Troy Bourne eyes the ball v Buxton

Nantwich Town suffered their first home defeat of the season as two goals from striker Liam Hardy saw Buxton win 3-1 at the Weaver Stadium, writes Steve Sharman.

Sean Cooke’s deflected free kick gave the home side the lead just three minutes in but Joel Stair’s own goal and a goal either side of half time from Hardy, saw the Bucks claim all three points.

Both sides came into the game on the back of FA Cup first qualifying round wins as the Dabbers beat City of Liverpool 2-1 whilst Buxton overcame Frickley Athletic 3-2.

Within 30 seconds of the start, Buxton had the ball in the net.

Niall Doran fired past Krystian Burzynski following a cut back, but the linesman had ruled the Bucks man offside.

Two minutes later, the Dabbers had the ball in the net.

Cooke’s curling free kick deflected off Joe Maguire past keeper Jan Budtz to give the hosts an early lead.

The game died down as neither side was able to hold onto possession, although Stair had to be on hand to make a fine last ditch tackle after Morrison looked to take advantage of the Dabbers giving the ball away in their own half.

On 20 minutes, Cooke tested Budtz with a powerful 25-yarder but the keeper made a comfortable save.

The Bucks stopper had to be at his best five minutes later to deny Anderson who had latched onto Cooke’s through ball and saw his effort brilliantly palmed behind for a corner.

Buxton then brought the game level on the half-hour mark as Morrison did well to beat Dabbers’ right back Troy Bourne before seeing his cross headed into his own net by Stair.

Theo Stair heads the ball towards the Buxton goal

Stair was then inches from making amends at the other end as he headed Matt Bell’s free kick narrowly past the post.

But the visitors had the lead soon after as Hardy found himself behind the home defence before guiding the ball past Burzynski from six yards.

It could well have been three moments later as Maguire guided the ball wide of the goal after Doran’s cross found the defender unmarked.

Cooke then saw his close range free kick sail over after Harry Clayton had been bundled over, but it was Buxton who took a one goal lead into the break.

Dabbers manager Dave Cooke made a half time change as Clayton McDonald replaced Ryan Brooke with the Dabbers looking for a leveller.

The change saw Anderson in a wider position and it nearly had an impact as his fine run down the left saw his pass find Bell whose shot was straight at Budtz.

Despite a bright start from the Dabbers, Buxton extended their lead on the hour mark.

A one-two between Doran and Hardy saw the latter bury the ball past Burzynski to make it 3-1.

Kaiman Anderson looks to control the ball

Cooke responded with two changes as Morgan and Forbes replaced Clayton and Anderson with half an hour left to find a way back into the game.

The game became scrappy as the visitors were looking comfortable with their lead.

Referee Dale Baines issued three yellow cards within few minutes as Bell and McDonald were booked for the Dabbers for late challenges, and Josh Meade was cautioned for the Bucks for a poor tackle on Morgan.

In the final ten minutes, Hall went close for the hosts with a fizzing drive from 35-yards that flew past the far upright.

Cooke then had the Dabbers last chance of the game as he fired a half volley across the Buxton box but to no avail as the visitors saw out the four minutes of stoppage time to claim victory.

Nantwich are back in action this Saturday (September 9) as they travel to Rushall Olympic in the league, with a 3pm kick off.

Nantwich Town: Burzynski, Bourne, Hughes, Stair, Mullarkey, Hall (c), Anderson (Forbes 60′), Bell, Clayton (Morgan 62′), Cooke, Brooke (McDonald 46′). Unused subs: Baxendale, Davies.

(pics by Jonathan White)

Buxton goalkeeper Jan Budtz clears the ball

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