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Yellows denied at the death after Buckley brace

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WARRINGTON Town were denied a win in the cruellest of fashions as Buxton scored an equaliser in the sixth minute of added on time to secure a 2-2 draw at Cantilever Park.

Jordan Buckley’s superb brace had looked like ending the Bucks’ unbeaten start to the season, only for Buxton’s last throw of the dice to come up trumps as a low shot in to the box was deflected in to his own net by the excellent Mitch Duggan.

Buckley could have had a hat-trick, denied by ‘keeper Theo Richardson, as the Yellows were made to rue a number of missed opportunities in the final quarter.

They could have hardly got off to a better start, Buckley latching on to Mo Ali’s chipped ball forward and then lashing a shot across Richardson in clinical fashion to give the Yellows a fourth minute lead.

Ali popped up on the left wing midway through the first half and nearly set one up at the back post for Buckley, with the cross just out of reach of the striker, but Ali was forced off moments later with a leg knock sustained in a challenge.

That enforced personnel change meant a change in system, and Buxton started to grow in to the game and gradually take control.

Diego de Girolamo had fired a couple of warning shots, twice forcing strong saves out of Dan Atherton, before Jamie Ward was left in acres of space on the left and kept his cool to finish low under the onrushing ‘keeper to equalise six minutes before the break.

Just as he had done in the first half, Buckley started the second with a bang. He spun his man on half way and with little in support, went on a direct, menacing run to the box, cut on to his left and fired home for 2-1.

The game opened up after the hour mark, and other than a De Girolamo header that was cleared off the line by Matt Regan, all the chances were falling to the Yellows.

Buckley ought to have earned the match ball when his shot from a tidy Matt Grivosti cut back was straight at Richardson and kicked away by the ‘keeper, while Grivosti’s dithering on an attack resulted in the ball popping up for substitute Josh Amis to head wide.

Amis also warmed the gloves of Richardson with a fizzing right-foot shot and Luke Duffy curled a wicked shot just over the bar.

It looked like Buxton were beat as injury time ticked on – but after Grivosti gave the ball away in midfield, Luke Griffiths conceded a free-kick, and from it the ball was half cleared, fired back in by Tommy Elliot low in to the goalmouth and in the scramble, it bounced off the unfortunate Duggan and past Atherton directly behind him.

Warrington Town: Atherton, Duggan, Clarke, Ali (Grivosti), Roberts, Regan, Baillie, Harris (Duffy), Buckley (Amis), Dixon, Griffiths. Subs: Hough, Miller.

Buxton: Richardson, Curley, Fox, Meikle, Granite, Middleton (Chambers), Ward (Hinds), Dawson (Milnes), De Girolamo, Elliot, Clarke. Subs: Dillinger, Catt.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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