Bury Town concede six goals at home to Basildon United as returning feelgood factor quickly disappears
Bury Town saw a positive start at home to top-four outfit Basildon United soon turn into a nightmare as the visitors went on to score four times in 10 first-half minutes on their way to claiming a 6-2 victory at the OCS Ram Meadow Stadium.
It quickly crushed the feelgood factor which had returned for Cole Skuse and Paul Musgrove’s side following a much-needed 3-0 victory at the same Ram Meadow venue three days ago – leaving them facing up to four defeats in their last five league outings. It was also alarmingly the third time they had conceded five or more goals in their last six games in all competitions.
The management duo, who had gone into the fixture with their side lying 14th in the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division table, had put faith in the same line-up that started the victory against Witham Town to deliver the goods again.
The early signs were good with a vibrancy about Bury’s play and hunger to win the ball back seeing Ed Upson and Luke Brown force saves out of George Marsh within the opening four minutes while Max Maughn soon dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box.
And the hosts’ bright start was rewarded with an opening goal in the eighth minute as Josh Curry rose highest to direct Upson’s dangerous corner in with a downward header at the near post.
But out of nowhere the visitors drew level with their first effort at goal in the 12th minute. The ball was played across for Ali who fired a low shot from the edge of the box that managed to squirm in under Charlie Beckwith’s dive.
Within two minutes Bury found themselves behind as Ali got free down the right to put a low cross in to find Fitzer unmarked to provide a simple finish.
Things then went from bad to worse as it became 3-1 less than a minute later with Clyde Semazzi’s initial shot only pushed out into the path of Ben Allen who slotted home he loose ball.
Bury reacted by having a team huddle led by captain Ollie Fenn.
But the stom was far from over as a fourth followed in the 22nd minute as the Blues came undone from a long throw from the halfway line. It was quickly worked into the feet of Callum Fitzer who spun inside to the edge of the area and bent a low shot into the far left-hand corner.
The response from the Bury bench was to bring off 17-year-old new signing Aaron Okpolokpo for Olie Yun in a move to a back four.
However, the new-look defence was breached in the 31st minute when Samir Ali hit took on a bouncing ball frm 30 yards out and saw it bounce in off the underside of Charlie Beckwith's bar. As good as it looked, it was far from nestling in the top corner.
An incisive passage of play from Bury ended with Yun forcing Marsh to beat away his near-post shot but Basildon almost had a sixth soon after when Ali was able to cross from the right and Allen slid it wide at the near post.
Bury got something to hold onto moving into half-time as they reduced the deficit to four with a second goal coming in the 42nd minute.
Max Maughn's skillful play on the left saw his dangerous low cross knocked goalwards by a combination of a defender and Luke Brown and Ethan Mayhew made sure the ball made it over the line.
Ryan Jolland was summoned from the bench in place of Joe White at the start of the second half with Curry dropping back into central defence as the substitute went wide of the right.
There were chances at both ends early on with the visitors having a shot deflected into the side-netting before Brown saw his low effort taken away from goal.
Jose Santa went down in a crowded Basildon box in the 56th minute calling for a penalty but the referee was unmoved.
Cemal Ramadan was brought on just before the hour mark as Skuse looked to provide their attacking play with a cutting edge.
And he turned a low Yun cross in towards the near post in the 65th minute but Marsh was comfortably able to smother it.
Ramadan burst down the right soon after and put in a great cross to find Mayhew’s run to the near post, but he somehow could not steer it on target as it got caught under his feet.
The Bury pressure continued with Brown having a shot blocked in the area with Marsh’s defence unable to get the ball clear with the keeper eventually having to catch a header from Maughn.
With 15 minutes to go a sloppy pass saw Basildon break two on two with Upson getting back to make a good block in the area ahead of Bury conceding a free kick which saw Beckwith push Clye Semazzi’s shot up over his bar.
Brown’s shot out on the left of the box was pushed out by Marsh but only as far as Ramadan whose angled follow-up effort ended up on the roof of the net.
But with five minutes to go Bury gifed a sixth goal to the grateful Bees.
Captain Ollie Fenn, not for the first time this season, misplaced a pass which saw substitute Michael Barek – following the former Ipswich Town youngster’s unannounced departure from AFC Sudbury – unable to believe his luck but not think twice about rollng the ball into the net.
Ramadan forced a comfortable low save late on while Brown floated an effort from range wide on a hugely frustrating night for the home supporters.
The result leaves Bury on 12 points from 11 matches this season ahead of travelling to the side Basildon leapfrogged in the table with the three points, now fourth-placed Maldon & Tiptree, on Saurday (3pm).
Bury: Beckwith, O’Malley, Okpolokpo (Yun 23’), Santa (Ramadan 59’), White (Jolland 46’), Fenn (cpt), Curry, Upson, Mayhew, Brown, Maughn.
Unused subs: Arnold, Curtis.
Booked: O’Malley (43’), Fenn (45+2’).
Basildon: Marsh, Bennett, Thompson (Empochontsif 84’), Bloss, Jude, Ashworth, Ali, Machado, Fitzer (Bareck 78’), Allen (Brogan 71’), Semazzi.
Booked: Machado (63’).
SuffolkNews Man of the Match: A hard one given the scoreline but Max Maughn once again shone as Bury’s brightest spark down the left-hand side.