GALLERY: Bury Town 1 Canvey Island 0
PUBLISHED: 10:46 26 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:46 26 August 2014
The all-important goal may have taken a wicked deflection, but Bury Town fully deserved their first win of the season, at the expense of Canvey Island yesterday afternoon.
Ben Chenery’s men had only mustered one goal, and two points, in their first five games of the campaign.
But they dug deep to see off the Gulls, who very much blew hot and cold in the wet conditions, as well as playing the final 37 minutes with just 10 men following winger Anthony Thomas’ dismissal.
The winner arrived on the half-hour mark, with Steve Holder celebrating his second goal for the Blues, and his first at Ram Meadow.
Phil Weaver’s speculative shot ballooned off Holder’s head before looping over stranded keeper Danzelle St. Louis-Hamilton and dropping beneath the bar into the roof of the net.
Holder’s first goal for Bury, since his switch from Mildenhall, had earned a point in a 1-1 draw against Enfield, but this time his flicked effort was to secure all three.
Canvey Island started well and they did have the ball in the back of the net on seven minutes, when Marcus Garnham’s initial parry from Ashley Dumas’ long-range shot was turned in by Harrison Chatting, but the assistant referee had already raised his flag for offside.
Bury struggled to retain possession, in the persistent rain, although Weavers at least tried his luck with a 20-yarder that was hooked wide in the 21st minute.
A minute later and ex-Bury striker John Sands caused a stir by taking a tumble in the box, under a challenge from Connor Hall inside the box. The away fans, behind the goal, appealed for a penalty but referee Alan Dale waved play on.
The green-shirted visitors were not afraid to shoot from distance and Thomas, who was actually their best player in the first period, lashed in a low drive which Garnham did well to smother to his right.
However, it was Bury who took the lead thanks to Holder’s deflected effort on 30 minutes.
The Gulls stepped up a gear before the break and it required a marvellous last-ditch challenge from Ross Bailey to prevent the powerful Tambeson Eyong from almost walking the ball into the net in the 42nd minute.
At the other end, Holder headed straight at keeper St. Louis-Hamilton, from Bailey’s 45th minute corner, but Canvey were also close to equalising in the third minute of stoppage time as Garnham had to be at his best to keep out Thomas’ fierce free-kick.
Only the woodwork denied the Blues a second goal in the 50th minute. A skilful run from Jack Brame ended with Callum Bennett’s curling shot cannoning back off the far post, with the keeper beaten.
Three minutes later and the Gulls were reduced to 10 men, Thomas receiving his second yellow and ensuing red card for a high challenge on Bennett.
Bury were denied a second goal by a goal-line clearance on 67 minutess. Brame did well to win the ball and set up Hall, who rounded the keeper and swept goalwards. A back-pedalling Dumas was able to hack off the line, in the nick of time.
It had been a fine second-half display from the Blues and Bailey thought that he had doubled the lead from close-in on 72 minutes, until he spotted the assistant flagging for offside. But in the end, Bury never needed that second goal.