East Thurrock 2 Bury Town 1
BURY Town’s eight-match unbeaten run in the Ryman League Premier Division came to a halt last night following a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Ryman League Cup final opponents East Thurrock.
They were the better side for much of the game and, but for a match-winning first-half performance by home goalkeeper Richard Wray, could have won comfortably.
The visitors started brightly and had opportunities to open the scoring but were thwarted by Wray with two great blocks in a goalmouth scramble, keeping Bury at bay.
At the other end, Bury were fortunate not to concede when Kye Ruel got clear on the left, but his shot was cleared off the line by Tom Bullard.
The pivotal moment of the match arrived after 58 minutes as Roscoe Hipperson was adjudged to be the last man when fouling Mat Hall, and was shown a straight red card.
Sam Higgins took responsibility for the resultant penalty and made no mistake to give the home side the lead.
Bury fought back but John Kennedy spurned another clear opportunity, firing wide from a good position.
Worse was to come when, in an isolated home attack, Higgins’ close-range shot following Sam Collins’ free-kick, rebounded off Marcus Garnham and Tom Bullard was unable to avoid putting the ball into his own net.
Bury continued to take the game to their opponents, and got their reward in the 90th minute when Sam Reed ran on to a great throughball from Lee Smith to fire into the roof of the net.
It was too little too late however as, despite their efforts in stoppage time, they were unable to find an equaliser.
Bury: Garnham, Kearns, Coulson (Hall 78), Kennedy, Hipperson, Bullard, Smith, Sands (Short 73), S Reed, L Reed (Cunningham 73), Leabon. Unused sub: Nunn.