Willows’ spirited effort as holders edge through

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Walsham-le-Willows 1 Bury Town 3

by Derek Bish at Summer Road

A SPIRITED display from 10-man Walsham-le-Willows meant a full-strength Bury Town outfit were made to sweat before overcoming the first hurdle in their bid to defend the Suffolk Premier Cup.

Walsham played nearly an hour with a player less than their visitors after Paul Musgrove was dismissed by referee Carl Fitch for two bookings in the space of four minutes.

Danny Cunningham and Craig Nurse gave Bury a 2-0 half-time lead, and although Jack Brame pulled one back from the spot, Bury defender Craig Nurse sealed their passage into the next round with a late header.

Walsham’s Charlie Robinson could only fire straight at Marcus Garnham after a second-minute error from Nunn, and the Blues looked toothless in attack until two rushes of blood to the head made their task much easier.

Willows keeper Duncan McAnally needlessly raced 30 yards out of his goal, allowing Kieran Leabon to square the ball to Cunningham, who showed great composure to guide it past two covering defenders from outside the penalty area.

Musgrove saw red just eight minutes later after fouls on Billy Clark and Lee Reed before Nurse swivelled on the edge of the Walsham penalty area and brilliantly fired a left-footed shot into the top left-hand corner.

Anyone who thought the contest might be over were to be awoken from their slumbers 10 minutes into the second half when Lee Reed was adjudged to have brought down Robinson and Brame fired his spot-kick low beyond Garnham’s outstretched right hand.

Town proceeded to play keep ball for the final 35 minutes, taking the sting out of the game, and they struck the killer blow five minutes from the end when Nunn’s header just crossed the line, despite the best efforts of McAnally and two covering defenders to clear the ball away.

Bury fans were also given a glimpse of striker Sam Reed, who made his return from a hamstring injury and forced McAnally into a fine save in the closing stages.

Free Press man of the match: Craig Nurse.

Walsham: McAnally, Morton (Sim 72), Lambert, Fenner, Soanes, Robinson, Brame, Skipp (Partridge 72), Musgrove, Tatham, Diaper (Churchill 60). Sub not used: Taylor.

Bury: Garnham, Short, Coulson, Nurse, Nunn, Hipperson (Bullard 46), L Smith, B Clark (S Reed 80), Leabon, L Reed, Cunningham (Kennedy 46). Subs not used: Hunter, Robbins.

Referee: Carl Fitch. Attendance: 206.

n Sam Newson bagged a hat-trick as last year’s losing finalists Needham Market thrashed 10-man Woodbridge Town 6-0 in the opening round of the Suffolk Premier Cup.

The frontman started and finished the scoring and also netted the third.

Former Bury Town winger Scott Chaplin bagged the Marketmen’s second, while the other goals came from a Danny Thrower free-kick and Jack Wilkinson’s rasping drive.

The night before, a late header from Steve Holder earned a much-changed Mildenhall Town outfit their place in the next round at the expense of fellow Ridgeons Premier side Brantham Athletic.