Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to tonight's Northern Counties East League Premier Division fixture. Our visitors this evening to Leeds Road are Buxton, and to their players, officials and supporters who have made the journey we extend a very warm welcome. During the past week we have experienced both success and disappointment. The successful part came with a deserved win against a robust Borrowash Victoria team just over a week ago where we secured a very welcome three points with a 3-1 win. Disappointment followed in the form of a 2-1 defeat at Hallam in the semi-final of the League Cup last Tuesday, where despite taking an early lead we were quickly pegged back and conceded a late goal which took Hallam to the final, and ended our last hope of taking any silverware this season.
In that game the team gave everything, and could never be criticised lack of effort. Although home advantage played its part, on another day it could have been us who got the breaks which could have decided a close match in our favour. Further disappointment came our way on Saturday when we travelled to Goole Town, and despite again taking the lead, probably suffered from our midweek exertions and eventually went down 3-1. Whilst that result still leaves us within reach of the teams below us we should be encouraged from the performances, and whilst we have some difficult games coming up starting with tonight's fixture, if we perform as we know we are capable of, the points we need to ensure our safety should come our way in the remaining fixtures.
Buxton have been enjoying a successful season so far, and have figured in the top places in the table for most of it. However, Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Armthorpe Welfare has seen a slight slip down the table to 5th spot, and whilst they have some ground to make up on the leaders, they are almost certain to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.
If they don't gain promotion, they will certainly have a say in who does. They have performed consistently well against the top sides this season so far, and will be keen to put Saturday's setback behind them as soon as possible here tonight. Whilst they have already recorded a victory over us this season with a 3-2 success back in November, we do have a reasonable record against them here at Leeds Road, so a close game could be on the cards again here tonight. Visiting and regular supporters are reminded that they are most welcome in the supporters bar before and after the game where hot and cold drinks and snacks are available. Enjoy the game, and have a safe journey home.