Two Joes give Bury Town a new foundation
Manager Ben Chenery has praised the platform a newly-emerged central defensive partnership has given his Bury Town side in their bid for promotion.
With summer signing Taylor Hastings and captain Ollie Fenn having been restricted to just six games between them so far this season, the manager has been light on options for his defensive core.
It led to him bringing out-of-favour Sam Nunn back to the club on a one-month loan deal from lower-league Stowmarket Town.
But the former Needham Market player, who suffered early on in his return with a calf problem, was unable to dislodge Joe White and Joe Hood, not in his natural position, from the centre-back berths.
The pair celebrated a big clean sheet on Saturday in the 2-0 win at a Great Wakering Rovers side who had gone into the fixture in the top six.
It was only the league leaders’ third game without conceding in the league this season, but is evidence of a blossoming partnership.
“We are suffering with centre-halves; Fenny and Taylor Hastings being out hasn’t made it easy,” said Chenery.
“Joe White and Joe Hood have been excellent as a pair in that regard.
“Joe Hood came here as a full-back who could also play in front of the back four and he has been exceptional and the pair of them have.
“They complement each other well. Joe White is on the front foot and all action and Hoody is that calmness and cover.
“Along with Daniel Barden and the full-back combinations they have given us a really solid platform.”
A hard-fought display on the Essex coast on Saturday preserved Bury’s two-point lead over Maldon & Tiptree with both goals coming in the second half.
Cemal Ramadan, who had drawn a good reaction save from keeper Bobby Mason just before the hour mark, beat him from the penalty spot in the 61st minute after Ryan Jolland was sent sprawling.
Jake Chambers-Shaw made it 2-0in the 76th minute with a superb goal, beating two defenders before firing a powerful strike past Mason.
Bury had been set to host Maldon & Tiptree tomorrow but that has now been rearranged for Tuesday, December 3 due to their opponents being in FA Cup action. It leaves Bury with a free weekend ahead of returning to action in the Velocity Trophy at local rivals AFC Sudbury on Tuesday (7.45pm) in their penultimate Group 1 fixture.
Bury are level on points at the top with Maldon & Tiptree with head-to-head record set to decide who takes the one qualification spot for the knockout stages should a tie occur. The Jammers are set to host Bury a week on Tuesday.
Sudbury boss Mark Morsley has insisted he will stick to giving young academy players a run out in the competition for the derby fixture.
* Attacking midfielder Jarid Robson, who had four goals in eight appearances since joining from Mildenhall in the summer, has joined Cambridge City.
He is said to have left for Bury’s divisional rivals, whom he made his debut for on Saturday, to get more regular game time.
More by this authorRussell Claydon