Battling Scarborough Athletic lose out at Buxton
Steve Robert's tenure as interim manager of Scarborough Athletic got away to a pointless start as his side slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Buxton on Saturday.
Boro put in a fighting performance against their play-off rivals, but Buxton edged the win to leave Boro's dreams looking more and more distant.
Roberts immediately put his stamp on things by bringing Bailey Gooda and James Cadman into the side and switching Michael Coulson into a role just behind James Walshaw.
The interchangeable front-line soon clicked into gear, with Coulson swinging in a ball from the left that Walshaw headed just wide.
After a couple of half-chances for the hosts, Coulson was back at it again, cutting back to Ryan Watson on the edge of, but the ball was just a touch too pacy for the Boro midfielder.
Buxton were given the perfect chance to grab the lead just after the half-hour, when Coulson was adjudged to have handled a cross into the Boro box.
Liam Hardy stepped up, but it was read perfectly by Tommy Taylor, who got a boot to the drilled effort and cleared it to safety.
Hardy had the chance to make amends just minutes later when Buxton struck on the break.
The striker was picked out at the far post, but he somehow managed to head over from four yards.
Skipper Callum Chippendale showed his teammate how to do it just before the break, and it was a goal that had been coming.
The Buxton man found it all too easy to turn Ross Killock after a ball into the box and he hooked home past the outstretched palm of Taylor.
Referee Oliver Noonan was kept busy dishing out the cards when the second half began, but there was little attacking football to give any aesthetic pleasure.
Killock almost successfully sneaked onto a long, back-post ball on the hour, but his attempt on goal was blocked by a glut of Buxton bodies.
The next break came at the other end and Dave Merris showed a turn of pace to deny Jude Oyibo, who had sneaked through the Boro off-side trap.
The kitchen sink was prepared to be thrown in the final minutes by Boro, with Killock and Kev Burgess venturing forward and Flynn McNaughton being brought on.
McNaughton came within an inch of making a huge impact when he was in touching distance of getting onto Burgess' header in the six-yard box.
With Boro pushing everyone forward, sub Diego De Girolamo was given the whole of the Boro half to sprint free on goal, but Taylor got down well to keep his side in the game.
But sadly, it was Buxton who held out, much to the frustration of the Boro players, who looked to have given their all on the final whistle.