On the Trophy trail

Richard Wilkins
Richard Wilkins

Bury Town manager Richard Wilkins is wary of Ryman One North strugglers Chatham Town ahead of tomorrow’s FA Trophy clash (3pm).

The Chats currently occupy 21st position in their division — the league below the Ryman Premier Blues — but reached the final qualifying round of the FA Cup before bowing out to St Albans City.

Wilkins scouted tomorrow’s opponents on Tuesday when they lost 3-0 to Dereham Town — the side Bury beat in the previous round of the FA Trophy — and believes they are not to be taken lightly when they visit Ram Meadow.

“It’s going to be a tough game, even though they are 21st in the league below,” said the Blues’ boss. “But 
we should, and very much hope we can, get through.”

As exclusively revealed on the Free Press website, Bury’s top scorer John Sands signed for Ryman Premier rivals Canvey Island for an undisclosed fee last Friday.

That paved the way for Australian Anthony Roulston to make a goal-scoring full debut in the Blues’ 3-1 win at Cray Wanderers on Saturday.

“He worked very hard and deserved his goal,” said Wilkins, who will be without striker Shane Tolley and defenders Russell Short and Adam Bailey-Dennis through suspension tomorrow.

Tolley is serving the second of a three-match ban, Short misses one game for picking up five yellow cards and Bailey-Dennis will be out for the next two fixtures after his second red card of the season.

With right-back Taylor Nathaniel also being released, Wilkins has moved to cover his threadbare defence by signing Cameron Mawer on dual registration terms with Biggleswade Town.

Meanwhile, John Kennedy will return to the Bury midfield from his own suspension.

Reflecting on Sands’ departure, Wilkins added: “He scored a lot of goals for us, but he hadn’t been right this season and I think he’d got to the point where he wasn’t doing himself justice for us.”

Bury Under-18s to face

Daggers on Monday: P156