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Ben Chenery says Bury Town have proven their top five credentials in the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division after beating Heybridge Swifts





Ben Chenery believes Bury Town have proven they are good enough to be in and around the play-off picture after beating Heybridge Swifts 1-0 last night.

The Blues defeated the team placed fourth in the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division table, with Lewis O'Malley's 75th-minute header sealing three points in their final home game of 2022.

The victory moved Chenery's men up two places from 10th to eighth in the table, and to within three points of the top five, and the Bury boss insists it was a result which showed his side can compete with the side's above them in a competitive league.

Bury Town manager Ben Chenery congratulates defender Joe White after last night's win against Heybridge Swifts Picture: Neil Dady
Bury Town manager Ben Chenery congratulates defender Joe White after last night's win against Heybridge Swifts Picture: Neil Dady

"I think that it makes a statement in terms of Bury are good at home," he said.

"I think we're good enough to be in and around the top five or top six, but there are some very good teams this season. I must say I think the league is the most difficult it's been.

"This evening with us being the only game on, in terms of our aspirations, we said to the players second prize is we don't lose the game so they can't pull further away.

"It's a fantastic game to win and I think that sets us up superbly well going into two really tough games over Christmas."

The Blues went into their last game at the Atalian Servest Ram Meadow Stadium in 2022 with a depleted squad, with illness ruling out several players, including leading goalscorer Cemal Ramadan.

"It's been a difficult preparation for this game," Chenery said. "We've had three lads in the last 24 hours unwell and then another one taken ill before with illness.

"Then we had some paperwork problems with a loan player, so it's been really difficult. We've ended up going into this evening with players out who would probably start.

"I said to the players before the game there's always reasons, but there's no excuses from us.

"I thought there was a real spirit this evening. I felt we really dug in and in the real difficult moments of the game.

"It was a bit bitty, yes. With the ball it wasn't as fluid as we have been, but I think the pitch was extraordinarily heavy.

"It was difficult and Heybridge are a good side. They've been doing really well this season."

Ahead of last night's clash with Heybridge, the Blues had gone three games without scoring and, while his side boast the best defensive record in the North Division, Chenery was pleased to find a breakthrough in an encounter which featured few clear cut chances.

"I'm really pleased for Lewis O'Malley," the Bury boss said. "Our defensive record has been fantastic and it was a great header from the corner.

"Our defensive record is the best in the league. We've been fantastic and that starts with the 'keeper and the back four.

"After the goal I felt we grew and I thought Heybridge dipped a little bit. It rocked them a little bit and I thought we managed the last 15 minutes really well, in terms of our rhythm and our tempo.

"We placed the ball in areas where we could just release that pressure a little bit.

"It's a clean sheet and a goal from a corner, which we haven't been great at, so it's a really good evening's work just before Christmas."

The Blues now prepare for a short trip to North Division leaders and rivals AFC Sudbury on Tuesday (December 27, 1pm).