A Daniel Udoh double across three second-half minutes laid
the foundation for a terrific Bucks away win, but only after harsh words from
manager Gavin Cowan at half-time.
The Bucks made three changes to the team that defeated
Brackley Town in midweek; goalkeeper Max Bramley returned in place of Sheridan
Martinez, whilst Jonathan Royle and Amari Morgan-Smith replaced Henry Cowans
and Andrew Brown. With Spennymoor presenting a more robust physical challenge
on a sloping playing surface, the thought was that Royle and Morgan-Smith would
add a little more muscle.
Mark Anderson put the home side ahead on the half-hour, as
his team started to find their rhythm. An attack down the right side was prompted
by former Buck Jake Hibbs, on as a substitute for injured right-back Callum
Williams; when the ball was transferred infield, Mark Anderson turned his marker
on the edge of the box and his crisp, left-footed shot went low and to Max
Bramley’s left, find the bottom corner.
The goal gave the Moors a tailwind, kicking down the
considerable slop at Brewery Field, and further efforts on goal followed in
what remained of the half, without Bramley being seriously tested between the
posts. Referee Dean Hulme awarded a succession of free-kicks near to the edge
of the Bucks’ penalty area, but luckily neither Stephen Brogan nor goal scorer
Anderson could find their range.
Manager Cowan admitted that his half-time team talk was
probably his most animated so far this season, but it worked, and his side
looked far sharper in the second half, aided by kicking down the slope. They
started to use their possession much better, and on 56 minutes they were level.
A cross from the right was met by the head of Amari Morgan-Smith, forcing a
full-length save from Moors keeper Matt Gould; unfortunately for Gould he
parried it straight to Daniel Udoh, who tapped into an unguarded net.
Amazingly, within two minutes of that the Bucks led. It was
again a duel between Udoh and Gould, the former put through on goal, and the
keeper saved the forward’s effort but saw it rebound off Udoh and run into the
The Bucks were now in control, and the Moors were rocked
back on their heels by the quick one-two they’d been hit with. Things got worse
for them on 77 minutes, when the Bucks established a two-goal lead. Substitute
Adam Dawson toyed with the home defence on the left edge of the box and then
rolled the ball back for Ellis Deeney on the edge of the penalty area. His shot
took a hefty deflection and Gould was beaten once more, wrong-footed as he
watched the ball go past him.
That should have been it for the Bucks, but on 81 minutes
Ryan Sears, who had just been fouled by Glen Taylor, delayed the restart of the
game and was shown a second yellow card. Cowan sacrificed Morgan-Smith up front
to bring on Dom Smith at right back, but the Moors sensed just a hint of a
chance. The Bucks, marshalled once again by Shane Sutton and Theo Streete, kept
them at bay, but on 89 minutes home substitute David Foley lashed home from six
yards after Max Bramley couldn’t hold a Moors effort.
The Bucks now had five added minutes to see out, and things
got nervy. Bramley was yellow-carded trying to run the clock down, and Streete
saw yellow too. Mark Anderson put a free-kick just wide of the bottom
right-hand of the goal, then in the final minute of injury time another
free-kick gave them one final chance. The Bucks wall held firm and the referee
ended the agony for the 40 Bucks fans in attendance.
Another game without defeat, three goals and once again that
all-important character that Cowan demands were on show. The manager himself
stresses it is early days in the season, but the signs are hugely positive.Spennymoor Town: Gould, Williams (Hibbs 25), Brogan,
Chandler (Johnson 83), Atkinson, Curtis (c), Boyes (Foley 79), Henry, Taylor, Anderson, Ramshaw.
Substitutes: Thackray, Elliott.
Bookings: Hibbs, Ramshaw.
Scorers: Anderson (30), Foley (89).
Score sequence: 1-0 (Anderson 30). HALF TIME: 1-0. 1-1 (Udoh
56). 1-2 (Udoh 58). 1-3 (Deeney 77). 2-3 (Foley 89). FULL TIME 2-3.