Late derby heartache for nine-man Bury

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RYMAN LEAGUE

PREMIER DIVISION

Bury Town 2

Lowestoft Town 3

BURY Town striker Sam Reed believes Easter Monday’s Suffolk derby with Lowestoft Town was ‘impossible’ for the Blues to win.

The 24-year-old striker curled Bury into a second-minute lead, but the home side ended up with nine men as the Trawlerboys twice came from behind to win 3-2 with a 93rd minute goal from Lubomir Guentchev.

Bury have lost both Ryman Premier fixtures against Lowestoft this season after having two players sent off, and Reed said the red cards dished out to skipper Tom Bullard and winger Danny Cunningham cost the Ram Meadow outfit all three points against their county rivals.

“I’m proud of everyone, but there are just some games of football that are impossible to win,” said the forward, who took the captain’s armband from Bullard after his sending off. “That was one of them because of the circumstances.

“You can’t really fault us, but you could see their winning goal coming in the last 10 minutes.

“We’ll stick together – we performed the best we could.”

Bury made four changes to the side that won 1-0 at Met Police on Saturday, with Russell Short, Mark Coulson, Lee Reed and Cunningham replacing Callum Kearns, Connor Hall, Lee Smith and Kieran Leabon.

The Blues went in front inside 90 seconds when, after John Sands failed to connect properly with an overhead kick, Sam Reed seized on the ball on the edge of the penalty area and curled a delightful shot into the top right corner.

Marcus Garnham made the first of a string of superb saves when spreading himself to keep out Chris Henderson at point-blank range before Matt Nolan rolled the ball across the face of goal and wide.

However, the game took a massive turn in the 23rd minute when Sam Nunn lost his header and Bullard upended Henderson while stretching for the ball as the former Blue ran through on goal.

There were no arguments with the resultant red card – Bullard’s second against the Trawlerboys this season – and Lowestoft’s Dean Sinlcair converted the spot-kick.

Bury almost hit back almost immediately when John Kennedy’s fierce drive was palmed round the post by Andy Reynolds.

They did level from the following corner, which was initially cleared back to Sam Reed on the left before his return ball was headed down into the net by Nunn.

However, the visitors continued to increase the pressure, finally settling into some sort of a rhythm, with Robert Eagle’s overhit cross and Guentchev’s close-range shot both kept out by Garnham.

They levelled for a second time six minutes after the break when Bury failed to clear Eagle’s corner, allowing defender Sam Gaughran to poke the ball into the net.

Former Needham Market striker Nathan Stone, on as a substitute for Nolan at half-time, stretched Garnham again and was unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when he appeared to be hauled down by Roscoe Hipperson, who had replaced Billy Clark in the aftermath of Bullard’s first-half sending off.

Garnham brilliantly kept out Scott Mitchell’s free-kick, but Bury’s task was made much harder by a second dismissal, this time for Cunningham.

The Bury winger went in late on Mitchell, but it appeared to be deserving of no more than a booking when referee Nick Cooper brandished red.

Two men short, the Blues battled hard, but they found themselves under the cosh.

Joe Francis nodded wide when it looked easier to score as the Trawlerboys piled on the pressure, and when Stone’s close-range strike was ruled out for offside it appeared Bury would hold on.

However, Guentchev destroyed what would have been an excellent point for the Blues as he nodded home from inside the six-yard box to send the visiting supporters behind Garnham’s goal into raptures.