Late own goal costs Bury Town three points at home to Cray Wanderers

Bury Town FC v Cray Wanderers
Bury defend a close range free kick after a pass-back to keeper.

Bury Town FC v Cray Wanderers Bury defend a close range free kick after a pass-back to keeper. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Depleted Bury Town looked on course for three vital points at home to Cray Wanderers, before an unfortunate Tevan Allen own goal meant they had to settle for a 1-1.

Bury Town FC v Cray Wanderers
Bury defend a close range free kick after a pass-back to keeper.

Bury Town FC v Cray Wanderers Bury defend a close range free kick after a pass-back to keeper. - Credit: Gregg Brown

The hosts were missing eight first-team regulars due to injury, suspension and unavailability, but Josh Mayhew’s second-half penalty put them 1-0 up against their promotion rivals heading into the final 10 minutes, before an unfortunate bounce off Allen’s chest sent the ball into his own net from a dangerous ball into the box.

Both sides had chances in windy conditions at Ram Meadow, with neither being able to take advantage of goalmouth scrambles, while home keeper Neil O’Sullivan made a string of impressive saves to keep the Londoners out.

Visiting midfielder Aryan Tajbakhsh controlled much of the game for Cray before being dismissed in the closing minutes for a second-bookable offence, but there wasn’t enough time for Bury to make the most of their numerical advantage.

Manager Ben Chenery’s injury problems worsened as Darcy De’ath and Matthew Skevington both left the game injured, leaving the boss with a further headache going into tomorrow night’s clash with Thurrock.

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Despite Bury’s early dominance, the hosts were being kept on their toes at the back and Allen had to make a last-ditch sliding tackle to take the ball off the toes of James Duckworth at the back post.

The half’s most controversial moment saw De’ath harshly penalised for a back pass, as he flung out a leg to clear a through-ball which keeper O’Sullivan caught, but the Bury man was able to block former Charlton Athletic defender Grant Basey’s shot from the indirect free-kick which followed.

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The visitors enjoyed their best period of the game in the minutes leading up to the break, with Tajbakhsh creating chances and having efforts of his own, but Bury keeper O’Sullivan was equal to it all before the half-time whistle blew.

The Cray pressure continued at the start of the second period, with O’Sullivan again called into action, and from another dangerous corner, the visitors were convinced they had taken the lead.

However, the officials adjudged Basey’s delivery not to have crossed the line despite the Cray players insisting it had flown straight in before being hacked away.

Bury worked their way back into the game and had similar appeals of their own following Remi Garrett’s free-kick into the box, with Ipswich Town loanee Nick Ingram and Mayhew having stabs at goal cleared off the line.

The hosts kept the ball alive and were soon ahead.

Garrett’s shot was charged down by substitute Ray Powell and, after referee Daniel Cook adjudged the Cray defender to have used his hand in the area, Mayhew stepped up and fired home the penalty.

Weavers had a good chance to make it 2-0 but worked his effort wide, just minutes before the visitors found an equaliser.

Basey’s free-kick caused trouble in the box, with Lea Dawson working it towards goal before it was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Allen.

Mayhew flashed a shot wide as the hosts pushed for the winner, before Tajbakhsh was dismissed for a second bookable offence, but they ultimately had to settle for a point.

Bury Town: O’Sullivan, Skevington (Yallop 75), Allen, Collins, De’ath (Hughes 64), Weavers, Garrett, Canfer, Ingram, Mayhew, Hammett.

Subs not used: Aitken

Cray Wanderers: Blue, Osifuwa (Powell 8), Basey, Leader, Carpenter, Dawson, Roberts, Tajbakhsh, Hunt (Malcolm 75), Duckworth, Mascoll (Dent 60).

Subs not used: Lodge, McKinley.

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