Away draw keeps play-off place alive for Bury
ALTHOUGH we have only collected four points out of a possible nine from our last three games, we are still not out of the race for a play-off place.
ALTHOUGH we have only collected four points out of a possible nine from our last three games, we are still not out of the race for a play-off place. With a game in hand over two of our rivals, and seven of our last nine games against teams below us in the table, it is certainly not impossible. Our problem at the moment, apart from odd lapses in concentration at the back, is our inability to turn good approach play into goals.
This was evident again on Saturday when we entertained league leaders Dartford, and from the cheers of relief from their large and lively crowd of supporters, they were well pleased to have escaped with a draw. The largest league gate of the season (511) made for a good atmosphere around the ground with plenty of good natured banter between the fans. A strong wind down the ground and a hard pitch made it difficult to play controlled football and chances were at a premium. We had the bulk of the play but only forced the visiting keeper into two good saves.
With the wind behind them Dartford came more into the game in the second half, but we still created the better chances with Lee Smith and Sam Reed both shooting over from close range. We took the lead after 71 minutes following good build up play down the right, Stuart Walker cut inside and fed Michael Steward, who shot low past Kessell from 20 yards.
The lead was short lived, as Dartford got on terms within seven minutes. We failed to deal with a long clearance from the keeper, and top scorer Brendon Cass was on hand to shoot past Dean Greygoose.
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Overall this was a good performance against a well-organised side, but there was an air of disappointment that we had not claimed all three points from a game that we controlled for long periods.
Team Bury slipped up at Little Oakley, losing by the odd goal of three in a game in which they created numerous chances, but were unable to put them away. Their only goal came from the penalty spot and was converted by Aaron Piggott.
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No joy for the under 18`s either as they also went down by two goals to one at home to Wivenhoe in their last league game of the season, with Craig Nurse getting their goal. Weather permitting they were due to play Maidstone in the quarter final of the Ryman Youth Cup at Ram Meadow on Wednesday
The first team should have been at home today against Tilbury, in what is a must win game, before travelling to Northwood on Tuesday, March 18 and to Great Wakering the following Saturday, March 22. Then it's the big Bank Holiday Monday game at Ram Meadow against our old friends from Sudbury kick off 3 pm.
It's a busy time coming up at Ram Meadow, with the first of the many end-of-season local finals taking place on Sunday. We can only hope that the pitch can stand up to it.
We are hoping to invite one more school to Ram Meadow this season in our “football in the community” programme. This will probably be on April 19 which is the last home game of the season. This is also the date of the proposed quiz night which is yet to be confirmed.
As a thank you to our very loyal travelling supporters, it is intended to run a free coach to Aveley for the last game of the season on Saturday, April 26. Further details to follow.
So it's still all to play for as we go into the final run in, so come along and support the lads, it can make all the difference.