SUFFOLK FA PREMIER CUP
Bury Town 1
Newmarket Town 1
(Bury won 8-7 on pens)
Ben Chenery has said he doesn’t regret fielding a second string side against lower league opponent Newmarket, despite almost crashing out of the competition on Tuesday.
Bostik North Division side Bury Town found themselves a goal down in the 74th minute, after Austin Diaper netted a close-range header, to leave them trailing in the second round of the county cup at Ram Meadow.
The Blues had to fight back hard to find the 87th minute equaliser — from the head of centre-back Joe White — and take the game to penalties.
Chenery was not complimentary of his team’s performance, describing it as ‘sloppy’ and lacking in intensity, but praised the player’s commitment to finding an equaliser.
He feels he should have enough strength in depth amongst his squad to have comfortably beaten the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side with any combination of his players.
He said: “It’s a great competition and we certainly don’t mean any disrespect by putting out a different side to normal.
“I saw it as an opportunity to change the team and give the reserve and fringe players a chance to fight for their place in my starting XI.
“It was an opportunity for some of the boys to show me why they should be in my top side.
“Tonight has definitely answered a few questions I had.
“I have no regrets with my decision to play this side, you have to use your squad and the fringe players across a whole season or you just won’t last.
“But we were sloppy and just not really on it.
“There was no real tempo or intensity from us, it wasn’t a game of many chances.
“We flogged away and eventually won but we made it pretty tough for ourselves.
“Going a goal down was really poor as all the pressure was coming from us.
“But I have to praise the side for continuing to plug away and pull back the equaliser. It showed a lot of character. And I’ve learnt a lot about where we need to improve.”
Newmarket twice had the chance to win it, first going a goal up before having a chance to win the penalty shootout at 4-4 after Blues youngster Tommy Robinson saw his spotkick saved by Alex Archer.
But Ben Mayhew, Bury’s number two ‘keeper, then made a fantastic save himself, from the shot of Lewis Whitehead, to deny The Jockeys victory.
The two sides traded three more penalties before Jordan Finneran saw his spotkick —the 16th penalty — also saved by Mayhew to give the home side victory.
Chenery, speaking about Bury Town man of the match Robinson, said: “Tommy’s really young and just making his step up to this level.
“I think too much can be expected of youngsters and we don’t want to put too much pressure on him too soon.
“He had a good game and he’s coming on, but there’s still a lot more to do.
“Great to see him fighting for his place though.”
Bury Town have struggled with their home form this season, failing to find the net on a number of occasions.
Chenery said he believed there was high expectation among a home crowd, which could impact on the team’s results.
“It’s normal in football, and sport in general of course,” he said.
“And it’s something all clubs have to deal with, but we’ve struggled for goals at home.
“It’s almost like we need to go a goal down to be kicked into action, and that’s something I’m not happy with.
“We could, and should have had the game won before the end but instead went a goal down.”
The draw will take place on Saturday on BBC Radio Suffolk (5.30pm) to determine Bury’s quarter-final opponents.
n Bury Town also drew at home on Saturday, a goalless game against Bowers & Pitsea in the league.
Chenery said Bury also enjoyed most of the possession but again struggled for a score.
“Cemal (Ramadan) has scored a lot of goals for us so far but we can’t just rely on him,” he explained.
“He’s got a little injury, picked up on Saturday against Bowers & Pitsea, and so I need others — like Darren (Mills) and Ollie (Hughes) — to step in now and start scoring.
“It’s a bit of a goal drought for us, the chances are there, but the ball just isn’t going in.
“The boys are an honest bunch though and I’m sure it will come back.
“We just need a touch more confidence.”
The side travel to Waltham Abbey on Saturday (3pm) in the league, looking to pick up their sixth win on the road.
Bury Town: Mayhew, Cooper, Jolland, Aitkins, White, De’ath (Clements 78’), Allen, Yaxley (Yallop 72’), Hughes, Mills, Robinson.
Unused subs: Chenery, Kennedy, Tibbles
Bury Free Press Man of the Match: Ben Mayhew — for making the pressure-laced save to stop Jordan Finneran’s penalty