THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION: Team Bury 1 Halstead Town 1: Team Bury manager Ross Wilding heaped praise on his young side for battling through a difficult run of defeats.
The Blues ended a six-match losing run by drawing with promotion-chasing Halstead Town at Ram Meadow on Saturday.
Will Brown’s first-half opener was cancelled out by James Murray six minutes later to give Bury confidence ahead of tomorrow’s trip to struggling Cornard United (3pm).
“It was a period where all of us were feeling down in the dumps to be honest, but fair play to the lads because they have fought themselves out of it,” said Wilding, whose side were one of only two to drop points to Cornard in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division last season.
The Ards, usually found at the very bottom of the league in recent seasons, defeated in-form Debenham LC on Saturday to take their tally to nine points from 14 matches — more than twice what they managed in all of 2012/13.
“Cornard have improved massively and we drew there last year,” said the Blues’ boss. “People underestimate them and they have some quite experienced players who know how to slow down the opposition when needed, so it won’t be easy.
“But as long as we are as solid and concentrate as well as we did against Halstead then we should have enough ability to see us through.”
Although there was little in the way of goalmouth action, Team Bury controlled the early stages and took the lead when David Lampshire helped the ball through to Brown, who toe-ended it beyond Halstead goalkeeper Jack Cherry.
However, Halstead restored parity just six minutes later when Murray — who had already gone close for the Humbugs — was afforded too much space on the edge of the Bury penalty area to turn and thump home right-footed into the bottom left corner.
The hosts had a big appeal for a penalty waved away eight minutes after the interval when Cherry appeared to clip the heels of Lampshire, who was heading away from goal.
Ross Bailey had three attempts from outside the penalty area as the clock ticked down with one finding the body of Cherry and the other two missing the target, while Dan Grindrod drilled wide from long range at the other end as the match petered out to a draw.
Reflecting on the result, Wilding added: “We had more shots than they did throughout the game and missed a few headers in the second half.
“Overall we would have liked to have nicked the game, but a draw was probably a fair result.”
Team Bury: Pearson, Walters (Snashall 63), Peters, Bailey, Thompson, Weavers, Cobbina (Thorogood 78), Kawaguchi, Lampshire, Brown (Conroy 86), Taylor. Attendance: 51.