Bury Town’s Ben Chenery has said he is not going to concede defeat on landing a play-off place, despite Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Harlow Town leaving them 10 points adrift of the top five.
The Blues go into tomorrow’s home game with 14th place Maldon & Tiptree in a mid-table spot themselves, having fallen to 11th after a miserbale run since December which has only seen the Ram Meadow outfit win once in their last eight attempts.
But having had to deal with what any club would describe as a punishing injury list during that time — signified by seven first-team players being unavailable for the A134 derby at now league leaders AFC Sudbury earlier this month — Bury’s manager is confident there are enough games left to make up the lost ground.
“We had a plan in the dressing room of what we wanted to achieve (at the start of the season) and we will not change that,” he said.
“I am very mindful that we said we wanted to turn the club around a bit (following relegation) and I think we have done that so far.”
He added of the injury situation: “It has been horrendous, and if I am being really analytical, looking at it the top five of all levels should be the football clubs who are able to invest the most into their playing staff.”
Chenery has made no secret of the fact the club’s financial over-spending in the Ryman Premier, which had led to players having to go unpaid during a cash-flow crisis, has now been addressed with a much reduced playing budget at Ram Meadow.
But he still thinks he can make Bury Town an exception to the rule he laid out by rediscovering the form which saw them lead the pack in the early stages of the season, having been the last remaining Ryman League club to guard an undefeated record — eventually yielding it in their 12th game of the campaign, a 3-1 defeat to Heybridge Swifts on October 6.
“We want to be in the top five, in or around the play-off places,” he said, “but we have had a sticky period and we have got to get out of it.”
Tuesday’s scheduled home game with play-off spot occupiers Thurrock (4th) would have been a real test of where Bury’s realistic aspirations now lie, but a frozen pitch saw it postponed.
“We had wanted Tuesday to be the game where we got Saturday out of our system,” admitted Chenery. “I told the boys I was disappointed with the performance at Harlow, despite it being on a foreign surface (3G).
“We gave away a sloppy goal and then they quickly got another. But they (Harlow) are a good side.”
While last Saturday’s opponents had won five on the trot to head the Ryman League Division One North form table, the west Suffolk side’s visitors this weekend have lost three of their last six, but go into the match unbeaten in two, following up a 4-4 thriller with a 2-1 win.
Former Needham Market striker Adam Mills, who revealed his falling out with manager Mark Morsley as his reason for leaving in last week’s Free Press, scored twice on his debut on Tuesday in a 4-0 home friendly win over Southend Manor.
Sam Newson, who also left Needham this season, was also on target with Darren McQueen, the latter who left Ipswich Town last season.
Bury’s Darcy De’ath, whose recurring foot injury struck again on Saturday, is ruled out.