GALLERY: Bury lose to Addicks, Needham defeat U’s and Iron draw
Bury Town, Needham Market and Braintree Town were all in pre-season action last night and the evening resulted in one defeat, one win and one draw respectively.
A LATE penalty from Joe Pigott secured a 2-1 win for a Charlton Athletic XI, in an entertaining pre-season friendly at Ram Meadow last night.
Hosts Bury Town looked set for a deserved draw, when John Sands headed sweetly home from Mark Coulson’s 70th minute cross, to cancel out Ade Azeez’s first-half opener.
But Pigott converted an 88th-minute spot-kick, past triallist keeper Will Viner, to snatch victory for the Londoners.
The fixture was part of the deal that saw ex-Bury keeper Nick Pope secure a dream move to Charlton in May, 2011.
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Unfortunately, Pope is currently sidelined by a knee injury, suffered while on tour in Spain 10 days ago, although the 20-year-old was at Ram Meadow to watch his former team take on his current club.
Charlton fielded a very young team, with the exception of experienced striker Paul Hayes, the former Scunthorpe goal poacher.
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The only other Addicks player with any senior experience was midfielder Ruben Bover, and it was he who squandered the first chance when failing to hit the target on a one-on-one with keeper Marcus Garnham.
Bury played same neat football, in their 3-5-2 formation, especially during the first period, and Billy Clark scuffed an effort wide following a good move on 10 minutes.
At the other end, Garnham was at full stretch to keep out centre forward Pigott’s goalbound shot, but he was powerless to prevent Azeez from rounding him to break the deadlock in the 19th minute.
Bury were close to an equaliser in the 23rd minute. Sam Reed fizzed over a low cross from the left and defender Sam Nunn was a whisker away from diverting home at point-blank range.
Just before the half-hour, Sam Reed was in the spotlight again, this time firing just a foot wide of the far post. But the closest the hosts came to a first-half goal arrived in the 32nd minute. Clark’s curling shot, from the edge of the box, was heading for the net until keeper Dillon Phillips was able to push the ball to safety.
There was the usual flurry of pre-season substitutes during the second half, but Bury deservedly equalised on 70 minutes.
Substitute Sands steamed in at the near post to head home Coulson’s excellent cross, giving keeper Phillips no chance.
A draw looked on the cards, and Pigott’s late penalty was certainly harsh on Richard Wilkins’ men.
BURY TOWN: Garnham (sub Viner, 65), Short, Hall (sub Weavers, 83), Nunn (sub Hitching, 65), Bullard, Kennedy (sub Key, 65), Clark (sub Ingram, 77), Kearns (sub Souza, 83) S Reed (sub Werndly, 77), L Reed (sub Sands, 58), Coulson (sub Sloots, 83). Attendance: 414
Elsewhere, Colchester United’s development side were beaten 3-1 at Needham Market in a pre-season friendly last night.
Sam Newson bagged a hat-trick for the home side, with Tosin Olufemi replying for the U’s.
At the Amlin Stadium, Dean Wells’ opener for Braintree Town was cancelled out by Billy Bingham as Iron and League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge drew 1-1.