Bury Town 0
Waltham Abbey 0
Bury Town boss Ben Chenery was happy to look at the positives following this goalless draw with a side who had come to Suffolk on a miserable run of nine without a win, eight of them defeats.
The Blues’ failure to put away their chances on Saturday was matched by their relief at not seeing some woeful defending punished by their mid-table opponents in what was a game that will not live long in the memory.
But it would certainly appear a missed opportunity for Chenery’s side, who could have taken advantage of results elsewhere and a three-point deduction for Potters Bar Town and Dereham Town to move to within eight points, from 11, of a play-off place.
As it is, the Blues leapfrogged Suffolk rivals AFC Sudbury, who lost at Bowers & Pitsea, back into ninth place with their point but are 10 adrift of the top six with 10 games now remaining.
“Both teams lacked a bit of quality in the final third,” reflected Chenery following Saturday’s game.
“The ball wasn’t running true so it could be difficult to be right with your touch, but we showed good resilience after last week’s defeat.
“It was important we put in a good workmanlike performance with professionalism, tempo and desire and we did that today, so I am pleased.
“I felt a clean sheet was important.
“With a little bit of luck we could have scored. We hit the crossbar at the end and had a good chance first half.
“If we would have scored I think we would have gone on to win the game, but that is football.
“We needed to make sure we didn’t lose and get points on the board today and we did that.
“We remain unbeaten at home (three games) and that is a positive.”
Chenery made two changes from the 3-1 loss at Barking with John Kennedy replacing Ryan Jolland (hamstring) and Noel Aitkens coming in for Bradley Barber.
Kyran Clements should have done much better with an early sight of goal, while Cemal Ramdan’s curling effort was held by Hugo Rossetti as the hosts started brightly.
Blues custodian Luis Tibbles was called into action to make a low save from Shad Nagandu, while at the other end Tevan Allen got far too underneath a decent headed chance.
Woeful defending by Bury gave Waltham Abbey two huge chances as the half ended but Ngandu saw his one-on-one chance come back off the post, while Aryton Coley, unmarked, sent Ngandu’s shot against Tibbles’ other post soon after.
In-between, Ramadan rifled into the back stantion of the goal post while Clements had to clear off the line from Ngandu.
Unlike the first half, the second period was desperately short on chances with Bury only seriously threatening again late on with Hughes sending a diving header wide, while substutute Ollie Dunlop sent an effort crashing off the crossbar in injury time.
Weather permitting, Bury travel to 11th-placed Grays Athletic on Saturday (3pm).
Bury: Tibbles, Cooper, Allen, Fenn (c), White, Clements, Kennedy (Robinson 76’), Aitkens (Dunlop 58’), Ramadan, Hughes, Schaar (Barber 64’). Unused subs: Yaxley, Mayhew (gk).
Free Press Man of The Match: Ollie Hughes. If anyone deserved a goal, it was him.