Bury Town book their place in Ryman League Cup final

TWO first-half goals saw Bury Town deservedly defeated Suffolk rivals Lowestoft Town at Ram Meadow last night to reach the final of the Ryman League Cup.

A Danny Cunningham penalty after just three minutes and a goal two minutes into time added on at the end of the opening period from Sam Read made it a miserable evening for Lowestoft joint manager Micky Chapman, who was celebrating his 1,000th game in charge.

Lowestoft came more into the match after the interval, but lacked the guile to break down Bury’s resolute defence in which centre backs Tom Bullard and Sam Nunn were outstanding.

There was an explosive start to the match as Bury took the lead after just three minutes from a controversial penalty. Cunnigham’s free kick to the far post saw a posse of players challenge for the ball and referee Shon Meale pointed to the spot following an infringement.

Lowestoft’s protests were in vain and when the dust had settled Cunningham stepped up to beat Andy Reynolds with a low drive to the keeper’s left.

Bury were looking the more threatening and Lee Smith spurned a great opportunity when he blazed over the bar after Stuart Ainsley had failed to cut out a pass by John Sands which put him in on goal.

Ainsley redeemed himself with a great block at close range from Smith’s shot in the 35th minute after some good skill by John Sands, who was a constant threat to the visitors’ defence.

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But two minutes into time added on Bury scored a decisive second goal, Reynolds kicking clear as Cunningham bore down on him and with Lowestoft slow to react, Smith picked up the loose ball and fed Sam Reed to slot home.

Marcus Garnham tipped Sam Gaughran’s header round the post in the 51st minute, and Matt Nolan then turned well two minutes later but put his shot wide. Scott Mitchell then went close as Lowestoft upped the tempo, but to no avail.

At the other end Lowestoft defender Adrian Forbes had to clear off his own line following a right wing corner.

Tempers became more frayed as the half wore on with referee Meale adding six bookings to the two in the first half, making a total of five from Lowestoft and three from Bury.

But Bury held out to book their place in the final against East Thurrock United, 1-0 winners against Lewes, on Wednesday, March 28 at Staines FC.

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