DIVISION ONE NORTH
Bury Town 0
AFC Hornchurch 2
Bury Town manager Ben Chenery was full of praise for his side, despite seeing them surrender their unbeaten start to the season on home turf on Tuesday.
The Blues, missing strikers Ollie Hughes, Sam Reed and Josh Mayhew through injury, while Remi Garrett was only fit enough for the bench, dominated possession but were unable to provide a cutting edge as a goal either side of the break from ex-AFC Sudbury striker Aryton Coley condemned them to their first league defeat.
Chenery’s side had seen Noel Aitkens’ 24th-minute weak penalty saved, which the Bury boss felt was a pivotal moment.
“If we score the penalty I think we go on and win it comfortably,” he said.
“We out-passed them, out-played them and then we give a sloppy goal away and that gives them a carrot.
“In the second half we started okay and then make a terrible mistake. You can’t defend like that and I can’t legislate for that.
“That puts us on the backfoot and at 2-0 we still try and play and do the right thing.”
He added: “If you had asked me nine games into the season if we would only lose once, I’d have to take that. While I am annoyed and frustrated I can’t be too despondent as I thought first half was some of the best football we have played this season, to be honest.”
In front of the biggest crowd of the season, Nick Ingram started up front in place of the injured Mayhew while usual right-back Tevan Allen was on the right of midfield with Dary De’ath behind him.
James Moorish had an early goal ruled out for offside for the visitors but it was Bury who soon began to dominate but without creating a clear-cut chance until they were awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute when Allen’s dangerous cross was handled by Moorish.
Aitkens was an unfamiliar taker and it showed as his side-foot attempt was too close to Sam Moot, who made a comfortable save.
Ryan Jolland had a great chance to put Bury in the lead just before the half-hour mark, but his tame effort across goal was slid away by Paul Goodacre.
Hornchurch made the hosts pay in the 33rd minute when they took the lead against the run of play when Coley steered Abs Thompson’s cut-back inside the far post.
A disastrous backpass from club captain Phil Weavers three minutes after the interval gifted Coley his second of the game with a simple finish.
Ingram continued to cut a frustrated figure up front and although the Blues looked livelier with the introduction of Garrett, they were unable to turn their possession into a meaningful chance.
Bury: O’Sullivan, Allen, Cusack, Aitkens, Weavers, Clements, De’ath (Garrett 56), Canfer, Read, Ingram (Debenham 78), Jolland. Unused sub: Kennedy.
Free Press Man of The Match: Kryan Clements. Attendance: 320