Ryman League Division One North: Bury Town 2 Great Wakering Rovers 0
Two goals inside the opening 20 minutes saw Bury Town return to winning ways at Ram Meadow this afternoon.
South African defender Justin Miller eased any worries of Tuesday’s first league defeat of the campaign, a 3-1 loss to bottom side Heybridge Swifts, having a detrimental effect, with his seventh minute header from a left-wing corner.
Striker Ollie Hughes increased the feelgood factor for the home fans on National Non-League Day — which had seen the club offer half price admission to anyone with a season ticket at any of England’s top 92 clubs — by heading beyond Adam Seal again in the 19th minute, this time from James Paterson’s left-wing cross.
The Essex visitors did not let their heads drop though and played some neat stuff, though lacked a killer finish to get back into the game.
Neil O’Sullivan, in the Bury goal, did have to be on his toes in between Bury’s goals though, saving with his legs from Jacob Cleaver, who he then denied again just before Hughes added Bury’s second.
The celebrations from the Bury number nine’s seventh goal of the season had barely ended when, O’Sullivan had to scramble back to dive on a James Paterson back header that went past him.
But the west Suffolk Blues ended the half on top with Remi Garrett’s low effort forcing Seal to tip round his left-hand post.
The second half did not see as much of the free-flowing action that had been present at both ends in the opening 45 and the game became far more scrappy.
It was almost 3-0 and game over in the 53rd minute when only a goalline headed clearance from left-back Max Kent prevented Sam Reed getting his name on the scoresheet in consecutive home games.
Kent was soon in the thick of the action again when he squared up to Garrett following the Bury wideman staying on the ground following a tackle.
He was seen clearly pushing Garrett in the face with Bury full-back Tevan Allen running in to pull him away, which prompted a melee of players who had to be pulled apart by the three matchday officials.
After taking his time to talk to his assistants, the referee showed yellow cards to Kent, Garrett and Allen.
O’Sullivan made a fairly comfortable diving save from Tom Ranger before Bradley Barber’s well hit rising shot from the edge of the area flew narrowly over the crossbar.
Rovers pushed four men up front as they pursued the crucial next goal, and they did manage to bundle the ball into the net in the 79th minute following a free-kick, but the referee’s whistle had already blown for a foul on the floored Garrett.
Nash Jay wasted a good attack for the visitors by skying a half volley from 25 yards before Reed went close, curling an effort just beyond the far post as the game entered stoppage time.
But neither side could trouble the goalkeepers again before the final whistle in a result which moves Bury up a place to third in the table, six points off leaders Cray Wanderers, having played a game less.
The points had seen them leapfrog Suffolk rivals AFC Sudbury, who dropped down to sixth after a shock 5-1 defeat at now fifth placed Thurrock.
Bury: O’Sullivan, Allen, Paterson, Kennedy (Aitkens 74), Miller (De’ath 80), Weavers (c), Garrett, Steed, Hughes, Barber (Maybanks 78), Reed. Sub not used: Collins.
Free Press Man of The Match: Justin Miller.
* Log back onto this website on Monday from 1pm for a video post-match reaction with manager Ben Chenery.