Redemption for defender White
DIVISION ONE NORTH
Bury Town 2
Norwich United 2
Joe White had to wait 50 games for his first Bury Town goal, but when it finally arrived it could not have been any more dramatic or important.
The Blues, who had to put two players still not recovered from injury, in Ollie Fenn and Ollie Hughes, on towards the end, such was the effect of suspensions and injuries, looked destined to see their recent good run ended by a side only a place off the foot of the table.
White, who recently turned 21 and joined Bury’s youth set-up when he was 16 from Ipswich Town, had been shining in what he revealed is his natural position at centre-half, but his misjudgment saw him concede a 75th-minute penalty from which Adam Hipperson tucked in the rebound for his second goal of the game after Luis Tibbles’ initial save.
White turned from zero to hero in the dying seconds though, glancing home a near post header from David Cooper’s corner to send Ram Meadow’s home section delirious.
Despite this, White admitted it was a bittersweet feeling at the final whistle.
“It was mixed emotions for me really. It was great to score my first goal but we have dropped two points at the end of the day.
“The way we played and dominated the game, we should be beating them and should not have conceded two goals.
“It was an uphill struggle for them really, but it was good to come back and get a point.”
White has become a regular fixture in the side this season and has been one of the standout performers, but admits he is just pleased to be playing, wherever that may be.
“I have played a few positions filling in but it is good to get a lot of appearances,” he said. “I have just been here and there over the last few seasons but I have only missed two games this year, which is good.
“Through youth football I played centre-half and then coming into the men’s team I started to play full-back, but my main position is centre-half.
“I am right-footed, so I am more of a right-back than a left-back, where I have been filling in. You just have to adapt on the day.”
Of a blossoming young partnership at centre-half with Kyran Clements, he said: “Myself and Kyran get on well and we have played together a fair bit over the last few seasons, so we just need to cut out the mistakes now.”
In the driving rain, it was the lowly visitors who deservedly got themselves ahead with a stunning 25-yard strike from Hipperson arrowing into the bottom left-hand corner inside 12 minutes.
Tevan Allen had the ball in the net at the other end a minute later, but the offside flag was already raised.
Soon after The Blues were only prevented from levelling by a good fingertip save from Andy Wilton, after Bradley Barber’s free-kick took a deflection.
A scrappy half meandered on with both sides creating opportunities but being unable to work the goalkeepers.
Bury fans did not have to wait too long for the goal they craved though, as Ryan Jolland fired in a 57th minute screamer of his own, cutting across the ball with the outside of his left foot to devastating effect.
The hosts’ smart play on the skiddy surface went up a gear after being lifted by the goal, but despite Jolland buzzing around and creating, the finishing did not match.
Norwich were then handed a lifeline with 15 minutes to play when White’s mistake saw his eagerness to block off a shot catch Tim Henery’s leg in the area. Tibbles made a fine save to his left, but no Bury player seemed to react, unlike Hipperson, who rolled the rebound in.
Bury huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser before the dramatic conclusion to the match, as White nodded in from a left-wing corner, to ensure their performance deservedly took something out of the game.
With most of the division not playing, it saw Bury marginally consolidate their sixth place position, but it left them without a win at Ram Meadow from their last five home games in all competitions.
Manager Ben Chenery praised his depleted side’s character to come back and said: “We were far superior than the opposition and it was disappointing we did not have ruthless streak in both boxes.”
n Goals from Tommy Robinson, the teenager winger’s first for the club, and top-scorer Cemal Ramadan, earned sixth-placed Bury Town a 2-1 victory on the road at Brentwood Town on Saturday.
After tomorrow’s FA Trophy tie at Billericay Town, Bury are set to travel to league leaders Dereham Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).
n Robert ‘Bob’ Heffer, the Blues’ second highest appearance holder having played 534 games across 12 seasons, recently passed away.
After making his debut 1961/62, Heffer was part of the Blues side that won the treble, losing only one Eastern Counties League match, in the golden 1963/64 campaign, as well as the treble again in 1965/66.