GALLERY: Bury Town’s big win at Leiston
- Credit: James Ager
The scoreline may suggest this was a cakewalk for Bury Town and although Richard Wilkins’ side were deserved winners, there was just a tad more to this game than the final one-sided score suggests.
Three first-half goals killed the match stone dead at half-time, with only the most optimistic of Leiston fans expecting any kind of second-half revival from Danny Laws’ side.
Two from Dave Bridges and one from John Sands gave Bury a healthy 3-0 half-time lead, before Ryan Semple added a fourth in the second half, giving Bury all three points in a display that was as professional as it was clinical.
Unbeaten in the Ryman League Premier Division this season, Bury were ruthless in their finishing, counter-attacking and ultimately their defending, although it was Leiston who bossed possession in both halves, but ended up frustrated as the game wore on.
Wilkins’ side have a nice mix of youth and experience, with Marcus Garnham in the Bury goal one of the very best in the League.
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The stats will say Leiston had more of the ball and Garnham had more shots to save. But it’s goals that win games, not possession and that is where Leiston came unstuck.
As a spectacle it was not exactly blood and thunder local derby stuff, but there was plenty of decent football, especially in the first half, when Leiston’s Joe Francis saw plenty of the ball and both sides felt they could win. After the break – and with Bury three goals to the good – the game was far less entertaining, with Bury happy to soak up Leiston’s pressure.
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For the home side this result was a bit on the harsh side. In only their second year at this level, Leiston will finish in a comfortable position come the season’s end if they continue to show the flashes of decent football they showed on Saturday..
They can’t beat themselves up over one result and although at times naive in their defending, they have a nice blend of players who are sure to entertain as the season progresses.
On Saturday however, the better team won, although it was Garnham who was called into action early on as he parried away Gareth Heath’s thunderous shot.
On 17 minutes Bury took the lead, a corner from Billy Clark nodded home by Sands. It was all too simple.
Heath continued to be Leiston’s best attacker and again Garnham was at his best to keep the midfielder out. The football was decent and it was Bury who went further ahead in the 34th minute, Clark’s fine run and composure setting up Bridges for a good finish.
You didn’t feel Leiston were out of it just yet, but when Bridges finished a fine Bury move on the stroke of half-time to make it 3-0, you had to think otherwise.
Leiston never stopped trying, but it was Bury who enjoyed the better second-half chances, if again not the possession, with Sands missing when clean through. Semple took advantage of poor Leiston defending in the 63rd minute to make it four with another excellent finish.
Leiston: Philips, Saker (sub Henry 61), Cawley, Tann, Jefford, Boardley, Lock, Heath, Crisp (sub Ottley-Gooch 83), Ruel, Francis. Unused subs: Cole, Westren and Webster.
Bury: Garnham, Short, Dunbar, Whight, Bailey-Dennis, Bullard, Semple (sub Taylor 81), Bridges, Nathaniel (sub Wales 80), Sands, Clark (sub Patrick 84). Unused subs: Kennedy and Fenner.
Referee: M Holmes (Cambridge).
PHOTOS: JAMES AGER @JamesAger91