Parker’s Ram Meadow return is ruined by Blues’ home woes

SCORING RUN: Craig Parker, who had a loan spell with Bury Town earlier this season, has taken his goals tally to eight in 19 appearances by netting twice since returning to the club last week
SCORING RUN: Craig Parker, who had a loan spell with Bury Town earlier this season, has taken his goals tally to eight in 19 appearances by netting twice since returning to the club last week
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Bury Town 1

Hendon 2

Craig Parker’s return to Bury Town may have yielded two goals in two games, but he was left to rue a ‘sucker punch’ delivered by Hendon.

The Blues have not won at home in the Ryman League Premier Division since November 24, losing for the fifth time in that run of six games.

A defensive error led to Junior Morias’ opener on Tuesday, but Kevin Maclaren’s second-half strike was a stunner, meaning Parker’s late goal was no more than a consolation effort.

“They’ve hit us with a sucker-punch by getting an early goal and then sat back, which has let us have a lot of the ball, but we couldn’t really break them down,” said the Bury-based midfielder, who was released by Blue Square Bet South outfit Chelmsford City earlier this month.

“Then they hit us with a worldie and although it was nice to get a goal at the end, it wasn’t the right result for us.”

Bury named an unchanged squad to the one that won 3-1 at Wingate and Finchley on Saturday, but manager Richard Wilkins could only watch from the stands as he served a one-match suspension for being dismissed from the dugout against East Thurrock United last month.

However, whether in the dugout or the stands, whatever view people had of Hendon’s ninth-minute opener was not pretty for Bury fans.

Captain Tom Bullard seemed to lose his balance a little when collecting a routine throw from Mark Coulson and Morias nipped in and ran clear before blasting the ball into the bottom right corner beyond helpless goalkeeper Marcus Garnham.

Things got worse for Bury when Adam Tann received a nasty cut to the face and needed several minutes of treatment before eventually being replaced by Sam Nunn in the 22nd minute and heading off to West Suffolk Hospital for some stitches above his eye.

Despite showing some decent build-up at times, resulting in Warren Whitely and Connor Hall missing the target, the Blues almost pressed the self-destruct button for a second time when Coulson was caught in possession by Lee Angol, but Garnham made an excellent save low down to his left after the Hendon wideman had exchanged passes with Morias and fired goalwards.

The other side of the interval, Jordan Patrick’s volley bounced into goalkeeper Mo Mann’s hands, but Bury’s defence continued to look shaky and more dallying in the 54th minute allowed Angol in, but he clipped the ball over the bar with Garnham advancing.

John Sands miskicked pretty much the first kick he had all night, while Bury were not going to get any help from referee Anthony Da Costa, who waved away Warren Whitely’s appeals for a penalty after he went over in the box under a challenge from Dave Diedhiou as the game entered its final half an hour.

At the other end, a sharp counter-attack from Hendon finished with Garnham denying Dean Cracknell.

Sands’ tame effort was comfortably snaffled by Mann, and Maclaren showed the division’s top scorer how to hit the ball by unleashing an incredible strike from fully 40 yards that nestled in Garnham’s top left-hand corner.

There was brief cheer for Bury in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Parker steered the ball inot the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

But that was the final action as the Blues’ winless run in the league at Ram Meadow was stretched to one day shy of three months.

Bury: Garnham 6, Short 6, Coulson 5, Hall 6 (Key 85, 6), Tann 6 (Nunn 22, 6), Bullard 4, Whitely, 7, PARKER 7, S Reed 5, Sands 5, Patrick 5 (L Reed 78, 6). Sub not used: Wales.