AFTER achieving plenty already during February, Witton Albion had nothing left to give.

A sixth game in 18 days proved one too many for Carl Macauley’s men against an opponent motivated to avenge a humiliation on their pitch in the return.

If Buxton did not quite return the favour, they were at least comfortable winners.

The hosts were disrupted even before the start with work commitments taking priority for River Humphreys and Matty Devine withdrawing shortly before kick-off with injury.

Buxton’s start felt swift, more so given Albion were adjusting to a change in formation during the early exchanges.

Jude Oyibo’s snap-shot prompted Greg Hall to produce his best inside five minutes although the home team responded and Osebi Abadaki’s low drive dirtied Theo Roberts’ gloves at the other end.

Witton’s next move was their best, James Foley’s angled pass releasing Tom Owens and he traded a neat one-two with Rob Hopley to run clear.

However Tom Dean stretched fully to divert the midfielder’s shot to safety.

The ebb and flow continued, leaving both managers uncomfortable at how easy their opponents found a space to shoot from.

Hall turned an effort from Liam Hardy around a post before Witton responded when Abadaki directed his finish too close to Roberts after Owens had nudged the ball in front of him.

The Bucks broke through on 32 minutes when Hardy was alert to reach a teammate’s flick-on before cutting inside Danny McKenna and firing into the corner.

Hall prevented the dangerous front-man from doubling his tally straightaway when he clawed a header out of the top-corner.

Obadaki then looped his latest attempt wide of an upright after running onto Hopley’s skidding header.

Albion were more assertive in the early exchanges after half-time and Foley’s corner, curling towards goal, was diverted onto a post by Roberts with his fingertips.

Buxton continued to pose a threat through, and Hardy forced Hall to parry at his near-post after swerving away from Foley’s challenge.

The outcome was settled after an untidy passage started by Anthony Gardner’s nudge on Oyibo.

Referee Peter Shacklady spotted Hopley’s hand brush the ball from the resulting free-kick, and awarded a penalty.

Hall blocked Hardy’s tame kick, but skipper Callum Chippendale smuggled the rebound over the line.

When Brad Grayson swerved in a perfectly-placed free-kick seven minutes later, again after Albion needlessly fouled, the game was up.

Obadaki’s cross struck the crossbar after drifting over Roberts’ head and the wide-man then shovelled over a shot when well-placed after Foley teed him up.

Witton had collected a dozen points from their previous five matches, putting a dozen points between themselves and the relegation zone.

They have travelled some distance, and this felt like a bump in the road.

Witton | 4-4-2 | Hall (GK), Gardner, Offord, Wardle, McKenna, Abadaki, Smart (Cesaire 81), Owens, Foley, Hopley, Jones Subs not used Wynne, Eastwood (GK) Booked Smart (foul), Hopley (handball), Hall (dissent)

Buxton | 4-2-3-1 | Roberts (GK), Roscoe, Tom Dean, Nico De Girolamo, Brown (Freeland 50), Sephton, Young, Chippendale (Diego De Girolamo 78), Grayson, Oyibo, Hardy (James Dean 84) Subs not used Kilner, Bruce (GK) Goals Hardy 32, Chippendale 66, Grayson 73 Booked Sephton (foul)

Referee Peter Shacklady

Attendance 244