Bury Town manager Ben Chenery praises commitment of top scorer Olly Hughes ahead of AFC Sudbury Easter Monday derby
After his top scorer got a flight back from Spain in the middle of his holiday to play in Bury Town’s latest match, Ben Chenery has praised the commitment of Olly Hughes, writes Russell Claydon.
The fans’ favourites, having won the Supporters’ Player of The Year trophy for the last three seasons, closed in on his season target of 20 goals with number 19 to spark a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday.
He then revealed on Twitter he was getting a return flight to Spain to continue his holiday, but said it had been ‘well worthwhile’.
And it was certainly appreciated by his manager.
“We are here to do a job and Olly typifies that,” he said. “He loves being at the football club and leads the way with his attitude on and off the pitch.
“He has been exceptional for us and that was pleasing to see.”
In the absence of Cemal Ramadan, who underwent groin reconstruction surgery last week, he said he had asked Hughes to step up to the plate with carrying the goal burden. Chenery has been delighted to see him rise to that challenge, scoring eight in his last seven matches.
“He is in a rich vein of form and I have been very pleased with him,” he said.
Bury trailed to Hussain Jaffa’s 19th-minute header at Great Wakering before Hughes got them back on terms by heading home a corner in the 78th minute.
It was just reward for Bury’s second-half dominance in a half which had seen them controversially have an equaliser from Emmanuel Machaya ruled out for offside, with the referee’s assistant having seemingly not signalled for it.
But Hughes had a telling role to play in their 83rd-minute winner when his shot from Tanner Call’s pass rebounded off the crossbar and Jake-Chambers-Shaw was on hand to head the loose ball in.
With Luis Tibbles making a late diving save to turn Billy Johnson’s shot round his post, Bury racked up their third straight victory to leave them three points clear of Felixstowe & Walton United in sixth place.
“It is very good form,” said Chenery. “What I would say is the players, the management team and myself made a decision to not allow the season to come to an abrupt end.
“It is important we progress as a group of players and as a football club and improve on last season’s position (9th).”
The Blues boss has challenged his side to go unbeaten over the hectic Easter period, which sees tomorrow’s visit of Grays Athletic (9th) followed by a trip down the A134 for a west Suffolk derby with AFC Sudbury (8th) (both 3pm). With three games to go, and four points between them, both sides can still overtake them in the table.
“We want to finish this season really strongly and they are two big games for us,” said Chenery, who sees both being of equal importance.
“Grays have a new manager and have picked up of late.
“Sudbury is a local derby and is important for the fans, and I am fully aware of that.”
Ryan Jolland (shoulder) could return Monday but Riley Scott has been recalled by Ipswich.