DIVISION ONE NORTH
Bury Town 1
VCD Athletic 2
Bury Town manager Ben Chenery described his players as ‘mentally weak’ for not showing the desire to follow up Saturday’s impressive top-of-the-table win with a home victory over mid-table VCD.
The Blues went into Tuesday’s game knowing they only needed to avoid defeat to hold on to top spot.
But after they let in Connor Hogan to regain the lead for the visitors in the 53rd minute, following Luke Read’s deflected effort that levelled a 1-0 deficit at the break from Gregory Akpele’s 34th-minute opener, they huffed and puffed without being able to force an equaliser.
It continued a miserable run of Tuesday nights that Chenery has vowed to get to the bottom of, with the Blues losing their last four in all competitions and only having two wins from eight.
Chenery, who kept his players locked in the dressing room for half-an-hour afterwards, told the Free Press: “I fired the players a warning shot before the game.
“We made a massive statement Saturday, beating the team top of the league. And I said it counts for nothing if you come home on Tuesday and don’t put in a performance worthy of gaining a positive result and we didn’t.
“I warned them before the start of the game this would happen — VCD would come here full of confidence with nothing to lose, get amongst us and on the front foot and we didn’t cope with it.
“We were second best all over the pitch for the entire game and I felt we were poor in possession and poor out of possession. And I am afraid there is too many players of a weak nature mentally.
“They are the kind of players that when the going is good they are very good but when the going gets tough they struggle to work it out and struggle to think on their feet.”
Comparing the display to the Romford home defeat (2-1 on October 4), he added: “We are making the same fundamental errors with the same teams of a similar ilk at home.
“There is something fundamentally wrong with what they are doing.
“They may think that is being harsh on them, as we are sitting in second place and we are exceeding what I believe is possible this year on the resources we have, but when you put yourselves in the position of being top of the league with the opportunity to go and win at home against a team in mid-table to record three points, and you put in a performance like that, it is very difficult to defend them.”
An unchanged team took to the pitch, but VCD got the better of the first half, despite Remi Garrett’s one-on-one, which was saved, as Hogan was played in beyond the backline and after O’Sullivan came out to block, Akpele converted the rebound.
Read’s claim for a first goal for the club followed just after the break when, from a Barber corner, Debenham’s effort was palmed out and his attempt took a wicked deflection in off Derek Duncan.
But Bury were ultimately made to pay after switching off from a deep VCD free-kick which saw Hogan able to control and fire an angled drive beyond O’Sullivan.
Bury: O’Sullivan, De’ath, Allen, Aitkens, Clements, Debenham, Garrett, Read, Mayhew (Ingram 83), Barber (c), Jolland (Reed 58). Unused subs: White, Wigley.
Free Press Man of The Match: Noel Aitkens.
n Bury switch to The Buildbase FA Trophy tomorrow with a first qualifying round tie at Hanwell Town (3pm).