Saturday 10th October 2009
FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round
Buxton 2 Bradford Park Avenue 2
Tea hut purchase: Tea 90p
Weather: Dull and cloudy with the odd sunny spell
Parking: Roadside adjacent to the ground, easy exit
Seeing as I arrived in Buxton at about 1.15pm it was inevitable that I would succumb to the fast food demon and sure enough by 1.25pm I was in the queue at the Coach House fish and chip shop just up the road from the ground. I'd told my wife I would grab a nice salad sandwich but the 'promised' sensible option was long gone when I greedily ordered a belt busting portion of cup-tie cod and chips, oh dear, how guilty I felt as I wrestled with the vinegar soaked wrappers on a bench opposite the market. It was only after I'd finished off the last of the fish bits that I realised they had just charged me £5.15p for what once was a cheap takeaway dinner, it really is becoming ridiculous what simple things cost in this day and age. I made yet another mental note to be more frugal with my ongoing matchday menus. I had expected better weather than this, it was actually spitting with rain as I slowly made my way to The Silverlands, that most noble titled location for a football club. Things bucked up a bit when I got in the ground and a shaft of weak sunshine lit up the tea hut just across from the gents toilets and the raffle ticket table. Time for a tea to wash down all that chip fat. Have to say they seemed to be doing a steady pie trade at the hut with the arriving Bradford Park Avenue supporters the main culprits, just as well they had a good stock in the warming cupboard, these Yorkshire folk were hungry people. There was a funny cooking smell at the tea hut which I struggled to identify, it wasn't a bad smell, it was a warm-food type smell but it just didn't seem the right smell, maybe it was just me or perhaps Buxton do some strange relishes and marinades for the burgers? who knows? I had my usual walk around the ground, took a few snaps and as kick off approached I noticed there was plenty of space in the main stand, I decided to give it a go. I soon realised why there were so many empty seats, especially in the far end! There is a massive communications pillar plonked to one side of the stand and it greatly obscures the views to one of the goalmouths, this means everyone huddles together in the other end of the stand just to be able to get a decent view of the match, surely they could have agreed to move the giant pillar a bit further away from the front of the stand when they drew up the plans, it just seems stupid to have it spoiling the view from so many seats. The match started at a pace and it was good to see some fast attacking football from both of the sides. Buxton fluffed at least 3 sitters in the first 15 minutes and Dorryl Proffitt was the striker most probably kicking himself for at least not netting one of them. Bradford surged forward and went 1-0 up from a penalty, again Buxton threatened but couldn't finish and one sensed that the tide was turning in the visitors favour. When Buxton failed to clear a second half raid the next inevitable Bradford goal had me thinking this was definitely game over, how wrong could I be, Buxton stormed up the other end and Kieran Lugsden got the first of two goals to dramatically level what had been a good competitive cup tie. A draw appeared a fair result in a fast paced game that seemed to have just flown by. A good following of Bradford supporters accompanied by their vociferous friendly counterparts from Buxton held their plastic glasses of watery lager aloft, many a pint had been sank from the bar, many a chance had been missed as well, this had been a credit to the spirit and quality of FA Cup football. Good luck to the side that triumphs from the replay.