Anthony Roulston is determined to prove his worth to Bury Town and cement his place as the Blues’ leading marksman.
In the wake of Shane Tolley’s departure to St Neots, the Australian — along with fellow unproven strikers Ryan Taylor and David Lampshire — have found themselves as the club’s only recognised out and out frontmen.
After being handed a starting berth in the frustrating goalless draw with East Thurrock United in the Ryman Premier on Saturday, Roulston has set his sights on filling the void and making the position his own.
“I was devastated that Shane left because I feel like I learned a lot from him and I rate him very highly,” he said. “There is a bit of pressure now, but I also put that pressure on myself as well because I want to prove to everyone that I am in the first team for a reason.
“I just want to give the best I can for everyone and become a recognised player in this division and possibly higher.
“It gives me a chance to repay the manager and coaches, who have put a lot of faith in me as well.
“No-one knew me before I came here and it has been tough with the quality of players here for me to get into the team.
“However, I may have my chance now and I want to take it — I will give it everything I can.
“The manager hasn’t said much to me, but he doesn’t have to, I know what I have to do.
“If I don’t play to the level required then there will be changes, so I have to give everything and keep my spot.
“I know in myself that I can play that role and now it is just about proving it to myself and everyone.”
In a forgettable afternoon for all involved at Ram Meadow, the first half saw more bookings than shots at goal as the blustery conditions blunted any chance of slick passages of play.
In the one effort on target in the opening 45 minutes, Billy Clark brilliantly brought down a miskicked clearance on his chest, but could only see his left foot volleyed effort easily gathered by David Hughes.
As frustrations boiled over, Bury’s Danny Cunningham and Thurrock’s Lea Dawson were cautioned after a coming together, while the hosts’ Adam Bailey-Dennis and the visitors’ Ross Parmenter were also booked as the half was called to a close.
It was Clark again who produced the one glimpse of quality four minutes after the restart as he turned brilliantly on the edge of the area, but his curling effort came crashing back off the bar with Hughes well beaten.
Tom Bullard then superbly denied Joseph Paxman with a last-ditch block in the area before Parmenter fired narrowly over from 25 yards with 30 minutes remaining.
With clear chances remaining at a premium, Jordan Patrick shot well wide with a left-footed effort when well placed, while both Bullard and substitute Taylor, who replaced Roulston, could not force a goalmouth scramble home with the final chance of the match.