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champions are held to a draw



Bury Town 1

AFC Sudbury 1

Bury boss Ben Chenery felt sharing the derby day spoils with newly-crowned champions AFC Sudbury was ‘probably a fair result’.

But he also revealed his frustration at having relinquished control of the game after the break, which in turn saw their winless run extend to 14 games in all competitions, following on from Saturday’s lead at Thurrock slipping through their hands in a 2-1 defeat.

In Wednesday’s re-arranged derby, with the original fixture on Easter Monday falling victim to a water-logged pitch, Bury deservedly took a 1-0 lead into the break following Ollie Hughes’ 36th minute bullet header.

But the Blues were a different animal in the second half, lucky not to be licking their derby wounds as they clung on after Luke Callander’s scrappy 52nd minute leveller with the lively striker hitting the post as the game went into added time.

Chenery said: “We didn’t start great but I felt for 35 minutes of the first half we were in complete control.

“I thought we should have been two or three goals to the good really. Marcus Garnham has made a couple of good saves and we were rightly in front.

“It is just about putting a complete performance in, we do it in fits and starts and that is bourne out of maybe some inexperience and maybe some players are not quite there yet. But if we could have put a complete performance together tonight we would have won the game.

“But they are a good side. They are champions and they have come back into it second half, and rightly so.

“They showed at times why they have won the league.”

He added: “It was a good game and I was glad not to be beaten. A point was probably fair.

“In the second half Ryan Jolland has had a great chance and he has just got to go cold there and put a firm side-foot into the net but I’m afraid he got excited and leant back and put it into the car-park.”

The champions, with five ex-Bury players in their side including recent addition Danny Cunningham, bossed the opening 10 minutes with Ollie Berquez forcing Neil O’Sullivan into the game’s first save 13 minutes in.

But Bury, who had gone into the match bottom of the league’s form table with five straight defeats, soon found their stride and were unfortunate not to get their noses in front after a flurry of chances within a few minutes of each other that had Garnham saving twice from Justin Miller as well as denying Hughes and Nick Ingram, who was soon leaving the field injured.

But with less than 10 minutes to play until the interval, Hughes deservedly headed Bury in front after making a fine run onto Bradley Barber’s corner.

The second half was a different tale though as AFC started with renewed determination to avoid a big formbook upset.

The equaliser duly arrived seven minutes after the restart when, following Ben Robinson bringing another good save out of Neil O’Sullivan, Callander bundled the ball home.

Depsite Josh Mayhew bringing a good save out of Garnham, it was AFC who had the chances to go on and win the game, with Liam Wales firing across goal and Callander lobbing O’Sullivan but finding the post come to the keeper’s aid before Bury sub Jolland skied a sitter at the other end deep into injury-time.

Chenery said he expects to be informing players about whether they will be retained or not in the next week, revealing that attitude is one of the main things he is currently assessing, with the side having had nothing but pride to play for over the last month.

“It will be interested times, but we have got to make sure we make this football club move forward after steadying the ship,” he said.

BURY: O’Sullivan, Allen, Wigley (White 77), Kennedy, Miller, Hall, Hughes, Aitken, Mayhew, Barber (Jolland 74’), Ingram (Reed 32). Unused subs: Collins, Hammett.

Free Press Man of The Match: Ian Miller.

Referee: M George. Attendance: 425.

n Needham Market travel to play-off chasers Enfield Town tomorrow (3pm) knowing just a point would guarantee they retain avoid relegation in their first season in the Ryman League Premier Division.

With Farnborough already condemned to relegation due to financial issues, Needham, who recorded back-to-back win for the first time this year with a brace from Michael Brothers in a 2-0 win at Grays Athletic on Saturday, only need to finish above Brentwood Town. Even if Needham lose tomorrow, they can still be celebrating safety with a game to go should Brentwood fail to beat Metropolitan Police.



Thurrock 2

Bury Town 1

Saturday’s game was yet another game where Bury were unable to hold onto a lead.

Nick Ingram fired them into an early advantage with a sweet curling strike, but promotion-chasing Thurrock soon fond their game and eventually got the equaliser in the 44th minute from Daniel Francis.

A minute later Ross Wall heded home from a corner for what turned out to be the winning goal, despite a good second half from Bury.

BURY: O’Sullivan, Allen, Gardner, Kennedy, De’ath, Hall, Jolland, Aitkens, Hughes, Ingram (Hammett 68), Reed (Barber 51). Unused subs: Scowcroft, Wigley.

Free Press Man of The Match: Ollie Hughes.

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