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Return of Joe Carden like a new signing for Bury Town as the squad finally get some positive news in a long line of injury troubles

Ben Chenery believes Joe Carden can be like having an exciting new signing to give fresh impetus to his Bury Town side’s promotion push as they head into the business end of the season.

The 22-year-old had largely become the forgotten man of Ram Meadow, with a serious knee injury having restricted him to just three appearances since signing from Soham Town Rangers in February 2019.

But the promising attacking wide midfielder was welcomed back on to the pitch with a 12-minute cameo in Saturday’s thrilling 2-1 home win over Histon – exactly a year to the day since he arrived at the club.

MILDENHALL: Football - Mildenhall Town v Bury Town Joe Carden Bury Town Picture Mark Westley. (29114996)
MILDENHALL: Football - Mildenhall Town v Bury Town Joe Carden Bury Town Picture Mark Westley. (29114996)

“We have been really careful with Joe and it is important we didn’t push him,” said Chenery.

“He has been training really well and I thought he was ready and he will be a great addition for us. His pace is electric and he is a great outlet.

“I am really pleased for that young man. It is nice to get one player back as opposed to having nine missing.”

The Blues head into tomorrow’s BetVictor Isthmian League North Division game at mid-table Grays Athletic with Ben Mayhew on standby to cover injuries to their goalkeepers once again.

The current Scole United shot-stopper – a reserve at Bury a few seasons ago – was registered late last week after George Bugg damaged his shoulder in the derby defeat at AFC Sudbury. It came as the youngster was filling in for number one Daniel Barden’s haematoma knee injury.

Chenery said on Wednesday afternoon that both goalkeepers were looking doubtful for the weekend’s game, but praised Mayhew in the wake of Saturday’s win over Histon.

“Myself and Ben have had a relationship for the last few years,” he said, “and he is a respectful young man who, when called upon, has never ever let himself or me down and he proved that again today.

“I am so proud of him because it is never easy to come in. He did one training session Thursday and I thought he was excellent.

“He didn’t shun anything and he was brave, he was courageous and what a great story to have Will Gardner in goal last week and this week we lose two goalies and bring Ben in. It was great for him and great for the football club.”

Full-back Ryan Stafford, whose strapped up ankle swelled up again on Saturday, and Ipswich Town loanee centre-back Alex Henderson (groin) are both doubtful for the trip into Essex. Midfielder Ryan Jolland remains out though.

With the much re-arranged visit of league leaders Maldon & Tiptree due to follow the Gray match at the Denny Bros Ram Meadow Stadium on Tuesday (7.45pm), Chenery said: “They are two great games that you want to play.

“We have to go to Grays and our away form has dipped a little bit, not in terms of performance but in terms of results. We have to go to Grays and want to not be beaten, it is very important you pick up points away from home and win your home games.

“I think Maldon will be a fantastic game of football at Step 4. I think you will see two good footballing teams with good people involved in both teams; full of respect but full of football.

“We need to be combative and I think if we can get the crowd in it will be rocking and it will be a really big game.”

Meanwhile, captain Ollie Fenn has finally been able to return to training following his troublesome ankle injury.

The 31-year-old has been sidelined since the second game of the season and had a few setbacks following the discovery of a chipped bone. But Taylor Hastings (abdominal) is still waiting for a way forward with an operation classed as risky.

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