DIVISION ONE NORTH
Bury Town 1 AFC Hornchurch 1
Bury Town ended the season in 13th place on a positive note, after claiming a point against play-off qualifiers AFC Hornchurch in front of a bumper gate at Ram Meadow.
The Blues, watched on by some travelling German fans (see page 159) started well and on eight minutes Connor Hall headed against the bar from a Remi Garrett corner.
Leon McKenzie had a great chance for Hornchurch on 14 minutes, getting the ball into the box and hitting a good strike, but Neil O’Sullivan made a solid save.
Two minutes later Noel Aitkens burst through from the back all the way to the edge of the box and hit a shot which the keeper did well to save with his legs.
It took a mistake by keeper O’Sullivan for Hornchurch to take the lead. The Bury number one dropped a catch from a cross at the feel of Ricky Freeman, who tapped in the opening goal.
Bury kept on the attack and on 45 minutes almost grabbed the equalizer, but Sam Reed’s headed effort from close range was brilliantly saved by Callum Chafzr.
The Blues continued to play well in the second half and on 49 minutes Hall hit a thumping strike from distance which was deflected just wide of the far post.
Bury had to wait until the 63th minute to pull level. Justin Miller’s long throw-in was picked up by Ollie Hughes, and with his back to goal, he send a superb overhead lob goal-ward which looped over the back-tracking keeper and into the empty net.
Jake Piper saw red on 64 minutes for a dangerous tackle on Sam Reed.
Josh Mayhew had a chance on 74 minutes after some great set-up play from Remi Garrett, but the keeper again made a good save.
Bury almost snatched a late winner when Garrett hit the base of the post from a very tight angle.
AFC Hornchurch head for the play-offs and for Bury they bring a long hard season to an end.
Bury: O’Sullivan, Allen, Gardner, Kennedy (Collins 79), Miller, Hall, Garrett, Aitkens (Wigley 84), Hughes (Jolland 72), Mayhew, Reed. Unused substitute: Weavers.
Free Press Man of the Match: Noel Aitkens.