SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND
Bury Town 0
Hemel Hempstead Town 3
Joe Maybanks felt Hemel Hempstead’s goalkeeper was fortunate not to be sent off as Bury Town’s spirited start to the second half failed to get them back into Saturday’s tie.
The former West Ham United youth player was thrown straight in for his Blues debut after signing on an initial one month loan deal from National League South side Braintree Town only a day earlier.
The 18-year-old winger readily accepted his new side were second best by some way as they crashed out of the FA Cup to a side who ply their trade two leagues higher, in his parent club’s league.
But after Dennis Oli’s fifth-minute opener and strike partner Oliver Hawkins’ 31st-minute penalty had seen them trail 2-0 at the break, he felt the decision not to send off Jamie Butler just before the hour mark, after catching Ollie Hughes as he played the ball past him, could have led to a different outcome.
As it was, the man in the middle decided it only warranted a yellow card and Bradley Barber’s kick, which sent the Tudors’ number one the wrong way, crashed back off the post and away to safety.
With their chance to go within a goal of their opponents, Bury’s positive start to the second half soon evaporated as Hemel regained control and went on to score a third goal on a breakaway through Matt Harriott 19 minutes from time, before cruising to the final whistle.
“That (penalty) could have gone in and it could have been a totally different game. We could have gone on to get another goal and that could have been it,” said ex-Colchester United scholar Maybanks, who had an eventful second outing for the west Suffolk Blues in the week, scoring at Soham Town Rangers before being sent off (see above right).
He added: “The problem was that if he (the referee) has given a penalty the goalkeeper has to be sent off as he has denied a goalscoring opportunity.
“The ref has to make two decisions there and he has given the penalty, which I think was correct, but the keeper should have gone.
“But that is the way it goes sometimes in football.”
The player who was with West Ham until the age of 16 before a year at Colchester followed moving to Braintree Town, where he was offered a two-year contract after completing his scholarship last season, praised the contribution of Bury’s goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, who kept them within touching distance with a string of fine saves.
But he added he is sure his new team-mates can and will play a lot better in the coming weeks, giving Maybanks the chance to show more of what he can do at the other end of the field.
“I don’t think we started as well as we expected to start but I thought in the second half we showed a bit of character,” he said.
“It was difficult to get the ball off them, as they kept possession very well, but I think we have a lot more to give.
“I trained with the boys on Thursday for the first time and I know they are good enough to play better than that and I am not worried about that.
“Today was just one of those days where you play someone better and you might get a freak cup shock, but not today wasn’t the day.”
With Remi Garrett out injured, Bury Town manager Ben Chenery had hoped the right-sided 18-year-old could sparkle on his debut, starting on the left of the three in Bury’s preferred 4-2-3-1 set-up against a depleted Hemel Hempstead side who lined up 4-4-2 missing five players, three to a wedding, one suspension and one injury.
But that did not affect the Vanarama National League South side’s start to the game as they got straight onto the front foot and raced into an early lead.
A slip by Congolese defender Milton Elenge, only playing his second game for the club since re-signing as a free agent, proved costly, as Oli ran on to Hawkins’ flick-on through the middle and slid the ball under O’Sullivan from the edge of the area.
The home goalkeeper, who recently ousted Nick Punter from the starting line-up, then became the star of the show, thwarting Oli with his legs, Michael Richens with his hands and then Jamal Lowe by racing off his line.
But Elenge could not time his intervention on tricky winger Lowe anywhere near as effectively, catching his legs well after the ball had gone for a penalty which Hawkins sent Sullivan the wrong way from for their 2-0 interval lead that could and should have been more.
There had been little in the way of Bury attacks, but some choice words from Chenery at half-time seemed to bring them out of their shell as they fashioned chances for Hughes and Sam Reed, neither troubling the keeper, before Barber’s agonizing penalty miss.
The momentum soon disappeared and Hemel got a killer third to put the tie to bed when Blues captain Phil Weavers got caught out stepping up to the half-way line and Oli picked up a through ball beyond him and ran to the edge of the area before playing it across to Harriott. The number four steadied himself, forcing O’Sullivan to dive prematurely, before applying the finish.
Bury: O’SULLIVAN 8, Allen 5, Paterson 5, Miller 7, Elenge 3 (Aitkens (46) 6), Weavers (c) 5, Maybanks 5(Lampshire (76) 5), Steed 5 (Nurse (56) 5), Hughes 6, Barber 6, Reed 6. Unused subs: Collins, De’ath, Punter (gk). Att: 408.
Free Press Man of The Match: Neil O’Sullivan.