Bury Town 1
Bury Town boss Ben Chenery dedicated his team’s 1-0 Easter Monday victory over Leiston to the club’s loyal supporters.
The Blues collected all three points from Victory Road after Justin Miller’s first-half strike defeated ex-Town boss Richard Wilkins’ side, who also saw former captain Tom Bullard sent off.
The result all but ended Leiston’s hopes of making the Ryman Premier Division play-offs and was only Bury’s second away win of the season.
“Our supporters have suffered this year and I said to the players beforehand, let’s put a performance on for the fans and I felt we did that. They’ve turned up in their numbers to watch us and we’re delighted to give them a win to celebrate,” said Chenery.
The Blues manager also praised the attitude of his players since the decision was made a month ago to cut the club’s playing budget.
“It was a bitter pill to swallow to speak to the players and ask them to play for reduced money, but what I liked today was that there were a couple of guys out there playing for nothing, believe it or not.
“I’ve seen a change in my players over the past four to six weeks and I want that to grow for next year. I’ve got a good idea of the kind of players I want here now, they might not be the finished article but they’re tenacious, committed and honest,” he said. From the first whistle in this Suffolk derby, Bury made it clear they were in no mood to lay down for the hosts, with several robust challenges ruffling their opponent’s feathers in the opening exchanges.
Leiston were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead after 16 minutes when James Paterson brought down pacy ex-Blue John Sands and the referee’s assistant immediately flagged for a penalty.
But, Gareth Heath was denied from the spot by a flying save from Bury keeper Alex Archer, and Darren Mills could only send the rebound over the bar.
The game was to swing firmly in Bury’s favour six minutes later when former captain Tom Bullard was shown a straight red card for leading with an arm in an aerial challenge with Connor Hall.
The visitors began to sense it could be their day and after Paterson’s wide free-kick was only half-cleared, Justin Miller took full advantage to beat Danny Gay with a well controlled left-footed effort.
The second half, although just as fractious, failed to provide the action of the first as the 10 men of Leiston found life difficult trying to break down Bury’s rear-guard.
The home side had to wait until the 93rd minute for their only real chance of the half, Archer reacting brilliantly to turn Josh Mayhew’s header round the post.
Bury entertain 19th placed Harrow Borough at Ram Meadow this Saturday (April 11, kick-off 3pm), with striker Sam Reed expected to return. The Blues lost 3-1 in the reverse fixture in November, with Jordan Patrick on target.
Bury Town: Archer 8, Allen 7, Paterson 6, Kennedy 7, Miller 7, Hall 7, WEAVERS 8, Short 7, Lampshire 6 (sub Otobo 78, 6), Garrett 6, Patrick 7.