RYMAN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH: Bury Town 2 Thurrock 3
Bury Town saw their six match unbeaten run come to an end against fourth place Thurrock.
The Blues were looking to give their Ryman League Division One North play-off hopes a boost with a victory against their Essex opponents.
But despite coming from 2-0 down to draw level at 2-2, the Fleet struck the winner 15 minutes from the end to leave Ben Chenery’s men still 11 points adrift of the top five.
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 Ollie Hughes replaced injured duo Matthew Skevington and Darcy De’ath.
With a long list of injures 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 Junior Baker at the far post, whose shot went in off the past 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 Ronnie 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, Nick 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 Ross Gleed’s header from crossing the line as Thurrock brought a halt to Bury’s brave fightback.
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 Phil Weavers in the 83rd minute.
But they could not find another breakthrough and head into Saturday’s trip to Maldon and Tiptree 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.
* For all the best reaction, see Friday’s Bury Free Press print edition.