DIVISION ONE NORTH
Bury Town 2 Thurrock 3
Ben Chenery had nothing but pride for his Bury Town side after they fell just short in Tuesday’s 3-2 home defeat to Thurrock.
The Blues boss saw his side’s six match unbeaten run come to an end, as Ross Gleed netted the winner for the visitors 15 minutes from time.
Nick Ingram and Ollie Hughes both found the target as Chenery’s men battled back to draw level at 2-2, after goals from Junior Baker and Ronnie Winn had given fourth place Thurrock a 2-0 lead.
But Gleed’s 75th minute header won the tie for the Fleet and left Bury still four places and 11 points adrift of the play-offs.
“At 2-0 down you either go one way or the other,” Chenery said. “As a group of players you show some character, dig deep and increase your work rate.
“We didn’t crumble and we got it back to 2-2, and I felt at 2-2 we were in the ascendancy.
“I felt we could of pushed on and won the game, but we conceded another poor goal.
“I thought all three goals we conceded were poor and that’s born out of having 10 first team players unavailable.
“I’ve got 18-year-olds all over the park and you’ll get inexperience when you ask young lads to do a man’s job.
“But I can only be proud of them in the fact that they’ve given me everything. We’ve come a long way since last season and the players will not stop fighting.”
Chenery was forced to make two changes from the side which started in the 1-1 draw against Cray Wanderers on Saturday, as Ryan Yallop and Hughes replaced injured duo Matthew Skevington and Darcy De’ath.
With a long list of injuries plaguing Bury, Ollie Canfer started alongside Phil Weavers in central defence and Hughes returned to the team in centre midfield.
The visitors made the brighter start to the contest and went in front just before the half hour mark. Harry Agombar’s free-kick reached Baker at the far post, whose shot went in off the post beyond home goalkeeper Neil O’Sullivan.
Bury responded to going behind as the impressive Hughes had an effort go into the hands of visiting custodian Rhys Madden, before then striking the post with a cross on the stroke of half-time.
Thurrock were quicker out of the blocks in the second-half and doubled their lead eight minutes after the restart. Agombar’s blocked shot fell to Winn to tuck away the rebound.
With their six match unbeaten run, as well as more importantly their play-off hopes, in real jeopardy, the Blues hit back on the hour mark.
Barely a minute after seeing his near post shot from a Remi Garrett cross go wide, Ingram pulled a goal back for Bury.
Ingram netted his fourth goal in seven games for the Blues, firing home from close range after the ball found its way through a crowd of bodies to the young striker.
The goal gave Chenery’s side belief that a comeback was possible, and 10 minutes later they scored a second to restore parity.
Ingram flicked the ball behind him from a free-kick and Hughes was in the right place to finish past Madden to make it 2-2.
However, parity would last just five minutes as last year’s beaten play-off finalists regained the lead on 75 minutes.
O’Sullivan was unable to stop Gleed’s header from crossing the line as Thurrock brought a halt to Bury’s brave fight back.
To their credit the Blues never gave up and Thurrock’s Madden had to be at his best to push away a near post header from Weavers in the 83rd minute.
But they could not find another breakthrough and now head into a trip to Maldon and Tiptree tomorrow (3pm) still four places and 11 points adrift of the play-offs.
Bury Town O’Sullivan, Yallop (Wigley 80), Allen, Collins, Canfer, Weavers, Garrett, Hughes, Ingram, Mayhew, Hammett. Sub not used: Hall. Booked Hughes, Ingram.
Referee M Holmes. Attendance 216.
Bury Free Press man of the match Hughes.