Town second best at Buxton

Buxton 2

FC Halifax Town 1

OFF colour Town slipped to only their fourth league defeat of the season at The Silverlands.

The Shaymen were second best for long periods but still found themselves in front after 70 minutes courtesy of a Tom Baker penalty.

But they were never convincing leaders and within 12 minutes home sub Sam Johnson had scored twice - each from inside the six yard area - to edge Buxton in front.

It is hard to fathom exactly what was wrong with Town but they never looked entirely happy with themselves from the off.

Their passing was poor and only on a few rare occasions did they get round the back of the home defence in attack.

Lee Ellington made a surprise start for the Shaymen, replacing the ill Lee Gregory alongside Danny Holland in attack.

But it was the home side who threatened first, with a Scott Maxfield free kick flying over the Town bar off Danny Lowe’s head and Ellington forced to clear from the resulting corner.

At the other end, Jamie Vardy had a couple of crossing opportunities from the left, but the first was cleared and the second claimed by the keeper.

The Shaymen should have been ahead after seven minutes from a Tom Baker free kick. The ball got all the way through to Mark Bower, who was unmarked as he slid in, but he was unable to get a touch.

Buxton counter attacked and Mark Reed headed a foot wide of Jonathan Hedge’s goal from Grant Black’s right wing cross.

Hedge’s distribution to Lowe after 12 minutes almost created an opening as Ellington flicked on and the keeper slipped, but he recovered to gather ahead of Holland.

Buxton were a threat going forward, Neil Stevens flashing an overhead effort from the edge of the area narrowly wide as the game approached the 20-minute mark.

And the Town defence did well to repel a Tommy Agus cross from the left moments later.

A quick free kick almost led to a Town goal after 28 minutes when Liam Hogan found Aaron Hardy whose cross was headed narrowly wide from 12 yards.

Moments later the ball was played in from the right for Vardy who got round his marker in the box only to be denied by keeper Scott Hartley who beat his shot away.

Reed then flashed a shot narrowly wide of Hedge’s goal after turning on a Michel Towey ball in from the right and Josh Wilde smashed in an effort from distance but straight into Hedge’s arms.

And when the Town defence failed to deal with a Towey cross a couple of minutes before the break, Wilde was there again, volleying inches over the bar.

Town were handed a real chance three minutes after the break when Grant Black’s back pass fell short and Holland pounced.

His shot from a tight angle was beaten clear by the keeper but straight to Ellington who sent his effort from 10 yards over the bar.

At the other end, a Wilde shot was blocked wide to Neil Stevens whose effort from the right hand corner of the area had Hedge rooted to the spot as it flew across goal and wide.

And Reed latched onto a poor defensive header a minute later but fired wide from 18 yards.

Buxton were starting to dominate possession, prompting Neil Aspin to bring Vardy into a more central role and pushing Ellington deeper.

An Agus cross from the left flashed just in front of both Reed and Kieran Lugsden and Maxfield’s right foot shot was well struck but straight at Hedge.

Having survived the pressure, Aspin’s decision to move Vardy paid dividends with 20 minutes remaining when he raced onto a Holland pass and was bundled to the floor by Gregg Anderson.

Tom Baker continued his impressive form from the penalty spot by firing home.

There was a scare within three minutes as both Hardy and Lowe were forced to clear off their own line following a scramble after Towey’s free kick.

Buxton were level in the 76th minute when Black crossed from the right and substitute Sam Johnson headed home from close range.

And they hit the front with nine minutes remaining when the Shaymen failed to deal with a long throw from the right and Johnson was able to poke home inside the six-yard box.

Scott Hogan’s low cross from the right was well cleared by Anderson at full stretch on the edge of his own six yard area.

And when Vardy’s delivery from the left looped up Scott Hogan stooped to head goalwards and was denied by a magnificent save from the keeper.