Despite having suffered a defeat at promotion hopefuls Barking to leave them 11 points off the play-offs with 11 games to play, Bury Town boss Ben Chenery has said he is not prepared to write off their season yet.
The 3-1 defeat in Essex ended a run of three straight wins in all competitions for the Blues but also saw arch rivals AFC Sudbury, who rebuilt their team after Mark Morsley’s arrival in October, climb above them into ninth place.
Asked ahead of hosting 13th-placed Waltham Abbey at Ram Meadow tomorrow (3pm) if the defeat had killed off their play-off hopes, Chenery said: “You have to get a result at Barking, we know that.
“But we have all been around in football long enough to say we need to keep pushing and see where you end up.
“Of course it will be difficult, we are fully aware of that. But we are not the type of team and I am not the type of manager to give up those hopes.
“We have to put a run together now and see where we finish up at the end of April.
“The most important thing is to concentrate on getting a win at home on Saturday.”
Home form had been an issue for Bury but that has recently turned around with successive victories over Witham (1-0) and Mildenhall (2-1).
And with Waltham Abbey being in the midst of a dire run of form, with eight defeats in their last nine, Chenery is looking to take advantage.
“I know their manager quite well and he tries to play football in the right way,” he said. “When we played there (4-1 loss) we caught them at the wrong time but now they come to us in a dip of form and we have to take advantage of that.”
On Saturday loannee Armani Schaar forced the ‘keeper to tip his shot onto the crossbar after 20 minutes but Barking went into the break with a 2-0 lead after Adem Ramadan was put through to beat Luis Tibbles on 34 minutes and a second followed through Abs Seymour’s fantastic shot.
Kemo Darboe headed in unmarked in the 70th minute to kill the game off, while Tommy Robinson showed good composure for an 89th minute consolation.
“We had a few players who were off it on Saturday and we looked out of sorts, which was disappointing,” said Chenery.
Striker Darren Mills, who scored 11 goals this season, departed for higher-league Leiston at the end of last week and Chenery said they will be looking to replace him, but warned it will not be easy.
“It is disappointing to lose him but it is an opportunity for others. If we can get someone who fits the bill for now and next season we will,” he said.
“It is very difficult to replace Darren Mills in terms of his aggression and what he brought to us though.”
• Bury will face holders Needham Market in the Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final with the tie to be played at AFC Sudbury on Wednesday, March 14 (7.45pm).
• Team Bury, who were thrashed 10-0 at Whitton United on Saturday, travel to Diss Town tomorrow (3pm).