ALAN TURVEY TROPHY SECOND ROUND
Bury Town 0
Needham Market 2
Ollie Snaith’s brace ensured Needham Market took the bragging rights in their first meeting with Bury Town in almost five years.
The two Suffolk rivals met in the second round of the Alan Turvey Trophy on Tuesday night, with recent signing Snaith netting once in each half to seal the Marketmen’s progression at Ram Meadow.
Both sides made five changes each to the starting line-ups used at the weekend, with Bury being boosted by the return from injury of influential striker Ollie Hughes.
Ben Chenery also handed starts to Team Bury duo Joe White and Joe Yaxley, with the former putting in an assured performance alongside Kyran Clements in the centre of the Bury defence.
Among Needham’s five changes was the inclusion of James Carragher, who impressed on his first-team debut, partnering Ian Miller and then Sam Nunn at the back.
Despite a plethora of alterations by both teams, the crowd of 230 were treated to an entertaining contest which, had Bury been more clinical in front of goal, could have gone either way.
The higher-league visitors came close to an opener when Jack Curtis saw his header clawed away by Bury goalkeeper Neil O’Sullivan, before Bury hit back as the returning Hughes burst into the box and pulled the ball back for Nick Ingram, who was unlucky to see his shot crash back off the post and away to safety.
Ingram then stole the ball off of Miller in front of the Needham penalty area, but fired the wrong side of the post as Bury looked to be in the ascendancy.
It was the visitors who broke the deadlock though, as Curtis chested down Manny Osei’s cross, and after Snaith saw his initial shot saved by O’Sullivan, he was on hand to tuck away the rebound and put Needham ahead on 25 minutes.
Just before the half-time whistle, O’Sullivan was at his best to tip away a Joe Whight free-kick to keep Bury only a goal behind at the break.
Chenery’s side started the second half brightly and were denied an equaliser when Ryan Jolland’s shot was kept out by James Bradbrook.
On 53 minutes the Marketmen doubled their lead. A Callum Harrison corner was met by the head of the unmarked Snaith, who saw his header nestle into the far corner.
Despite now fighting what looked to be a lost cause, Bury never gave up and substitute Josh Mayhew almost pulled one back for the hosts late on, his lob from long range being tipped over the bar by Bradbrook in the final minutes.
n Bury (third) return to league action with a trip to Ryman League Division One North leaders Maldon & Tiptree tomorrow (3pm).
“The lads understand the importance of it and we just need to make sure we don’t get beat,” said Chenery, whose side host Witham Town on Wednesday (7.45pm).
“We went to Phoenix and beat them and we’ve done well against the top five, six teams.”
n Needham Market entertain Harrow Borough in the Buildbase FA Trophy second round qualifying tomorrow (3pm).
“It’s going to be a tough game and I think it will be a lot closer than the 3-0 at their place,” assistant manager Richard Wilkins said.
The Marketmen then host AFC Sudbury in the Suffolk Premier Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Bury Town: O’Sullivan, De’ath, Cusack, Debenham, White, Clements, Yaxley (Allen 61), Read, Hughes (c), N Ingram (Mayhew 78), Jolland (Aitkens 65). Subs not used: none.
Needham Market: Bradbrook, Dye, Whight, Fenn, Miller (c) (Nunn 46), Carragher, Booth (Frost 46), Harrison (L Ingram 56), Osei, Curtis, Snaith. Subs not used: Sands, Holland.
Referee: O Morris-Sanders. Attendance: 230. Free Press man of the match: Snaith.