GALLERY & REPORT: Bury Town 0 Thamesmead 0
- Credit: Archant
It’s been a difficult week for Bury Town.
Off-field issues have dominated the news coming out of Ram Meadow, with financial problems the main concern.
Players leaving an already small squad and attendances on the wane, it was nice for the club to get back to playing football and then receive the support of more than 300 fans, even if this Ryman Premier League clash with relegation-threatened Thamesmead Town didn’t end in victory for Richard Wilkins’ side.
However, neither did it – or did it ever – look likely to end in defeat.
Put simply, Bury Town are a fine football team and their small squad of young players, with one or two experienced heads mixed in, gave another competent display on a gluepot of a pitch at Ram Meadow.
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It’s often forgotten how far Bury Town have come in the past 20 years and it has almost become customary for their fans – and fans of Suffolk non-league football – to simply take for granted that the Blues will occupy a top 10 position in a League that is hugely tough, and up against clubs with much bigger budgets than themselves.
Not that anyone at Ram Meadow is making excuses or wants sympathy.
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So, after all the headlines, it was a case of getting on with the football and continuing to strive for the play-offs, despite all the off-field talk.
On Saturday, Thamesmead proved a tough nut to crack.
The south Londoners occupied the last relegation spot before their trip to Suffolk and they were battling for their lives. In Richard Butler and superb skipper Junior Baker, they had a strong defensive duo and while Bury had the lion’s share of possession, especially in the second half, they couldn’t break the Londoners’ door down.
However, both sides hit the woodwork and it was far from all Bury.
Indeed if Shamir Mullings thunderous drive just before the break had been a few inches lower, then Mead would have gone in at half-time ahead. But his run and eventual shot cannoned back off Marcus Garnham’s bar in the home goal.
It was a shoot-on-sight policy that could have gained Thamesmead the points, although it would have been harsh on Bury.
The Blues did enough to grab all three points, however Danny Cunningham hit the post in the second half and Ryan Taylor had a chance near the end, mis-hitting his shot six yards out. The bottom line was that in a game of few chances, the best ones fell to Bury – and they didn’t take them.
In an even first half, it was tall centre-back Adam Bailey-Dennis who should have given Bury the lead. Billy Clark’s corner cleared everyone, but Bailey-Dennis, alone at the back post, couldn’t guide his header home.
Mullings’ superb effort just before the break that hit the bar almost broke the deadlock but it was Bury who came out in the second-half all guns blazing.
Cunningham hit the post after a mad scramble in the visitors’ goalmouth and Mead keeper Rob Budd had to be alert as Anthony Roulston raced onto a through ball.
Clark vollied John Kennedy’s flicked header wide and Taylor missed his chance at the death.
Garnham was a virtual spectator in the home goal in the second period and for Bury a turbulent week at least ended with another Ryman Premier League point on the board with plenty of spirit still evident in the camp.
For Thamesmead, well they deserved something from the game, not least for their battling defensive efforts.
An entertaining 0-0 draw then. Bury now head to Billericay tomorrow night in another league clash.