• DerbyshireFootball

All change at high-flying Buxton as coaching team sacked...and replaced

Buxton's remarkable season took an unexpected twist this week with a change in their managerial setup.

On Monday night it was revealed that boss Gary Hayward and his assistant Mark Ward had been relieved of their duties, despite the Bucks being unbeaten in the league and preparing for an FA Cup first round tie at York City on Saturday.

The club are yet to reveal the reasons behind the decision, although Ward declared on social media that he believed it was down to his intention to take a rearranged family holiday that would have meant he would miss the York tie. The thoughts behind Hayward also being sacked remain unclear.

Steve Cunningham (left) with Buxton chairman Dave Hopkins.

On Wednesday, the Bucks then announced that Steve Cunningham had taken over as boss, having recently left his role in charge of Curzon Ashton with them in the National League North play-off places.

A club statement read: "Steve Cunningham and his assistant Damian Crossley are the new management team at Buxton Football Club and will take charge for Saturday's FA Cup match at York City.

"Buxton's directors have placed on record their thanks for the contributions of previous management team Gary Hayward and Mark Ward, who have left the club."

Club chairman David Hopkins said: "Steve and Damian met the players yesterday and it was a most positive session. Saturday's game will be an historic occasion and we're going there fully armed and committed, backed by over 1,000 travelling fans. "Then it will be back to league action next Tuesday and the drive towards building Buxton's serious challenge for promotion."

Cunningham, 41, who was in charge at Colne for six years prior to moving to Curzon Ashton, said: "I intend to make the most of this opportunity for everyone concerned.

"There's an unbelievable group of lads here, full of enthusiasm and the talent to match.

"We've got a firm foundation for our work. The team has made an impressive start to the season under previous management and we'll move forward with determination. Firstly it's an important FA Cup day, then we'll turn our attention to tackling a busy Northern Premier programme."