Ram Meadow gets a flavour of VAR in delightful late twist as Bury Town beat Histon
Ben Chenery was left brimming with pride after his injury-ravaged Bury Town side pulled off another late great escape to claim all three points at Ram Meadow to keep their promotion challenge on track.
Another big gate on Saturday of 452 got to experience something akin to how a fabled video assistant referee (VAR) moment of controversy could turn a game.
There was no VAR at the Denny Bros Stadium but, with Histon attacking in the seventh minute of stoppage time at 1-1, no-one could have seen the Bury winner that was coming.
Communication issues on their microphone equipment meant the referee did not hear about an off-the-ball kick at Blues striker Olly Hughes as quick as he should have. But he eventually stopped play and ran the length of the pitch to consult his assistant on the far side about what he had seen before showing a red card to Histon goalkeeper Sam Roach and pointing to the penalty spot.
Substitute Cemal Radmadan, whose sore groins left him not fit enough to start, repeated his trick of the week before by dispatching his kick to an eruption of emotion both off and on the pitch.
Beaming in his post match interview, manager Chenery exclaimed: “We did it again!”
“What I would say was we were decimated with injuries – it’s the worst I’ve seen – but we didn’t make excuses.
“We picked a team to be combative, we changed our formation and sat off Histon a bit more playing two in front of the back four and broke from a position of strength.
“But the character and belief we have here (if fantastic). It’s a great habit to have, scoring late goals.
“I think the crowd play their part getting behind us but the all the credit goes to the players again.”
He picked out teenagers Ross Crane and Max Maughn for special credit saying both “came of age today”.
He added: “Cemal Ramadan didn’t start the game, he needed to be rested a little bit as he has looked a bit tired of late, but the only person you want on that penalty is him, and he put it away.
“But that was a tough game against a good Histon team who are very physical and beat us twice before, so it was important we made a statement today after a disappointing night on Tuesday.”
With young stand-in goalkeeper George Bugg, filling in for the injured Daniel Barden, suffering a shoulder injury following that disappointing 3-0 derby defeat at AFC Sudbury, Chenery drafted in former reserve goalkeeper Ben Mayhew.
Now playing for lower-league Scole United, he was tested early on, pushing a Dan Brown effort round his near post. From the subsequent corner Evan Key’s header came back off the crossbar.
Other than that there were only half chances in front of his goal while at the other end Ryan Stafford should have hit the target when set up nicely by Crane and Cruise Nydazayo also fired wide.
It was Histon who broke the deadlock though within three minutes of the restart when a long ball over the top from Max York saw Danny Gould provide a cool low finish.
Bury responded well though and their probing paid dividends on the hour mark when Joe Hood fired in a loose ball from Tommy Smith’s cross being clawed away.
The Blues survived a few hairy moments before the late drama unfolded following a late corner, which saw Hughes’ header claimed and the ball kicked out of Roach’s hands before Hughes was seen rolling on the deck.
But Chenery was quick to praise the officials for showing the strength of character to apply the letter of the law to the goalkeeper’s swing at his striker.
“I would say it is all credit to the officials for being strong,” he said.
“The linesman here has seen it and he has delivered, and I have been involved in football where the linesman sees it and brushes over it. But it was a penalty and you can’t get away from that.”
“They delivered the laws to the letter and showed strength and we thank them for that.”
He added of the way things unfolded: “I said to the players ‘that is why you play football’ that is why we do it, for those feelings and those few glimpses and feelings of emotion. And I felt we were good value for our win today.
“What a fantastic result. I am proud of the players today, they did that today and deserve all the plaudits and I am very proud of them.”
Bury: Mayhew, Stafford (Carden 78’), Smith, Hood, Gardner, White, Nyadzayo (Foudil 87’), Maughn, Hughes (c), Machaya (Ramadan 81’), Crane. Unused subs: Castro, Rossis (GK).
Free Press Man of The Match: Ross Crane - Once again Bury’s most creative force.
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