Bury Town 0
Carshalton Athletic 1
Richard Wilkins accused his Bury Town players of lacking desire after being left disappointed by them for the first time in several weeks.
A 90th-minute header from Carshalton Athletic substitute Jason Henry ended the visitors’ seven-match losing run in the Ryman League Premier Division, while Bury’s scoreless and pointless streak stretched to four matches.
In a lacklustre encounter, the Blues rarely threatened the opposition goal and they must regroup ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Margate at Ram Meadow (3pm).
“It’s more than frustrating because, whoever I put out, I want desire and passion from them,” said Wilkins. “I didn’t feel we had that — we were too nice.
“I told them it was going to be a battle and hard work, but we didn’t show enough passion to get in front of people when we crossed the ball or to make the right decision. “I’m upset with the performance big time because there are a few out there who flatter to deceive and Carshalton probably deserved it.”
Wilkins made one enforced change to the starting XI beaten 1-0 at Enfield Town the previous Tuesday, with Anthony Roulston replacing the suspended Danny Cunningham.
An uneventful opening period only provided some entertainment when referee Paul Kelly went down injured and a nine-minute stoppage ensued while a suitable replacement was sought.
None was found, so the final 14 minutes of the first half were played out with just one assistant referee, much to the bemusement — and amusement — of the 239 supporters in attendance.
Bury could not take advantage of there being no-one on the line to judge whether they were offside and the only time they got close to the opposition penalty area was when Liam Wales burst forward in the 10th of 12 minutes of first-half stoppage time and drove a low shot just beyond the foot of the far left post.
With an assistant found during the interval, the match resumed with a full compliment of officials for the second 45 minutes.
The first noteworthy effort on target did not arrive until the 59th minute when Anthony Roulston chested the ball down, swivelled and sent a left-footed shot goalwards that visiting custodian Michael White saved well low down to his right.
At the other end, Billy Dunn fired narrowly wide as the match began to open up.
Centre-half Nathan Clarke — back on Bury duty in midweek as part of his dual registration deal with Walsham-le-Willows — powerfully headed Joe Whight’s right-wing corner wide before showing his defensive prowess to clear another shot from Dunn off the line.
Billy Clark, who had a quiet night by his high standards, advanced 40 yards and forced White into a fine save down to his right, although it seemed like there were better options for a pass on.
However, as the match entered its closing stages, the Blues found themselves pinned back and unable to clear their lines.
Dunn shot wide from a good position and substitute Jordan Wilson screwed his effort well off target having mugged Ross Bailey inside the Bury penalty area.
But, with their third attempt in quick succession, Carshalton snatched the winner as Henry rose unchallenged to plant his close-range header beyond Marcus Garnham in the final minute of the match.
“We gave the ball away three times leading up to them scoring and it just wasn’t good enough,” added Wilkins. “It’s probably because people know they are playing — they don’t have to look over their shoulder because there is nothing over their shoulder.
“The whole club has lifted itself and there has been a lot of positivity, but the players have a role to play on the pitch.”
n Bury Town’s Fabian Horrocks and Matt Skevington have been selected for Suffolk Under-16s’ trip to Hertfordshire on Sunday (2pm).
n Bury Town Football Club SuperDraw. Week 38: £1,000 Ms Joanne Athersmith; £150 Kevin Robertshaw; £100 Mrs D Bourne; £75 Mr M J Lloyd; £50 Mrs Willoughby, Mrs Doris Higgins; £25 P Jackson, Mr Glyn Shepherd, Mr John Ward, Mr B Sleightholm. The birth date drawn was 23/07/55. There were no winners so next week’s prize will be £500.