Football: Rocks force draw in tight game at Bury

Ryman Premier

Bury Town 0 v 0 East Thurrock United

EAST Thurrock arrived at Ram Meadow with a depleted squad and little expectation but left it with their heads held high after a battling draw.

To compound the departure of striker Jason Hallett back to Canvey and the suspension of Jack Hopkins, keeper Sam Mott was unable to make the game because of transport problems.

Manager John Coventry has plans in place to strengthen his squad but the new presents for supporters didn’t arrive in time for Christmas and instead he gave a first starting role to teenager Joe Paxman and young goalkeeper David Hughes made his first start in a Ryman Premier game for Rocks.

So a game that started with little expectation for Rocks against one of the division’s in-form teams ended with a point and delivered an indication of the battling spirit in the squad that surely promises a better second half of the league campaign for Coventry’s team.

Rocks made a bright start to the match and for stages of the opening stages actually pegged the home defence around their own box, though they were unable to force a real opening and Bury keeper Marcus Garnham was able to field most of the efforts that came his way with some comfort.

At the other end Hughes appeared to settle into his starting role well and did well under pressure as Bury began to get into their stride.

However, neither side were to create a significant chance in the opening 45 minutes, though that changed two minutes into the second half when Billy Clark crashed a shot that Hughes was grateful to see bounce off his crossbar.
As the half wore on Rocks spent much of it fighting a rearguard action, throwing bodies into tackles and blocks to keep the hosts at bay.

They still managed to mount a threat of their own from time to time, with young Paxman enjoying himself on the right and delivering some decent balls into the box, as well as tracking back to help his teammates aborb the pressure.

And Rocks might well have nicked a goal but a goalbound close range strike from David Bryant was blocked on the line by a bury defender who knew little about it.

In the closing stages Bury threw everything but the kitchen sink at the visitors who held out despite several intense and frantic goalmouth scrambles to take a hard-earned but wel—deserved point back to Essex.

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