Bury Town manager Richard Wilkins praised his players’ attacking prowess, even though they left it late to edge out Met Police on Tuesday.
Bury hit the woodwork three times in the first half, but were set to end up empty-handed after Bradley Hudson-Odoi won and then converted a penalty 13 minutes from the end of the Ryman League Premier Division encounter.
However, man-of-the-match Danny Cunningham created an equaliser that was bundled in by Jack Brame with the help of a defender before Joe Whight netted a spot-kick — won by Tanner Call — deep into stoppage time to earn the Ram Meadow-based outfit all three points.
“We could have been well out of sight at half-time,” said Wilkins, whose side visit Lewes tomorrow and host Suffolk rivals Lowestoft Town in their final home game of the season on Monday (3pm). “The lads played with a little bit more positivity — we got the ball forward early and Jack Brame led the line really well.
“I’m pleased for the lads because we had all the play, but then it was a great ball in from Danny Cunningham for the equaliser and I just felt we would get more chances.
“Whether it was a penalty or not, to be fair it looked like their player had his arms around little Tanner Call — he’s done so well to back in and the referee said the defender pulled him.”
Nathan Clarke was the first to test the paint on the face of the crossbar when he sidefooted a right-footed volley against it from six yards.
Cunningham produced the only save of the opening 45 minutes from Stuart Searle, before the ex-Leiston player delivered a right-wing corner that Brame glanced against the bar with his head.
Winger Jordan Patrick limped out of the game at the midway point of the half, to be replaced by Anthony Roulston, but the Blues continued to be the better side and they hit the woodwork for the third time when Clarke thumped a header against the crossbar from a Cunningham delivery.
Met Police’s best moments of the opening 45 minutes came towards the end of the half, but Marcus Garnham was relatively untroubled in the Bury goal.
An unmarked Brame should have done better when he headed Miles Smith’s cross wide before being outmuscled by Ricardo Joseph’s goal-saving challenge.
Still Met Police could not get close to Bury in the air and two more Cunningham corners were headed off target by Clarke and Roulston, but the visitors became more of a threat and Garnham had to twice parry well from substitute Ty Pink before they made the breakthrough.
Whight was caught too tight to his man and Met Police raced through the heart of the Blues, leaving Clarke exposed at the back and the dual-registered Walsham-le-Willows player no option to make a desperate lunge that sent Hudson-Odoi crashing to the floor in the penalty area.
Hudson-Odoi dusted himself down to drill the resultant spot-kick beyond the outstretched right hand of Garnham, but they only had the lead for five minutes.
Predictably, the Blues’ equaliser arrived from a Cunningham set piece, but it was in somewhat scrappy fashion.
Cunningham’s whipped delivery from the right was bundled across Searle by Brame with the help of a Met Police defender and the ball nestled in the corner of the net.
With Cunningham out on his feet, he made way for Tanner Call late on, but the change worked a treat as Call was tugged back in the penalty area three minutes into stoppage time.
It looked like a soft decision, but Whight was not bothered by the visitors’ complaints as he coolly sent Searle the wrong way to win the match and move Bury level on 57 points with their opposition.
Walsham may allow dual-registered duo Clarke and Brame to play on Monday, but will be without them — as well as injured defender Billy Roast (ankle), whose loan spell ends on Sunday — at Lewes tomorrow.
Captain Tom Bullard is expected to return from illness, while left-back Seb Dunbar is back from his two-match suspension, but Patrick is struggling with a calf problem that forced him off against Met Police.
n Nnamdi Nwachuku scored a late winner on his farewell appearance as Bury Town secured their Ryman League Premier Division status with a 1-0 victory over Cray Wanderers on Saturday.
n Tevan Allen was involved as Suffolk Under-18s slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Essex.
Bury Town teammate Alfie Bedingham was an unused sub, while Needham Market’s James Bradbrook, Brendon Heath, Ben Hope, Harrison Ford, Matt Poxon and Jon Carver (unused substitute) were also involved.
n Bury Town Football Club Superdraw week 46 results. £1,000 Mr Aston; £150 J Hawkins; £100 L Clifton; £75 T Argent; £50 P Harris, J Talbot; £25 D Collins, Mrs Hughes, D Evans, Mrs Brown. Birth date drawn: 09/08/40. No winners. Next week’s prize: £300.