Silverlands – Buxton

11 Jul

Buxton FC – 0

Colwyn Bay FC – 0

Evostik Northern Premier League – 9th April 2011

When I moved to Manchester in May of last year, I had a look at the teams around us for possible away days. FC United was a given. Northwich Victoria as well, but my knowledge of northern towns was terrible. One thing that was almost a given was Silverlands, the home of Buxton.

I remember Buxton’s meteoric rise through the league in the mid noughties, a sleeping giant at our level with a decent level of support. Winning the North East Counties and the Northern League Division 1 at a canter, they reached a level of security in the Northern Premier League, staying yet impressing for a few years. At the time of writing, Buxton were third in the league, Colwyn Bay were second. So as well as being a guaranteed away day for me, it also had added incentive as the team that wins would almost certainly be in the playoffs, and have a light grip on a much appreciated home tie.

Cheeky Rascals

As well as these two incentives, it also was a glorious day. Much of the country was basking in a glorious April heatwave, so it really wasn’t a hard choice to what I was going to be doing on my brother’s birthday. Unlike my brother, my alcohol intake would be less than usual – I’d a dicky stomach and felt pretty rotten. Nevertheless, I set off at 11am for the one hour train trip to the gateway to the peak district.

I arrived at around half 12 and really couldn’t see what the fuss was about. Buxton was pretty plain at least around the station, however walking into the town centre I begun to see why Buxton is a bit of a tourist spot, it was very pretty small town and the weather brought out a lot of people. I left the main street to walk past the baths up to a pub near a ground where the bay contingent were meeting. 40 Bay fans on the coach, a phone call to a bar that put on English Breakfasts, and a few drinks before the match. Of course, that was the plan, but there was only one bar man and he was slower than a paraplegic tortoise. I left (I wasn’t drinking and had breakfast back in Manchester), and headed to the ground.

This could've gone wrong, but doesn't.

Similarly to Ossett Town’s ground, Buxton’s ground is hidden away in the town centre. Unlike Osset’s ground, everything was open! Club shop that was small but perfectly formed, a large bar that was showing the days racing from Aintree, and a “Brasserie”, that stocked un-Brasserie-esque things such as bacon rolls, burgers and gorgeous meat & potato pies. Also there were a fair few people here as well, the crowd was around the 400 mark. I took my pew near the Bay attacking goal for the first half’s entertainment.

From the off, Buxton pressed for an early goal with a few good chances straight off the bat. The culimination of which was a chance from Buxton that was comfortably saved by Chris Sanna. From the throwout, Jimmy McCartney ran down the left flank but was flagged offside. This became the story of the first half – Bay pressing having a half decent shot, Buxton counter attacking but creating the slightly better chances. Two chances for Bay fell to Rob Hopley, who couldn’t turn in a chance fired across the six yard box, and Damien Allen forced a point blank save from Buxton’s Scott Hartley. Buxton did actually manage to get the ball in the net, but it was flagged offside.

The only other notable moment was that the ref wished one of our fans a happy birthday (she was adorned with a large badge and a balloon) – he had a good first half as well, but the score was goalless at half time.

Gorgeous ground is Silverlands, right in the centre of glorious Derbyshire.

Half time I had a quick chat with Buxton fan and long time football follower John Yates, as well as a rarity in this level – half time scores from the English league, including a few scores from our league, which is always tricky to get. It was nice and Derby’s half time score got a nice cheer – Buxton face Derby in the final of their county cup. For us? We’ve Llanrug in the quarter final to play Barmouth in the Semi Final. Lovely.

Second half kicked off with Buxton starting a lot brighter, with Chris Sanna forced into a comfortable diving save from six yards from Michael Towey, and tipped over from Mark Reed’s dipping volley. Bay composed, and when Rob Hopley stole the ball from the Bucks’ right back, he passed the ball to a clear Karl Noon which Hartley scrambled wide. Hartley also had to make another save from Noon, which he tipped to Luke Denson who fired straight to the keeper. The Seagulls looked more likely to score and Buxton seemed content for a point and threw all 10 behind the ball. Three late corners but none converted. Final score: 0-0.

Buxton had a fair few chances.

Honours even between the two play-off chasers (Halifax were crowned champions after beating Retford United), and quite an entertaining 0-0 draw at that. I retired to the bar to have my first pint of the day. It didn’t go down too well, but before I left Buxton, I managed to convince the team coach to drop me off in Stockport. Bonus!

Overall, a good day out. Could Buxton be the perfect away day? Nice ground, nice town, passionate fans, drinking on the terraces and half time scores? Well, it is certainly up there.

About Rhys Wynne

Rhys Wynne is the editor & creator of You're Supposed To Be At Home. For his sins, he is a Colwyn Bay & Liverpool fan, and a serial blog creator. You can follow Rhys on twitter here.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply