Bury Town 0
by Russell Claydon
at Ram Meadow
Bury Town assistant manager Christian Appleford believes Wednesday’s comprehensive defeat to a strong Ipswich Town Under-21s side provided a positive learning experience.
With manager Ben Chenery away on holiday, Appleford took charge of the side during a tough night against an Ipswich side which contained tricky wingers Cameron Stewart and Alex Henshall as well as promising youngster Kundai Benyu.
But despite carrying little in the way of an attacking threat and struggling to keep hold of the ball, the Bury number two believed it was a good experience with positives to take into the new season.
“It was pleasing tonight. We knew it would be tough and we wouldn’t have a lot of the ball at times,” he said. “But it gave us an opportunity to look at things. It could be the case that we’re winning a game with a few minutes to go and we need to keep shape and get behind the ball and defend.
“I think we did it reasonably well – there are a few things we can improve, such as passing players on and pressing a little bit higher, but that will come.
“We had Ollie Hughes come in for his first game tonight and Sam Reed got more minutes recovering from his injury.
“Alex Steed came in and played his second game since signing, so there are positive signs, while some players missing.”
Despite their possession, Ipswich were largely restricted to long-range efforts early on, with Bury goalkeeper Nick Punter tipping over Henshall’s free-kick.
It was not until former Manchester City youngster Henshall cut in from the right and saw his 32nd minute shot across goal deflect heavily off Phil Weavers that the visitors took the lead.
Four minutes later, an unfortunate slip by John Kennedy was pounced on by Dylan Connolly and he fed trialist Ruairi Croskery, a former Machester United youth striker, whose wayward shot went in off Bury trialist Darcy De’ath.
On-trial young goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, who played for Histon Under-21s before completing a scholarship in America, came on in the second half and made some good saves before Ipswich eventually got the third their continued dominance deserved.
In the 77th minute substitute Shane McLoughlin headed in with ease at the far post from Kyle Hammond’s right-wing cross.
At the other end, Tevan Allen forced Michael Crowe into a save, but Bury never really looked like scoring.
Appleford, who was impressed with Sullivan’s performance, said they will have a last look at the keeper in tonight’s final friendly (7.45pm) with League Two Cambridge United, along with fellow trialists De’ath and former Ipswich Town youngster Ed Ellis, an attacking winger out ill Wednesday, before making decisions on their futures.
He also revealed the club are hoping to sign another centre-half before the season gets under way a week tomorrow.
“Maybe there is a centre-half we can do a deal with, we are looking at that at the moment,” he said.
Wednesday’s defeat followed last Friday’s home friendly with Braintree Town being called off due to a waterlogged pitch, while Tuesday’s friendly at St Neots Town was changed to academy sides with the game being abandoned after 47 minutes after young Bury keeper Ben Mills suffered a neck injury, though he was later released from hospital with no serious damage.
Bury: Punter (Sullivan 46), Allen, Paterson (Wigley 77), Kennedy (c) (Collins 68), Weavers, De’ath, Hughes (Lampshire 63), Steed (Jolland 55), Reed (Yallop 63), Barber, Aitkens (Bedingham 77).