Football: Grays dig deep for point at Bury Town

Isthmian League Divisin North

Bury Town 2 v 2 Grays Athletic

BLUES produced a gritty and determined display at Ram Meadow twice going in front and looking to claim the three points only to be denied in the closing stages by another poor refereeing decision in the build up to the Bury Town late equaliser. You could see the bitter frustration on their faces at the final whistle after they had battled manfully to protect their one goal advantage only to be undone in what they would see as an injustice for the second week running. A reshuffled pack saw Jack McQueen making a rare start coming in at full back with Ryan Sammons moving into the midfield holding role in the absence of Lewis Dark.

The game itself was a pulsating affair played out with high intensity on a heavy and energy sapping surface, so it was a credit to both teams that they provided good entertainment to the large vocal crowd. Blues were indebted to Danny Sambridge in the first period making a number of vital saves to deny the hosts who had shaded possession after a Lewis Clark goal had given Blues the advantage just after the half hour mark. It was a different matter after the break with Blues now asking all the questions and looking good value for a win, when McQueen grabbed a second goal and if David Knight had not put a chance over from close range shortly after it could have been a third and game over. 

Blues were quickly into their stride from the first whistle forcing an early corner resulting in a clever glancing header from Clark shaving the woodwork.

After the scare it was Bury who threatened when Max Vaughn put his header over from close range. The diminutive Cemal Ramadam was featuring prominently bringing out the first of Sambridge’s saves. A quick riposte saw Knight turn adroitly in the box to get a shot on goal but a Bury leg intervened.

The frantic pace continued with play flowing end to end, it was now Blues who created an opening for Knight breaking free taking the ball into the box he elected to shoot early rather than round the advancing Sam Blair, allowing the keeper to make a comfortable save. The pendulum now swung again in the hosts favour allowing them to force a succession of corners, one of which resulted in a powerful Ollie Hughes header brilliantly turned over by Sambridge. Ramadam was next to be denied by the Blues custodian, through on goal the Bury man’s effort was blocked .

Working hard to keep their goal intact Blues had the perfect answer on 34 minutes when a Knight free kick found Clark, stooping low his backward header looped over the stranded Blair. Bury responded, they were enjoying success down Blues left flank getting behind Macca Joynes and in the 43rd minute it paid off. Exploiting the space, Ramadam swept the ball across to the opposite flank where the unmarked Ryan Jolland drilled the ball beyond Sambridge.

HT 1-1

Once again Blues made the quicker start to the half, Knight wriggled free down the left flank sending in a low cross which was inches from making a connection with the boot of Freddie Moncur rushing in at the far post. 

Strangely after scoring late in the half and with momentum in their favour Bury failed to produce the same tempo which allowed Blues to control proceedings. Sammons looked completely at home in his unaccustomed roll making some robust and vital challenges to keep Blues on the front foot. Kai Brown looked lively and on one weaving run into the box was only halted by a last ditch Bury challenge.

Now in the ascendency Blues so nearly could have found themselves behind when Ramadan broke free rounded Sambridge but then with the goal at his mercy rolled the ball wide of the far post.

The let off inspired Blues who searched for that elusive second goal and after a period of pressure they were rewarded when Knight was again the supplier his free kick caused confusion and McQueen was on hand to prod the ball home. Now going for the jugular they came close when Sammons picking up a loose clearance sent in a 30 yard lob sliding agonisingly wide of the upright with Blair stranded – sub Paxman caused further home consternation when his cross found Knight lurking in the box his snapshot looked goal bound but was blocked at the last minute.

Realising time was running out Bury at last rallied pushing forward but they should have paid the price when Knight put the ball over from close range on 84 minutes. Two minutes later the scores were level in what Blues would claim were controversial circumstances. Bury were awarded a throw which clearly should have gone the other way after the ball was last touched by a home player, but not for the first time in the closing minutes the referee disagreed the ball was played forward and sent into the danger area where Hughes capitalised from close range.

Blues anger was further stoked when a tremendous saving tackle by Joynes clearly winning the ball cleanly was penalised and another free kick awarded in a dangerous area. but justice was done when the ball was eventually cleared. Bury piled on further pressure but Blues steel defiance ensured their defences were not breached.

The late goal was hard to take after Blues had done enough to claim the three points but , putting things into perspective Bury Town on their home patch are a tough nut to track and given their enforced changes then a draw was a creditable outcome for the team.

Sambridge, McQueen, Joynes, Okonkwo, Clark, Moncur(Watts 94), Hahn, Brown (Chukwu 76), Knight, Gordon (Paxman 77)

Sub not used: Griek

You could see the bitter frustration on their faces at the final whistle after they had battled manfully to protect their one goal advantage only to be undone in what they would see as an injustice for the second week running. A reshuffled pack saw Jack McQueen making a rare start coming in at full back with Ryan Sammons moving into the midfield holding role in the absence of Lewis Dark.

The game itself was a pulsating affair played out with high intensity on a heavy and energy sapping surface, so it was a credit to both teams that they provided good entertainment to the large vocal crowd. Blues were indebted to Danny Sambridge in the first period making a number of vital saves to deny the hosts who had shaded possession after a Lewis Clark goal had given Blues the advantage just after the half hour mark. It was a different matter after the break with Blues now asking all the questions and looking good value for a win, when McQueen grabbed a second goal and if David Knight had not put a chance over from close range shortly after it could have been a third and game over. 

Blues were quickly into their stride from the first whistle forcing an early corner resulting in a clever glancing header from Clark shaving the woodwork.

After the scare it was Bury who threatened when Max Vaughn put his header over from close range. The diminutive Cemal Ramadam was featuring prominently bringing out the first of Sambridge’s saves. A quick riposte saw Knight turn adroitly in the box to get a shot on goal but a Bury leg intervened.

The frantic pace continued with play flowing end to end, it was now Blues who created an opening for Knight breaking free taking the ball into the box he elected to shoot early rather than round the advancing Sam Blair, allowing the keeper to make a comfortable save. The pendulum now swung again in the hosts favour allowing them to force a succession of corners, one of which resulted in a powerful Ollie Hughes header brilliantly turned over by Sambridge. Ramadam was next to be denied by the Blues custodian, through on goal the Bury man’s effort was blocked .

Working hard to keep their goal intact Blues had the perfect answer on 34 minutes when a Knight free kick found Clark, stooping low his backward header looped over the stranded Blair. Bury responded, they were enjoying success down Blues left flank getting behind Macca Joynes and in the 43rd minute it paid off. Exploiting the space, Ramadam swept the ball across to the opposite flank where the unmarked Ryan Jolland drilled the ball beyond Sambridge.

HT 1-1

Once again Blues made the quicker start to the half, Knight wriggled free down the left flank sending in a low cross which was inches from making a connection with the boot of Freddie Moncur rushing in at the far post. 

Strangely after scoring late in the half and with momentum in their favour Bury failed to produce the same tempo which allowed Blues to control proceedings. Sammons looked completely at home in his unaccustomed roll making some robust and vital challenges to keep Blues on the front foot. Kai Brown looked lively and on one weaving run into the box was only halted by a last ditch Bury challenge.

Now in the ascendency Blues so nearly could have found themselves behind when Ramadan broke free rounded Sambridge but then with the goal at his mercy rolled the ball wide of the far post.

The let off inspired Blues who searched for that elusive second goal and after a period of pressure they were rewarded when Knight was again the supplier his free kick caused confusion and McQueen was on hand to prod the ball home. Now going for the jugular they came close when Sammons picking up a loose clearance sent in a 30 yard lob sliding agonisingly wide of the upright with Blair stranded – sub Paxman caused further home consternation when his cross found Knight lurking in the box his snapshot looked goal bound but was blocked at the last minute.

Realising time was running out Bury at last rallied pushing forward but they should have paid the price when Knight put the ball over from close range on 84 minutes. Two minutes later the scores were level in what Blues would claim were controversial circumstances. Bury were awarded a throw which clearly should have gone the other way after the ball was last touched by a home player, but not for the first time in the closing minutes the referee disagreed the ball was played forward and sent into the danger area where Hughes capitalised from close range.

Blues anger was further stoked when a tremendous saving tackle by Joynes clearly winning the ball cleanly was penalised and another free kick awarded in a dangerous area. but justice was done when the ball was eventually cleared. Bury piled on further pressure but Blues steel defiance ensured their defences were not breached.

The late goal was hard to take after Blues had done enough to claim the three points but , putting things into perspective Bury Town on their home patch are a tough nut to track and given their enforced changes then a draw was a creditable outcome for the team.

Sambridge, McQueen, Joynes, Okonkwo, Clark, Moncur(Watts 94), Hahn, Brown (Chukwu 76), Knight, Gordon (Paxman 77)

Sub not used: Griek

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