Extra-time heartbreak

FOOTBALL - Bury Town FC v Hendon FC''Pictured: Mark Coulson
FOOTBALL - Bury Town FC v Hendon FC''Pictured: Mark Coulson
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Bury Town 0 Farnborough 2

(after extra-time)

by Derek Bish at Ram Meadow

IN-FORM Kieran Leabon admitted Bury ‘lost out big time’ on a chance to go far in the FA Trophy after being beaten 2-0 in extra-time by Blue Square Bet South outfit Farnborough.

Had the Blues – who led Saturday’s initial tie 2-0 before being pegged back – seen off Boro, they would have faced a favourable first round clash with an AFC Hornchurch side they have already beaten on their travels this season.

But Mark Coulson’s missed penalty and strikes from Farnborough’s Reece Connolly and Joshua Pearson – the latter courtesy of Marcus Garnham’s injury time error – saw Spencer Day’s men take the spoils and a place in the last 64.

“We are looking at it, thinking we should have won Saturday and then had a fair few chances on Tuesday night as well,” said Leabon. “Given the draw in the next round, we would have been looking for the win there as well.

“It’s all good prize money at the end of the day and we’ve lost out big time.

“They are a Conference South side and we matched them in the replay, and on Saturday, if not more.

“We are disappointed we did not take our chances because if we had it would have been a different story.”

In a replay of little goalmouth incident, Craig Nurse replaced the injured Elliot Hunter, but it was Farnborough’s Jordan Merriman who had the only clear-cut chance of the opening 45 minutes, only to be denied by a sharp save from Marcus Garnham.

Eleven minutes after the break, John Sands latched on to Kieran Leabon’s through ball, but blazed over as he was forced away from goal.

Billy Clark may have found himself one-on-one had he taken the touch needed to put him through rather than smash the ball wide, but the best chance of normal time fell to Sands when he was put in the clear by Clark but fired straight at visiting custodian Thomas Lovelock.

The Blues were made to pay for their profligacy less than 50 seconds into extra-time when Boro took the lead thanks to a stunning dipping volley on the turn from 20 yards by Reece Connolly.

Sands glanced substitute Sam Reed’s cross wide when well placed, but it was the Mildenhall Town loanee who looked to have given the home side a way back into the match when Jack Holland bundled him over in the penalty area.

However, left-back Mark Coulson saw his tame effort well saved by Lovelock and Farnborough rubbed salt in the Bury wounds three minutes into stoppage time when Joshua Pearson’s free-kick was fumbled over his own line by Garnham.

Bury will be looking for better fortune at Ram Meadow when Tooting and Mitcham visit tomorrow (3pm), with Leabon hoping to continue a run of form that has made a key ingredient in Bury’s attack.

“I’ve been dying to play in that hole as the second striker and said to the gaffer that was where I wanted to play,” added the 23-year-old attacker, who has scored seven goals so far this season.

“I’ve been really enjoying playing there because I like getting the ball and going forward towards goal as opposed to having my back to goal.

“In the last few games I seem to have found some form and I’m looking to press on to get double figures.”