Visitors prove difficult to break down

IT was always going to be a tight match last Saturday against promotion hopefuls Edgware Town given their formidable defensive record.

IT was always going to be a tight match last Saturday against promotion hopefuls Edgware Town given their formidable defensive record. They have only conceded slightly more than a goal every other game, which is pretty impressive at any level.

Richard Wilkins was able to field what is arguably our strongest starting line up at the moment, with the return of Tom Bullard and Sam Reed from suspension. This meant that Lee Smith reverted to right back, with Scott Chaplin continuing on the right side of midfield. The ever improving Ashley Sloots, who was named the sponsor's “man of the match” was again at left back, with Gavin Johnson in the centre of midfield

True to form, the visitors proved to be difficult to break down, although in the early stages their central defender Ingham was often troubled by the pace of Sam Reed and Liam Barrett.

In the end the predictable 0-0 draw was about a fair result, as though both sides did create chances, the defences were generally on top with neither side able to find the finishing touch.

Edgware came the closest to scoring when on ten minutes Kevin Chakaodza deflected a shot by Johnny Moore on to the Bury bar with Dean Greygoose beaten. We came back strongly and Sam Reed came close following a corner. Scott Chaplin then tested Blackburne with a long range effort

Neither side was able to create a clear opening, but the game flowed from end to end with some good football played by both sides. Our cause was not helped by the loss of young striker Liam Barrett after 38 minutes, having picked up a couple of knocks.

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The second period started with Edgware on top, but again we fought back and had the best chance of the half when substitute Danny Cornwell got clear of the defence, but shot straight at Blackburne.

Dean Greygoose then came to our rescue with one of the saves of the season, to deny Richard Morton. We pushed forward in the closing minutes as we sought the elusive winner, but although we felt we had a legitimate claim for a penalty when Steve Bugg appeared to be pushed, we were unable to get through the visitors rear guard.

As goalless games go, this was a good one, and although there was a feeling of disappointment that we had not claimed all three points, a draw was probably a fair result. Unfortunately draws are not enough for us at the moment, as there is now an eight point gap between us and the play off positions, and we will need a good run of results to get us back up there.

We will have had a hard game today at in-form Ware, and then it's a long journey round the M25 on Tuesday evening when we visit Northwood. We return to Ram Meadow the following Saturday, January 19 for the visit of Brentwood Town and the following Saturday, January 26 travel to our old friends from Redbridge. One new date for your diary is the re-arranged home fixture with Waltham Abbey that has now been fixed for Tuesday, February 26.

Team Bury ended their losing sequence with a 1-0 away success at Coggeshall.

The under 18`s have been back in action this Thursday against Cockfosters in a league cup match that was postponed last month

So it's into 2008 with some cause for optimism. Results, although not spectacular, are satisfactory, and we have proved in recent weeks that we can match any of the top sides in the league.

We just need a bit more consistency to enable us to seriously challenge for honours. The quality of football being played is good, and I think that this is being appreciated by the supporters, as attendances are now regularly above the 200 mark even when Ipswich are at home.

If we can have a good run in, the rest of the season could be interesting right up to the end.

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