Manager’s joy as five-star Bury conquer Hastings

PERFECTLY PLACED: Lee Smith beats Hastings Lloyd Anderson with a delicate lob. Picture by Mecha Morton
PERFECTLY PLACED: Lee Smith beats Hastings Lloyd Anderson with a delicate lob. Picture by Mecha Morton
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RYMAN LEAGUE

PREMIER DIVISION

Bury Town 5 Hastings Uninted 0

by Sam Murley at Ram Meadow

BURY Town manager Richard Wilkins was delighted to get a reaction out of his players after their five-star performance against Hastings United at Ram Meadow on Saturday.

The visitors were well and truly on the end of a backlash after Town suffered a 1-0 defeat to Hendon the previous Tuesday, and they produced a performance on the pitch that reflected the emphatic scoreline.

The three points were secured with goals from Kieran Leabon, Lee Smith, Sam Reed, Russell Short and substitute Craig Nurse to leave Wilkins delighted with their reaction to a previous defeat.

“I was really disappointed with the performance on Tuesday and we were looking for a reaction,” he said. “Three or four days is a long time in football and the lads realised they weren’t up to it on Tuesday, but with this result they have shown everyone what they are capable of and set a good standard to aim for every week.

“Our expectations remain to get promoted this season, which we believe is realistic. Sometimes in your first season after promotion you don’t know what to expect, but we have turned into the hunter rather than the hunted.

“If we get an early goal we know teams have to look to attack us and that is when gaps will open up and we can take advantage and be very clinical.”

And that is exactly what happened on this occasion as the hosts seized the advantage as early as the 10th minute.

Lee Reed exchanged passes with the impressive Leabon on the edge of the area before the midfielder fired a low strike, which visiting keeper Lloyd Anderson would have been disappointed not to save as it squirmed under his body and into the bottom right corner.

They kept the high tempo up and it was again Leabon who was at the heart of their second goal in the 35th minute.

His weighted chipped pass over the defence found the run of winger Lee Smith, who made no mistake with a delicate lob over the onrushing Anderson from an acute angle, giving the hosts a commanding lead going into the interval.

Hastings should have given themselves a glimmer of hope five minutes after the restart when Matt Hall picked out Kenny Pogue with a dangerous cross, but the striker could only send his header wide, despite being under no pressure.

And they were duly punished in the 70th minute as Bury extended their lead further through Sam Reed.

Running on to a perfectly-weighted pass from brother Lee, the striker placed his left-footed shot under Anderson into the bottom right corner.

Russell Short is not normally known for his goal-scoring exploits, but the full-back bagged his second of the season with the home side’s fourth, five, minutes later.

Pouncing on a defensive mistake by Dan Bolwell, on the right-hand side of the area, Short unleashed an unstoppable low shot into the far bottom corner.

As the clock wound down, the rout was completed as the rampant hosts added a fifth.

Inevitably, Leabon featured in the play as his one-two with Mark Coulson released the full-back into the box, and after a scramble, the ball eventually fell to Nurse, who swept the ball into an empty net.

The substitute could have added his second of the game in injury time as Couslon sent in a dangerous cross to the back post.

Nurse threw himself at the ball, only to watch his diving header whistle inches over the bar.

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PLAYER RATINGS

Marcus Garnham 7

Rarely troubled. When called upon, did so with minimal fuss.

Russell Short 7

Comfortable display by the full-back, who chipped in with a goal.

Mark Coulson 7

Rarely threatened by the lacklustre Hasting wingers.

John Kennedy 7

Shielded the back four perfectly and kept things ticking in midfield.

Roscoe Hipperson 7

Commanding performance from the stand-in skipper, rarely put a foot wrong.

Sam Nunn 7

Rarely troubled and handled the physical Kenny Pogue with relative ease.

Lee Smith 8

Brilliantly taken goal for Bury’s second.

Kieran Leabon 9

Exceptional performance, involved in nearly everything.

Sam Reed 8

Tireless work-rate was rewarded with a goal.

Lee Reed 8

Caused problems dropping behind the frontman, constant provider of chances.

Stephen Smith 7

Kept play moving forward with neat short passes.

SUBSTITUTES

Luke Ingram (for Lee Reed 78) 6

No time to make an impact.

Craig Nurse (for Lee Smith 71) 7

Scored and almost added another with a diving header late on.

Elliott Hunter (for Russell Short 82) 6

No time to make an impact.

SUBS NOT USED

Tom Bullard, Richard Robbins.

MATCH STATS

BURY TOWN HASTINGS UNITED

Shots on target 6 1

Shots off target 3 6

Woodwork 0 0

Corners 7 2

Offsides 3 6

FK conceded 6 16

Bookings: Bury: John Kennedy (foul), Sam Reed (dissent) Hastings: Matt Hall (foul), Jamie Crellin (foul) Sean Ray (dissent), Kenny Pogue (foul)

Red Cards: None.

Referee: Paul Forrester.

Attendance: 359.