RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Bury Town 1 Margate 1: Jack Brame may have made a scoring debut for Bury Town against Margate on Saturday, but he will be back to the day job tomorrow (3pm).
While the Blues travel to Hendon in the Ryman League Premier Division, their new hero — who also hit the crossbar in the second half — will drop two divisions to play for parent club Walsham-le-Willows in their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division match against Newmarket Town.
Brame — whose strike ended Bury’s scoreless losing run of four matches — is also ineligible for the Ram Meadow-based outfit’s Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final against Leiston at The MEL Group Stadium, home of AFC Sudbury, on Tuesday (7.45pm).
“Jack took his header very well and he was unlucky with his chance in the second half,” said manager Richard Wilkins, who welcomes back Adam Bailey-Dennis and Danny Cunningham from suspension, but loses Nathan Clarke (one month), Joe Whight (one match) and Seb Dunbar (three matches) to bans. “Centre forward is our Achilles heel at the minute and we needed to bring someone in because Anthony Roulston has lost a bit of confidence and Ryan Taylor is better when he comes on.
“Again, thanks to Walsham for helping us out — he’s been scoring goals and with our connections with Walsham they said they had no game today and we could have him.
“He’s helped us out, scored a good goal and, all in all, worked extremely hard.”
Bury made two changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Carshalton Athletic the previous Tuesday, with debutant Brame joined in the starting XI by captain Tom Bullard, while Anthony Roulston and Callum Bennett dropped to the substitutes’ bench.
In a quiet opening half an hour, the only incident worthy of note was when Bullard cleared Charles Ademeno’s low cross over his own goal.
But, with a rousing support cheering the Blues on, Bury stopped their scoreless streak at six hours and 44 minutes thanks to the forehead of Brame in the 36th minute.
Fellow Willows teammate Nathan Clarke started the move that led to the left-wing set piece as his 40-yard pass set Joe Whight and Seb Dunbar clear for the ball to be deflected behind.
Billy Clark delivered a wicked inswinging cross with his right foot and the diminutive Brame leapt higher than anyone to power a header into the roof of the net.
However, Bury’s lead lasted just five minutes as they were pegged back in controversial circumstances.
Jefferson Louis appeared to foul Bullard when Jack Sammoutis sent over a free-kick from deep on the right touchline and centre-half Charlie Wassmer shifted the ball on to his right foot before converting his second goal in as many games since joining Margate.
The Blues’ mood with referee Nigel Smith deteriorated seconds later when Whight went down in the Margate penalty area under the challenge of Mitchell Nelson, but the hosts’ vehement appeals were waved away.
Neither side could get a grip on the game as it moved into the second half.
Mitchell Nelson headed over Sammoutis’ corner and John Beales’ long throw bounced right across the face of Marcus Garnham’s goal without touching anybody.
Tom Phipp also shot over for the visitors, but it was Bury who went closest to scoring.
There was almost a freak goal in the 78th minute when Anthony Riviere’s clearance struck Joe Whight and nearly looped over visiting custodian Nikki Bull before Brame forced Bull into a tremendous save two minutes later.
The Blues broke through the middle and Clark laid the ball to Brame, who assessed his options before unleashing a 20-yard strike that Bull did superbly to tip on to his crossbar and over.
Sammoutis struck over again and debutant Louis tamely headed at Garnham as Margate attempted to break Bury’s hearts late on, but the Blues were left to rue a pair of controversial refereeing decisions that decided the outcome of the match.
“I’m really annoyed with their goal,” added Wilkins. “I cannot see for the life of me why the referee hasn’t given a foul there and then their right-back hasn’t seen Joe Whight and taken him out at the other end. That’s two stonewall penalties in the last three games that we haven’t been given and I don’t know what we have to do to get them.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s cup semi-final, Wilkins — who hopes to have winger Jordan Patrick back from an ankle injury — added: “They scored from two set pieces in the recent league game.
“When you think Miles (Smith) was our tallest player that night, that wasn’t really a surprise. We were unlucky we didn’t score.”
n Follow Tuesday’s semi-final between Bury and Leiston at www.buryfreepress.co.uk/sport/live-sport
n Fabian Horrocks and Matt Skevington helped Suffolk Under-16s defeat Hertfordshire 4-1 in the East Anglian Counties Championship on Sunday.