EMIRATES FA CUP
Bury Town 1 Tilbury 2
Ben Chenery said his Bury Town side got exactly what they deserved from Saturday’s FACup tie with divisional rivals Tilbury — nothing.
The Blues exited the world’s most famous and oldest domestic cup competition at the first hurdle for the second successive season, after conceding sloppy goals in each half — first from Adam Vyse and then Luke Hornsley.
Both strikes came before a controversial lifeline was handed to the hosts, with the goalkeeper deemed to have carried Ollie Fenn’s cross-cum-shot over his line, with the referee doing a u-turn on his initial decision to rule it out for a foul after speaking to his assistant.
But, despite a late glaring miss by Ollie Canfer, Bury boss Chenery was left fuming at the manner of the defeat, which had come off the back of cruising to a 6-0 league victory at Hertford Town four days previously.
“We just weren’t good enough,” he said. “From one to 11, we just didn’t perform.
“There were so many fundamental errors that we haven’t done for the first two games that we did today.
“Only the players can answer why that is. We have done ever so well in the past two games and we have tried to keep their feet on the ground.
“Perhaps they have thought they are better than they are. Maybe they were a bit nervous and anxious, I don’t know, but they haven’t turned up today and it is extremely disappointing they have not put in a performance.
“And if you don’t do that, you get punished.
“We certainly didn’t start well and we gave them the first goal. And then they had the carrot to hang on to.
“We didn’t work hard enough and we only have ourselves to blame.”
Despite winning 6-0 in mid-week, Chenery made three changes to his starting XI with David Cooper returning from injury to play at right full-back for Darcy De’ath, while Darren Mills started up front and Cemal Ramadan wide left of the three behind him. Noel Aitkens and Luke Read were the two players to drop to the bench.
The hosts were hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s first hurdle exit, their first in 13 years in a 3-0 defeat to Spaling United 12 months ago.
But they did not heed an early warning about the need to mark their men and fell behind.
Hornsley had time to control a long throw-in just inside the area and Luis Tibbles was required to push his effort onto the post before jumping onto the spinning ball, with home players’ appeals that it had gone over the line quickly dismissed.
At the other end Ramadan’s curling effort just evaded Canfer’s run, but forced Clarke Bogard to push it round his post.
But with 15 minutes on the clock Bury’s defence was pulled horribly out of position and punished. After conceding possession down their left, Hornsley fed Melaugh, who picked out Vyse, in plenty of room in the area, who had time and space to slide in across Tibbles.
Vyse could have had a second after the Blues midfield failed to close down his run from deep, the number 10 dragging his shot wide, while Lewis Jaggs picked up a wayward ball from Ryan Jolland before also firing wide.
Bury had to re-jig their defence 10 minutes before the break with Leon Ottley-Gooch limping off with a calf injury, leading to captain of the day Fenn dropping into the heart of defence and Aitkens taking up his midfield berth.
The hosts improved after the interval but could not find a killer touch; Mills heading straight at Bogard after a good run-and-cross from Ollie Hughes and the latter not getting his shot away in time from a good slide-rule pass from Jolland.
Hughes and Aitkens both had shots blocked after Cooper put a hanging cross in, but Bury were caught on the break just after the hour mark. A quick ball down the right saw Hornsley skip inside White and Clements before firing into the far post.
It was a devastating blow for Bury, but they were back to just a goal from a replay eight minutes later after Fenn’s left-wing ball into the box saw Bogard stumble and fall back with Mills adding pressure. Confusion initially reigned as the referee signalled a foul, while his assistant signalled for a goal. The assistant’s view soon prevailed, infuriating the home players and officials and lighting the touchpaper on the rest of the tie.
But Bury’s moment to remain in the FA Cup came and went in the 81st minute when Canfer sent a header over from close range from Aitken’s driven cross as the goal gaped.
At the other end, substitute Michael Salako curled over while Bryan Kyungu put just wide.
“We were in the ascendancy second half, but you have to be better than that in the final third,” reflected Chenery.
n Bury will host lower-league Newmarket Town in round two of the Omni Freight Services Suffolk Premier Cup on November 14 or 15.
n In the Velocity Trophy (League Cup) First Round the Blues will travel to Harlow Town on Tuesday, September 19 (7.45pm).