DIVISION ONE NORTH
Bury Town 2
Soham Town Rangers 1
Ben Chenery revealed he launched a verbal volley at his players at half-time against Soham before they rose to the challenge of ending their winless run to keep in the hunt for promotion.
An Ollie Hughes header — his first goal for a while — 12 minutes from time gift wrapped a late Christmas present for Blues fans who had waited since November 4 — 10 games ago — for that winning feeling.
After a flat display in the first 45 minutes, Craig Gillies’ 71st minute deft lob, replying to Tevan Allen’s 57th minute headed opener, had made it look like it might have been another frustrating result.
But despite revealing he laid into his players at the break, Bury boss Chenery was more than happy with them come the final whistle.
“I felt we never really got going first half and were a bit lacklustre,” he said.
“I said a few words at half-time and I felt it was justified, and we were much better second half.
“Deservedly we got our goal, we then conceded poorly but it was great character to go and win it.
“Some teams would go the other way as it deflates you a bit.
“I am thoroughly pleased as you need to win on difficult pitches and the pitch was very difficult.
“It is a great win and after looking after themselves on Christmas Day they deserved it.”
Bury went into Tuesday’s clash with a Soham side (14th) who had won three of their last four to put them within two points of them with a game in hand, meaning nothing less than a win would do if Bury were to maintain their play-off ambitions.
With captain Bradley Barber having a recurrence of a long-standing back problem, youngster Tommy Robinson came in from the side who lost 3-0 at league leaders AFC Hornchurch on Saturday alongside full-back David Cooper, back from injury, in place of Darren Mills.
The first half was a forgettable affair with the Blues not looking on their game whereas their opponents looked sharp but lacked a cutting edge. Hughes wasted a good chance just after the re-start.
But Allen, who was about to be substituted with an ankle injury before insisting he try and carry on, nodded the ball home from Ryan Jolland’s deep free-kick as his parting gift to the game. A slip by ‘keeper Luis Tibbles proved costly with just under 20 minutes to go, however, as Gillies executed a lofted finish.
But Hughes took advantage of poor defending at the back post from Robinson’s deep free-kick to put Bury back ahead in a lead which could have then been extended, were it not for a couple of good saves to deny Cemal Ramadan.
Bury: Tibbles, Cooper, Jolland (Kennedy 66’), Fenn (c), White, Clements, Allen (Mills 59’), Aitkens, Ramadan, Hughes, Robinson (Yaxley 79’). Unused subs: De’ath, Mayhew (gk).
Free Press Man of The Match: Ollie Hughes