simmons had the home side’s first shot on goal from 25 yards, and although sweetly struck it failed to trouble Ian Deakin who was on his first return to Coronation Park since leaving in September.
Buxton went further in front in the 25th minute when David Haggerty became the third former Badger to score, firing home following a corner.
Kevin Sandwith was the next former Badgers to try and get a goal on his return but his shot hit the top of the crossbar.
On the stroke of half-time Simmons’ shot across goal was almost poked goal wards by TJ Nightingale but it had been a largely forgettable first-half by the Badgers.
Michael Towey fired high and wide for Buxton early in the second-half, but the game was thereafter mainly being played out in midfield until the 76th minute, when substitute Mark Reed stole a yard on the defenders to volley home.
Buxton’s final goal four minutes later was a gift as the entire Eastwood team failed to react to a corner and Towey found the net.
Simmons curled in a free-kick late on to give the home side a consolation goal hand post and deny Deakin, a goalscorer for the Bucks at the weekend, a clean sheet on his return.
Eastwood: 1 Sam Andrew 2 Josh Raven 3 Chris Shaw (c) 4 Danny Elliott 5 Romaine Graham 6 Alex Troke 7 Gregg Simmons 8 Jay Smedley 9 TJ Nightingale 10 Laurence Zisaruk-Gibson (Vijay Selvam 45) 11 Michael Ricketts (Regan Marriott 45) Scorer: Simmons 89
Buxton: 1 Ian Deakin 2 Grant Black 3 Kevin Sandwith 4 Steve Istead (Jack Bradbury 85) 5 David Haggerty 6 Marc Roberts 7 Neil Stevens (Mark Reed 66) 8 Michael Towey 9 Lee Morris (Kieran Lugsden 66) 10 Kallum Keane 11 Sam Duncum. Sub not used: Ashley Jackson, Scott Maxfield Scorers: Istead 6, Morris 14, Haggerty 26, Reed 76, Towey 80 Att: 195 Ref: Ollie Yates
Best Badger: Gregg Simmons