Bury’s loyal supporters may have left the den of their fiercest rivals with their tails firmly between their legs — but Ben Chenery believes they are winning their own battle to keep their rivals quiet.
The 2-0 defeat on Saturday really could have been double the winning margin, with salt rubbed into Bury wounds by seeing AFC Sudbury fans celebrating the three points which also propelled them to the Ryman League Division One North summit.
But Blues boss Chenery, whose winless December and start to 2016 has seen them drop from the top sixth to outside the top 10, has said promotion would not be the only measure of where they are this season, following relegation from a truly forgettable 2014/15 campaign.
Asked if he would have to give up on promotion after their third straight defeat left them 11th and seven points adrift of the play-offs, having played a game more than Tilbury (5th) and two more than Thurrock (4th), he replied: ‘No. To be honest, at this club when I took it over it was in dire straits.
“In my second year it was important for us to get some stability.
“Let’s make no bones about it, there were a lot of people in Suffolk and other places making a lot of noises that we would struggle, and maybe we would go down.
“So, let’s be totally honest, we have done fantastically well as playing staff, a management team and directors and the chairman.”
Bury had been cruising at a higher altitude than expected with a smaller budget and squad than for many seasons until they began to nosedive with a 3-0 defeat at AFC Hornchurch on December 5 proving to be the first of five defeats in six in all competitions (one FA Trophy defeat and a draw at Ceshunt the others).
But an overwhelming injury list is the turbulence that will see them return to form, once it eases, according to their manager and senior defender Darcey De’ath, who both remained positive following Saturday’s derby defeat.
“With results came expectation, we knew that,” said Chenery. “But we are in a fantastic position, we have got a great youth structure with people coming through as well as a great togetherness in that dressing room.
“Man City are going on about missing Vincent Kompany — I’m missing seven! It is ridiculous, so let’s be realists. December has been tough for us but we have got some good boys and they will come back again.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Haringey Borough, he added: “I sleep easy at night.
I understand what we have got in there and how we are going to improve.
“I knew it was going to be tough this year. We had a great run in the (FA) Trophy. We went to Herne Bay with kids and beat them on penalties.
“We won three penalty shootouts and we have done exceptionally well.
“We have turned this football club around full circle, and there is lots more to do.
“But Sudbury are getting promotion, let’s be honest, they have a good budget, good players, a good playing surface and a good club going on.
“We will get there, but right now we are where we are and we are doing exceptionally well. The crowd was great again, right behind what we’re doing and it is a work in progress.
“Judge us in two to three seasons where I think we will be where we need to be, where we’ve come from.
“Bury Town Football Club is a Ryman Premier football club in all its guises. But you need to make sure you have stability and structure in place that when you get there you can sustain it.”
De’ath, set to miss tomorrow’s clash (foot) with Phil Weavers (suspension) back said of the AFC defeat:“There was no disgrace and Ben just said to keep your heads up as we are playing well at the moment and we just need to ride through this little bad spell. Everyone will have bad spells. We’ll get another run going.”