Ben Chenery said he was pleased by the character his team showed to come back from two goals down but warned they will not always be able to salvage a point.
DIVISION ONE NORTH
Soham Town Rangers 2
Bury Town 2
The Bury Town manager was deeply unhappy by the way the result came about on Bank Holiday Monday, feeling his team didn’t ‘work hard enough’ and were poor.
The draw follows a 4-1 home loss on Saturday to AFC Hornchurch, bringing the team only one win — and five points — from their opening four league games.
Bury were two goals down at the halfway mark on Monday, despite having the lion’s share of possession and chances, but they did manage to pull back two goals after the break to rescue a point.
Chenery said: “We didn’t perform well in the first half at all.
“We gifted them two goals and it was really disappointing. They didn’t work hard enough and were poor.
“You can’t give two goals away like that and expect to get anything from a game.
“So to pull back two goals, get the draw and rescue a point did show good character.
“But we could have, and I think should have, won. I doubt we will be so lucky next time.”
He added that the result produced conflicting feelings, as it felt like they’d dropped two points while also gaining one.
“I guess it’s positive how they saved something from a game that, at half-time, was arguably done,” he added.
“The substitutions were obviously quite important, they both came on and were a big handful for Soham.
“It’s up to the players right now if they want to play because everyone’s fit, but we won’t be winning games playing like that.
“We’re a big club and that does come with some pressure, everyone wants to beat us, but that should spur us on rather than make us crumble.
“The first half was unbelievably poor but, in fairness, they did respond at half-time.
“They showed more desire than us in the first half. We have had a lot of team changes and that has been affecting us as they learn and understand each other but time is now running out to get it together.”
Bury had started on the front foot but it was Soham who took the lead on 11 minutes. Lewis Endacott headed a rebound over Bury goalkeeper James Bradbrook to open the scoring.
Bury went close on 15 minutes when Ollie Canfer put his curling effort just wide of the far post, but they struggled to create any clear cut opportunities for much of the first half.
Soham then scored a second goal, after a mistake at the back set Matt Allen up to score.
Carden had a great chance to extend Soham’s lead on 45 minutes, but Bradbrook made an exceptional save to keep the score at 2-0 at the break.
Having started the game with both Ollie Hughes and Darren Mills on the bench, it was no surprise both were introduced at the start of the second half and Hughes wasted no time in halving the lead.
Hughes broke through the defence, slotting a shot neatly into the bottom corner — just 23 seconds after the re-start to make it 2-1.
Bradbrook then made another fine save to deny Tricks and keep Bury just one goal adrift. Another chance fell to Soham with a quick break and cross but Tricks put his shot from close range over the bar.
But it was Bury who looked the stronger, with Hughes finding the back of the net on the 58th minute, only to have the goal ruled offside.
Soham still looked dangerous, however, when a cracking free-kick from Endacott tested the Bury ‘keeper as it flew towards the top corner. Bradbrook made one of his best saves of the day as Soham’s challenge started to fade.
Bury became increasingly rampant and pulled level from a powerful header from Mills, set up by Joe White crossing in to the box on 63 minutes.
The visitors went on to push for the win, leading to Noel Aitkens seeing his shot cleared off the line by The Greens’ defender Callum Russell.
Ollie Canfer also hit a fantastic strike from David Cooper’s pass as it was Soham goalkeeper Josh Pope’s turn to make a stunning save — both goalies produced some of their best on the day.
Mills was set up by Hughes on 80 minutes but the striker’s shot went wide. And in the final play, a cross found Mills in the box but his shot was again saved superbly by Pope from point blank range to see the game end in an unlikely draw.
Bury were meant to be at Witham Town this Saturday but, due to Witham remaining in this season’s Emirates FA Cup, the game has been postponed.
Instead, Bury will next play Tilbury — the team who engineered their cup exit at the first stage — at home on Saturday 9 (3pm).
Chenery said: “It’s a chance to correct really, I expect a better game from us.
“It was a hard lesson for us in how hard work wins when talent doesn’t turn up.”