Ex-Ipswich star Edwards makes Bury Town debut in dramatic late victory over Dereham
- Credit: Archant
Bury Town 2 Dereham Town 1
Carlos Edwards, on his Bury Town debut, played his part in a dramatic fightback which saw the Blues score twice in the last few minutes to overturn a 1-0 deficit and so secure a home win over Dereham Town at Ram Meadow this afternoon.
An 84th minute header by Ryan Stafford, followed by a 94th minute penalty by Cemal Ramadan, maintained Bury's promotion push in a thrilling finale.
It was Edwards who set up a late equaliser for the never-say-die Blues in this incident-packed Isthmian League North clash.
Former Ipswich Town star Edwards, who signed for Bury on a dual registration during the week - he is a player-coach at Woodbridge Town - played the full 90 minutes in central midfield, operating just in front of the back four.
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Woodbridge had no fixture this weekend, so 41-year-old Edwards was able to play for Ben Chenery's side, and it was his corner which led to the 84th minute equaliser.
Edwards swung over a corner for Ryan Stafford to head home from close-in.
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But there was more drama to come, Bury being awarded an injury-time penalty for a push on Ollie Hughes as Ross Crane pumped a corner into the box.
And Ramadan made no mistake from the spot, sweeping home the 94th minute penalty to seal all three points on had been a very difficult afternoon for the home side.
In fact, for much of the afternoon it looked as though it was not going to be Bury's day, because they suffered two key blows in the first half.
Firstly, the hosts lost their keeper Dan Barden to injury on the half-hour mark, following a knee-to-knee impact with an opponent on the edge of his six-yard box.
Barden was unable to continue, and Bury had no recognised keeper on the bench, so defender Will Gardner was introduced as a stand-in keeper for the rest of the match.
Gardner was not over-worked by Dereham, and was beaten just once when Adam Hipperson's close-range shot flashed past him in first-half injury-time.
Yet it was Bury who ultimately came out on top.
Bury should have really have been a couple of goals ahead, before losing their keeper Barden to injury and then conceding a goal deep into first-half injury-time.
In fact, home keeper Elliott Pride made a string of fine saves to keep the hosts at bay during the first half-hour.
Ryan Stafford's goalbound shot, from Crane's fine cross, was blocked by Pride on 16 minutes, and from the ensuing corner, Joe White's towering header from Edwards' pinpoint cross was only inches over the bar.
Bury so nearly broke the deadlock in the 20th minute. Ipswich Town youngster, Lounes Foudil, should really have steered home Ollie Hughes' cross from point blank range, but the ball flashed agonisingly wide of the far upright.
Three minutes later and debutant Edwards scampered through on goal, only for Pride to again rush off his line and block the shot.
A key moment arrived on the half-hour mark, when Bury keeper Barden was injured in a collision with a Dereham striker, inside his six-yard box. He eventually hobbled off and, after a lengthy delay, he was replaced by substitute Will Gardner, a defender by trade - Bury had no substitute keeper on the bench.
Still the Blues had chances to score the first goal, not least when leading scorer Ramadan homed in on goal, following Hughes' excellent through ball. His shot was superbly parried by Pride, and when Hughes pounced on the rebound and delivered a low cross to the far post, Ramadan was just unable to divert home from an acute angle.
That chance arrived in the 44th minute, and it was in the eighth minute of first-half injury-time that Dereham took the lead.
Stand-in keeper Gardner had little chance as Hipperson fired home from 10 yards out, after the ball had ricocheted into his path.
After a quiet first 20 minutes of the second period, Hughes was denied by another fine save from Dereham keeper Pride, on 67 minutes. An unmarked Hughes climbed high to meet Stafford's cross with a thumping header which Pride somehow managed to divert over his bar. It was a terrific reflex save.
At the other end, the Magpies rarely threatened Gardner in the Bury goal, although centre-half Thomas Snapkauskas headed wide from point blank range in the 78th minute.
And that was to prove a costly miss, as Bury bagged an equaliser via Stafford's header from Edwards' excellent corner in the 84th minute, before Ramadan won with his last gasp penalty,
BURY TOWN: Barden (sub Gardner, 36), Stafford, Smith, Hood, White, Edwards, Foudil (sub Nyadzayo, 68), Jolland (sub Maughn, 36), Hughes, Ramadan, Crane. Unused subs: Machaya, Castro.
DEREHAM TOWN: Pride, Frary, Imrie (sub Dickerson, 70), Smith (sub Linford, 70), Snapkauskas, Matthews (sub Castellan, 73), Logan, Hinton, Hilliard, Murphy, Hipperson. Unused subs: Crisp, Stewart.