BASEMENT BATTLE sees Bury Town, winless on the road, travel to AFC Hornchurch, winless at home, in the Ryman Premier Division
Bury Town travel to Ryman Premier Division basement side AFC Hornchurch this afternoon in a huge encounter at the bottom of the league.
After losing their last five straight league games, as well a 2-1 Robert Dyas Ryman League Cup defeat to Suffolk rivals AFC Sudbury on Tuesday evening, Ben Chenery’s Bury have found themselves embroiled in a fight at the foot of the table, sitting in 22nd position before today’s kick-off.
The Blues, who are yet to win on the road all season, could in fact go bottom of the pile this afternoon, should Hornchurch, who ironically are yet to win at home, defeat them, and second-bottom VCD Athletic pick up a point or more at Hampton & Richmond Borough.
But while Bury’s results and league position may look an ominous one, their performances and team spirit are the opposite.
In fact, last weekend’s seemingly heavy 4-1 defeat to Margate is the perfect example.
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Holding their own against a side who could more than likely become the new Fleetwood Town, and spiral up the steps of non-league football into the professional game, Bury could easily have snatched themselves a point.
After having Nathan Clarke sent off in the 37th minute, and conceding two quick-fire goals shortly afterwards, Bury could easily have plummeted and sank to an embarrassing score-line defeat.
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However, the Blues rolled their sleeves up and after debutant Curtis Shaw missed a penalty with the penultimate kick of the first period, substitute Phil Weavers scored an excellent goal to make it 2-1 before Joe Benjamin saw another effort cleared off the goal-line as the Blues had Margate on the ropes for much of the second period.
“It wasn’t a 4-1 game,” declared Chenery.
“I felt a fair reflection might have been if they’d have won 2-1 or we may have nicked a point.
“I felt we had them on the wreck for a spell, we were at them and it was close but in the last 10 minutes we tired and rightly so.”
One player that has impressed the Ram Meadow faithful since his arrival a little over a week ago is powerful striker Benjamin.
A bubbly character on and off the pitch, the well-travelled front-man, who has flickered through the Conference and Ryman Leagues for no less than 13 clubs since leaving Northampton Town in 2010, has become an instantly popular figure with his short bursts of speed, power, and close control.
And Chenery, who briefly linked up with the striker at Chelmsford, has vowed to get the best out of him.
“I had Joe with me when he was probably about 18/19,” he added.
“He’s very raw and he’s such a threat because he’s strong, he makes things happen, and he commits defenders.
“He’s going to frustrate you sometimes but other times what he gives you is excellent, and I know what sort of character he is so I’ll get the best out of him.
“I know the lad and know he needs to be treated a certain way, he’ll be settled here, and he’ll be a really good acquisition for us.”