Bury stay top of the league as Ramadan scores in home draw against Seed Growers
- Credit: Archant
Bury Town 1 Coggeshall Town 1
Bury Town remain on top of the Isthmian League North, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by fellow high-fliers Coggeshall Town at Ram Meadow this afternoon.
Cemal Ramadan broke the deadlock for the Blues in the first half, with Robert Harvey equalising on 67 minutes.
Bury were seriously weakened by a number of long-term absentees, with midfielder Ryan Horne (out for up to a year with cruciate ligament damage) and Joe White (dislocated knee) joining centre-halves Taylor Hastings and Ollie Fenn on the sidelines.
In addition, midfielder Jake Chambers-Shaw was serving the last match of his suspension.
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Manager Ben Chenery boosted his squad with the arrival of teenagers Alex Henderson and Tommy Smith, both on loan from Ipswich Town, Henderson operating in central defence and Smith at left-back.
And patched-up Bury were 1-0 up at half-time, thanks to front-runner Ramadan's simple finish from Max Maughn's low delivery in the 34th minute.
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Coggeshall responded via Harvey's close-range finish, from a matter of a few feet out, in the 72nd minute.
It was a first half of few chances, with most of them falling to the Seed Growers, although the Blues were to prove the more clinical.
Ross Wall headed wide at the near post, from an eighth minute corner, while team-mate Robert Harvey ballooned a tame shot high and wide on 26 minutes.
Eion McKeown actually had the ball in the back of the net on the half-hour mark, although the assistant referee had already raised his flag for offside against the Coggeshall No. 11.
McKeown also dragged a shot wide of target, but otherwise Bury defended well and they took the lead from their first real goal attempt, on 34 minutes.
Ollie Hughes ran at the opposition defence and fed midfielder Maughn, who drilled a low cross-cum-shot across the face of goal for the onrushing and unmarked Ramadan to sweep into an unguarded net from six yards out
Bury had a chance to double their lead before half-time. Ryan Jolland capped a strong angled run with a shot that was saved by keeper Ashlee Jones with his legs.
Early in the second half and Coggeshall right-back Tyler Brampton skimmed the bar with a rasping shot.
But Bury came close to extending their lead in the 64th minute from a quickly taken free-kick, with Colin Oppong's rising shot diverted around the near post by keeper Jones. From the ensuing corner, Jolland let fly with a fierce 20-yarder which whistled only a foot wide.
However, the Seed Growers levelled in the 67th minute, Harvey helping the ball over the line from a few feet out as Ross Wall's looping header dropped inside the six-yard box.
Although the visitors looked the more likely team to snatch a winner, Bury came close to regaining the lead in the 86th minute, substitute Cruise Nyadzayo's ferocious goalbound shot being superbly headed to safety by defender Josh Pollard.
BURY TOWN: Barden, Stafford, Smith, Hood, Henderson, Maughn, Crane, Jolland, Hughes, Ramadan, Oppong (sub Nyadzayo, 72). Unused subs: Gardner, Machaya, Cook.
COGGESHALL TOWN: Jones, Brampton, Claridge, Cocklin, Pollard, Hayes, Coley (sub Simmons, 46) Allen, Harvey (sub Katembe, 73), Wall, McKeown. Unused subs: Wicks, Kessel, Gipson.