RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Lowestoft Town 1 Bury Town 3
by Derek Bish
at Crown Meadow
Russell Short was happy to score a rare and important goal as Bury Town fought back from 1-0 down to triumph in Saturday’s Suffolk derby at Lowestoft Town.
Short levelled shortly after half-time with a left-footed strike before Tom Bullard’s header and Liam Wales’ tap-in secured three points that means no side have done better on the road in the Ryman Premier than the Blues so far this season.
It also extended their unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions, much to the delight of Short, given Bury’s troubles off the field.
“The current circumstances have pulled us closer together — the team spirit has probably never been so good,” he said. “It’s a shame that the boys have left and whether more will go we don’t know, but we’re pulling together and it showed in the second half especially.”
Reflecting on his vital 48th-minute equaliser, he added: “It was important we got off to a good start in the second half.
“It sat up quite nicely, I struck it with my left foot and luckily enough it went in.
“They’re rare, but when they come they tend to be quite important.”
Bury made one change to the side that drew with Thamesmead Town the previous Saturday, with left-back Seb Dunbar returning from suspension in place of striker Anthony Roulston.
The Blues’ best move of the first half came in just the fifth minute when makeshift striker Danny Cunningham backheeled Jordan Patrick’s pass into the path of Billy Clark, who took too many touches and was thwarted by Curtley Williams’ tackle.
At the other end, Robert Eagle found the hands of Marcus Garnham, while the play continued to be scrappy, with the pitch cutting up and numerous free-kicks awarded.
Jake Reed was the hosts’ most lively attacking player and, when he nipped past Bullard, it needed Adam Bailey-Dennis to slide in and clear the danger away.
Short provided the visitors with their only shot of the opening period, firing an awkward bouncing ball wide from 20 yards, but Lowestoft began to become more dominant as the half went on.
Williams’ header smacked against the post and the Trawlerboys found the breakthrough two minutes into first-half stoppage time when Reed got across his marker to glance Jack Ainsley’s deadly delivery past Garnham and into the net.
The interval did Bury the world of good and they levelled just three minutes into the second period when Short struck a sweet left-footed shot beyond the previously-untroubled Ashlee Jones in the Lowestoft goal.
Fired up by the equaliser, and with Lowestoft clearly rattled, Bury went in front in the 54th minute when Bullard leapt in front of Jones to head Cunningham’s right-wing free-kick into the net.
All that good work was almost undone when former Bury man Chris Henderson latched on to a poor clearance from Garnham, but Bullard made a spectacular sliding tackle to dispossess the home striker when he seemed set to score.
Joe Whight blazed wide with a great chance to extend the visitors’ advantage and Reed had two more opportunities to double his own tally for Lowestoft.
Garnham was grateful the hosts’ number nine chipped into this hands after the goalkeeper kicked poorly again, before smothering another effort from the striker at the near post with the help of Bullard.
However, Bury sealed the result with 17 minutes to play.
John Kennedy slipped the ball through to Clark in the left channel and the former Ipswich Town midfielder’s low ball across goal was tapped in by substitute Wales at the far post with just his second touch.
Lowestoft finished the match strongly and Bullard had to make another goal-saving challenge on Manny Osei before Adam Smith curled a 25-yard free-kick against the angle of post and bar.
However, the day belonged to Bury, who moved level on points with the hosts while still holding two games in hand.
Bury: Garnham 6, Smith 7, Dunbar 7, Short 8, Bailey-Dennis 7, BULLARD 8, Patrick 6 (Wales 70, 7), Kennedy 7, Clark 7, Cunningham 6 (Taylor 79, 6), Whight 6. Sub not used: Roulston.