Bury Town boss Ben Chenery 'immensely proud' following side's draw with Coggeshall Town
Bury Town manager Ben Chenery was left full of pride after watching his side go so close to beating Coggeshall Town after playing 81 minutes of Tuesday’s home game with 10 men.
After Ryan Horne’s sizzling seventh-minute strike had put them in charge, the complexion of the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division match changed within two minutes when Bury’s Ryan Jolland was sent off for a lunging challenge.
And despite some heroic home performances, with the Blues having the best of the chances thereafter, it was the Seedgrowers’ Sam Bantick who came up with a dramatic 89th-minute equaliser, firing in from the edge of the area.
“We played 81 minutes with 10 men and if I’m being honest we deserved to win,” said Chenery.
“I don’t think they caused many problems. I think they just lumped balls into areas and we dealt with it.
“It is frustrating, of course, but we must take a lot of heart from the way that we put a shift in, grafted and we were really honest.
“Two words I’ve used with the squad recently is character and resilience and we’ve shown that in abundance tonight.
“It feels disappointing because we deserved three (points) but look, to play 81 minutes with 10 the way we did was an enormous achievement and there was some outstanding stellar performances out there tonight.”
He added: “Someone who I haven’t seen for a long while who is very knowledgeable in football said to me he knew it was my team as it was my character in the team.
“I am immensely proud. The way we put our bodies on the line defending. We did all the horrible fundamental ugly bits of football.”
It left Bury with six points from their back-to-back home games, with substitute Jake Chambers-Shaw coming up with a winning strike three minutes into stoppage time against Heybridge Swifts. It sealed a 2-1 victory after recently-departed Needham Market striker Andy Fennell thought he had bagged his new side a point four minutes from time to reply to Cemal Ramadan’s 38th-minute penalty.
Chenery, whose side are 11th in the table after five games ahead of travelling to Witham Town tomorrow (3pm), said: “I was gutted for the lads because I really felt they deserved more but four from six from the weekend is great and we’re in a much better healthier position than we were.
“We are unbeaten in the league at Ram Meadow with two wins and a draw, so we’re happy.”
As first revealed by SuffolkNews and in the Bury Free Press last week, Ipswich Town youngsters Zak Bradshaw, Jesse Nwabueze and Gerard Buabo all joined on work experience loans ahead of Saturday’s fixture, and started both games.
Chenery made one change to Tuesday’s line-up with Chambers-Shaw starting ahead of Carlos Edwards.
Bury took the lead from their first real attack when a throw-in was worked across to Horne on the edge of the box and he took a touch before firing left-footed into the bottom right-hand corner.
After Jolland’s dangerous challenge on Bantick just inside the home side’s half saw him dismissed, the first of 11 cards in a fiery encounter, the visitors began to exert some pressure.
But Bury dealt with it well and went on to take the game to their opponents again with Ramadan and Chambers-Shaw firing not far wide, while Nwabueze’s free kick forced a save.
Coggeshall’s chances were limited but Milo Grimes should have done better than steer a free header wide in the 42nd minute.
Despite seeing less of the ball in the second period Bury continued to look threatening on the break with Nwabueze and Ramadan efforts going wide.
Coggeshall goalkeeper Matthew Cafer was fortunate not to be sent off in the 67th minute when chopping down Buabo on the sideline, the referee eventually issuing a yellow.
Coggeshall substitute Isaac Skubich saw a looping header drop just over before Ramadan was denied up the other end by a good block from Cafer.
But there was a cruel late twist for the home supporters to digest when in the final minute of the 90, Bantick teed himself up from a knockdown from Grimes’ deep ball to the edge of the box before firing it in on the volley into the far right-hand corner.
Stoppage time saw the visitors almost win it with Tyler Christian-Law’s header coming back off the crossbar before the offside flag came to Bury’s rescue on the next scrambled phase.
Chenery was particularly impressed on the night with the performance of on-loan Ipswich Town striker Buabo.
"Considering the young lad Gerard up top is 16 years old it was a pretty special performance," he said.
"I saw a bit of that Saturday in him and I don't think he knows how could he can be which is really refreshing.
"Alan Lee (Bury's head of player development) was speaking with me and we were saying he's like a throwback, he's like an old-style centre-forward and I honestly felt he was much better than their centre-halves and dealt with the both of them.
"And there was good performances all over the pitch. I felt Jake Chambers Shaw and Ryan Horne were excellent in centre midfield and I thought the defenders headed it and we did enough. But look, that could be a good point along the way, especially going down to 10."
Of his other two Ipswich Town additions he said: "Jesse is a really unorthdox footballer and I mean that with a big complement in terms of he is really hard to defend and play against.
!He comes out with the ball in tight areas that he has no right to. He is an exciting talent. Again, another one learning the game.
"Zak Bradshaw also at left back was very assured and a complement I can give to him is you never know he is out there because he is just steady."
The Blues boss hopes to have full-back Ryan Stafford back for Saturday's trip to a Witham side who lie fifth with three wins, a draw and a defeat from their opening five matches.
But midfielder Ryan Auger, signed in the summer, has gone back to Soham Town Rangers to get game time on a dual registration deal.
"I just felt he needed some game time. He can come back here and that's the idea, he is still our player," explained Chenery.
"I've got a lot of respect for Ryan. I think he's a really good footballer. It's just circumstances that when we need to dig out a couple of results he's probably different to what I need at this moment in time but that's all and I think he will come back better, stronger and fitter and we will look forward to welcoming him back."
Of Saturday's game at Witham he is expecting it to be another game where they will have to show the uglier side of their game once again.
"I think it will set a different set of problems," he said. "At Witham the pitch is notoriously indifferent there so I think we will have to look at that but the players are in a good place in terms of their resilience and in terms of wanting to work hard and that's the basis really."