Bury Town 5 v 2 East Thurrock United
A DREADFUL display of defending saw East Thurrock gift three Ryman Premier points as Rocks slumped to the foot of the Ryman Premier League on Saturday.
Just a week after John Coventry’s men won plaudits and praise for their display against League Two Macclesfield in the FA Cup they found themselves on the wrong end of a rocket from the boss, who slammed his side’s performance as “simply not good enough.”
The opening minutes belied what was to follow, as Rocks took the game to their hosts, but after eight minutes they fell behind when keeper Richard Wray flapped at a corner and his attempted punch simply diverted the ball to who swept the ball into the net from close range.
Worse was to follow on 13 minutes when Ben Wood was caught out by a simple ball over the top and as he and Wray dithered over decision-making, John Sands nipped in between them and placed the ball past the stranded keeper.
Comic defending appeared to have become infectious two minutes later when Rocks were caught offside. Bury keeper Marcus Garnham elected to take a quick free kick but hit the ball into the back of a defender’s legs and it fell to Sam Higgins to guide it into an empty net.
For a few minutes it looked as if Rocks would build on the goal but more poor defending saw the lead stretched on 25 minutes when a decent free kick was delivered into the box from an angle. Rocks should have been aware of the danger but were all flatfooted as Sam Nunn drifted in at the far post and was able to rise unchallenged and head home.
Once again Rocks responded and pulled a goal back on the half hour when Kye Ruel stooped to head home Reiss Gilbey’s cross into the net off the foot of the post.
But that was as good as it was going to get for the visitors as more suicidal play gifted Bury a fourth goal on 36 minutes when Matt Hall dallied on the ball having dropped into a deep position and lost it under pressure from Billy Clark who raced through an out of position defence and slotted the ball past Wray.
And on 42 minutes the East Thurrock defence was all at sea again when Sands rose unchallenged to send his side in at the break with five goals to their credit.
Dave Knight replaced Ryan Sammons for Rocks for the second half and might have made an impact just seven minutes after the restart when East Thurrock for once played the ball with precision on the deck and the final pass from Ruel set him free but his shot went past the upright.
Had it gone in, who knows what might have followed, but having ridden that bit of luck Bury battened down the hatches and the game, which became increasingly fractious, was played out in some comfort by the home side.
Ref Stuart Pawley kept a lid on things by dishing out a plethora of yellow cards, with four Rocks players ending up in his book, unusually three of them for dissent as their frustration at their own inabilities boiled over.
With a game against high-flying Lewes coming up at Rookery Hill on Tuesday, the Rocks will need to sort themselves out quickly and get a grip on their defending or they could be in for another miserable outing.