Bury Town boosted by three new signings ahead of today’s tough test against Ryman Premier Division high-flyers Margate

Tough-tackling central midfielder Luke Hammond (blue number four) in action during his Leiston days.

Tough-tackling central midfielder Luke Hammond (blue number four) in action during his Leiston days. Hammond has just joined Bury Town. - Credit: Andy Abbott

Bury Town will be strengthened with three new players ahead of today’s encounter with Ryman Premier Division high-flyers Margate.

Central midfielders Luke Hammond and Curtis Shaw have joined forces at Ram Meadow in the past couple of days as well as striker Joe Benjamin, who should give Ben Chenery’s side more firepower going forward.

Boss Chenery is excited about all three of his signings, who will all be involved in some capacity today.

“I knew Joe from our time together at Chelmsford (where Chenery spent a brief spell as assistant manager),” said the Blues boss.

“We have a great rapport together and I saw that he was available so went for it.

“He’s direct, has lots of pace and power, and we need that – hopefully Joe and Remi (Garrett) will link and feed off each other well.”

Front-man Benjamin, 23, who started his career at Northampton Town, has had somewhat of a stop-start career in the non-league scene as he has failed to really settle down and establish himself after leaving the Cobblers in 2010.

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A powerful frontman who has flickered through the Conference and Ryman Leagues, Benjamin comes to Bury after his release from Grays Athletic earlier in the season.

Bury will not be the first Suffolk side Benjamin has played for after spending a short period of time dual registered with Lowestoft Town in the spring of 2013.

Combative ball-players Hammond and Shaw have also boosted Chenery’s options in midfield, and the two could form a good understanding in the middle of the park for the Blues.

Well-known defensive midfielder Hammond joins from Needham Market after spells at Suffolk duo Leiston and AFC Sudbury previously, while Shaw is an attacking-based midfielder who joins from Conference South side Farnborough United.

“Luke hasn’t played as much as he’d have liked at Needham and has great experience. He’s a winner, and won’t accept defeat, which again is something we need, while Curtis is an attack-minded midfielder who loves to get forward,” added Chenery.

Today, Bury face the unenviable task of trying to topple high-flying moneybags Margate.

Margate’s intentions of winning the league, and reaching Conference football is no big secret, and the second-placed Kent-based side come to Bury, who have lost their last four league games, in good form having won their last five league fixtures.

“Margate have every right to want to be champions,” declared Chenery.

“With the budget and squad they’ve got there, they have the best team but football’s a funny game.

“There are no surprises. They’ve got to come to us and we’re good here (before last weekend the Blues hadn’t lost in the league at Ram Meadow).

“If we can keep toe-to-toe with them, keep our concentration, and keep to the game-plan, we might just be in for a tight encounter.”

Only Seb Dunbar, Justin Miller, and Ayrton Bevins, who had to permanently return to Cambridge United following a nasty wrist injury, are unavailable for selection today.

Elsewhere in the Ryman Premier, Witham Town travel to Leatherhead.

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