Atherton Collieries fell to a 2-0 defeat in front of a bumper crowd at The Silverlands, despite a brave performance from Brad Cooke’s men.
Two well-executed counter attacks either side of the half-time interval sealed a deserved win for Buxton, with the goals coming from Jamie Ward and Diego De Girolamo.
Colls went into the game off the back of a hard-earned point at home to South Shields, whilst the Bucks were flying high following their weekend FA Cup triumph over York City. The hosts had the better of the chances in the early exchanges, Matt Curley’s low-drive matched by Luke Hutchinson in the Colls goal, before the young keeper pulled off a worldie to deny Warren Clarke’s spectacular overhead kick effort.
Marcus Cusani looked a danger for the Colls throughout and a good bit of trickery down the left-hand side saw his effort parried into the path of Clive Smith, who's first-time effort was blazed well over the bar. The hosts broke down the other end not long after, Hutchinson’s decision to come off his line punished as Warren Clarke despatched past him, giving Buxton the lead.
There was worrying scenes for Colls as Clive Smith suffered a nasty looking injury just before half-time, the defender was taken to hospital to be assessed with everyone at the club wishing him well. The introduction of Jack Lenehan at half-time saw Colls switch to 4-4-2 formation, looking to pile the pressure on the hosts in search of an equalising goal.
However it was Buxton who doubled their lead just before the hour mark, Warren Clarke breaking away down the left-hand side and squaring the ball to De Girolamo who finished at the near post, despite Joel Amado's heroic attempts to block. It was a harsh blow for the Colls, who had been in the game up until that point, but had twice punished by the clinical hosts.
Brad Cooke's men continued to fight for a way back into the game with Elliot Rokka and Ronan Roache both entering the fray as Colls looked to test the Buxton defence. Roache's first effort in a Colls shirt flew narrowly past the post, before a deflected effort from Marcus Cusani forced a good save from Theo Richardson in the Bucks goal.
Despite the heavy pressure from Colls, Buxton looked a constant threat on the counter and probably should have added a third. A slip from Amado on the wet artificial surface played the home side in but the resulting effort was curled narrowly over the bar and a sliced goal kick from Hutchinson resulted in Di Girolamo volleying just wide of his near-hand post.
There was a lengthy stoppage late on as Buxton's Josh Granite was knocked unconscious following a collision with his goalkeeper. Thankfully, the defender was able to get back to his feet and was applauded off the pitch by the travelling Colls faithful. The last piece of action was a rare free-kick on the night for Colls, Elliot Rokka's attempt forcing a save from the keeper before the final whistle was sounded.
Colls will make the trip to Derbyshire for the second time in four days this weekend as they face Mickleover Sports at the Don Ammot Arena. Kick off 3pm Saturday.
Atherton Collieries: Luke Hutchinson, Clive Smith (Jack Lenehan 45'), Gaz Peet, Niall Battersby, Danny Lafferty (C), Joel Amado, Ethan Kershaw, Danny Lambert, Marcus Cusani, Scott Sephton (Elliot Rokka 63') and Aaron Smith (Ronan Roache 63')
Unused Subs: Luca Defreitas-Hansen, Matty Gillam
Report: Danny Brown
Photo: Dave Featherstone