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Henry Barley scores two quickfire goals as Felixstowe & Walton come from behind to draw 3-3 at Bury Town in top-of-the-table clash





Henry Barley scored twice in three minutes early in the second half as Felixstowe & Walton came from behind to earn a 3-3 draw at Bury Town in an entertaining top-of-the-table tussle in the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division.

In front of almost 1,300 supporters at the OCS Ram Meadow Stadium, Bury fell behind against the run of play to Josh Mayhew’s 17th-minute header.

But after a defensive error had gifted Cemal Ramadan the chance to put them ahead eight minutes later, Ollie Canfer swept home a Max Maughn cross and Luke Brown saw a free kick squirm under Josh Blunkell to put them into a deserved 3-1 lead at the interval.

Cemal Ramadan reacts quickest to score Bury Town’s equaliser in the first half Picture: Mecha Morton
Cemal Ramadan reacts quickest to score Bury Town’s equaliser in the first half Picture: Mecha Morton

However, whatever Stuart Boardley said at half-time seemed to do the trick as his out-of-sorts side suddenly got their act together.

Barley began the comeback by turning in a low cross at the near post within four minutes of the restart and then soon drilled home the equaliser after Bury failed to clear their lines following a corner.

Both sides had a few chances thereafter to win the game with visiting keeper Josh Blunkell making an outstanding save from Joe White’s volley while Seasiders’ substitute Zak Brown went through in stoppage time only to drag his shot past the far post as the spoils were shared.

Joe Carroll sends an early header over the bar Picture: Mecha Morton
Joe Carroll sends an early header over the bar Picture: Mecha Morton

Having dominated the first half to get themselves in a commanding position, Bury will feel they should have taken all three points but Felixstowe certainly improved thereafter to justify their point.

With Lowestoft Town winning 3-2 away at Maldon & Tiptree it sees Jamie Godbold’s side stretch their lead at the top to four points from Felixstowe while third-placed Bury, who hold a game in hand and visit the Trawler Boys on Monday (3pm), are now eight points off the summit. A win against the west Suffolk side would now see Lowestoft take a big step towards automatic promotion with only three fixtures to go.

Cole Skuse named an unchanged line-up from Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Basildon United but included a new signing on the bench in Ben Isaacson with the young left-sided defender having signed on loan from King’s Lynn Town until the end of the season.

Ryan Horne, who was nursing a rib injury, dropped out of the squad while Josh Curry’s inclusion on the bench again, having been recovering from a whack to the nose, meant Cemal Ramadan carried the captain’s armband.

Stuart Boardley’s Seasiders showed two changes from Tuesday’s 2-1 comeback victory against higher-league Leiston in the Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final with former Needham Market and Leiston forward Fowkes coming in for his debut, having signed from Step 2 Peterborough Sports.

Noel Aitkens, who previously had a spell with Bury, also started with Zak Brown and Andre Hassanally dropping to the bench.

Bury were quick out of the traps with goalkeeper Blunkell just beating Luke Brown to Ramadan’s throughball while Joe Carroll soon headed over from a corner.

Max Maughn lifted a shot over from the corner of the box while Ed Upson also cleared the crossbar from 22 yards on the half volley as the early onslaught continued.

But it was Felixstowe, looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Lowestoft, who took the lead in the 17th minute from their first foray forward.

Joe Carroll sends an early header over the bar Picture: Mecha Morton
Joe Carroll sends an early header over the bar Picture: Mecha Morton

Stuart Ainsley’s deep cross from the left found Mayhew between two defenders and the ex-Bury frontman planted his header down beyond Charlie Beckwith.

To their credit, it failed to unsettle Bury and they drew level in the 25th minute when another former player, Leon Ottley-Gooch failed to properly connect with what should have been a routine clearance from Ryan Jolland’s low right-wing cross and Ramadan reacted quickest to stab home from seven yards out for his 29th goal of the season.

Felixstowe threatened to quickly regain the lead from a corner but Maughn was on hand to volley away from just in front of the goalline.

Cemal Ramadan celebrates scoring his 29th goal of the season with Olie Yun Picture: Mecha Morton
Cemal Ramadan celebrates scoring his 29th goal of the season with Olie Yun Picture: Mecha Morton

Bury continued to look more composed on the ball and got themselves in front from a fine team goal in the 34th minute. Joe Caroll's pinpoint crossfield ball from halfway found Max Maughn down the right and he took it on well before Canfer’s run into the box who swept home with a first-time finish into the far corner.

Up the other end Aitkens saw a volley blocked by Upson on the edge of the box after a long throw was not cleared.

But three minutes before the break Bury extended their lead from a free kick. Brown was brought down on the fringe of the area and he dusted himself down before seeing his free kick somehow squirm under Blunkell.

Felixstowe needed to score the next goal and they duly did.

Ben Isaacson (left) came on for his Bury Town debut having signed on loan from King’s Lynn Town Picture: Mecha Morton
Ben Isaacson (left) came on for his Bury Town debut having signed on loan from King’s Lynn Town Picture: Mecha Morton

After Callum Harrison sent a spearing half volley over from the edge of the area, it was a move down the left-hand side which opened the door in the 49th minute.

Fowkes was able to get away from Maughn and deliver a low cross to the near post which saw Barley get ahead of Olie Yun to turn it past Beckwith.

Canfer saw his header blocked at a corner before the Blues were facing up to their lead being wiped out in the 52nd minute.

Beckwith made a good low save to turn away Fowkes’ fierce shot from outside the area but the Blues failed to clear their lines from the corner with Harrison’s goalbound shot on the turn sent out by Carroll only as far as Barley 15 yards out who fired it through a sea of bodies.

The midfielder had the ball in the back of the net again in the 58th minute but only after being blown up for puling White down on the edge of the box.

Just before the hour mark Blunkell made a great save to deny Bury a fourth, pushing a White volley out of the top corner following an Upson corner, with Brown soon fired wide with an angled effort.

Cemal Ramadan fires in a shot for Bury Picture: Mecha Morton
Cemal Ramadan fires in a shot for Bury Picture: Mecha Morton

Home midfielder Jolland became the first player to be cautioned in the 65th minute after ironically calling for a booking when he was brought down on the run on half-way.

Blunkell came to his side’s rescue again as he got down to save a near post shot from Ramadan after Brown slipped him into the area.

Up the other end Joe Whight got his head on a Hitter corner at the far post but could not direct it goalwards.

With six minutes to go, Isaacson came on his Bury debut with Maughn making way.

Ryan Jolland shields the ball Picture: Ryan Jolland
Ryan Jolland shields the ball Picture: Ryan Jolland

Beckwith caught a Mayhew header from a deep free kick under his bar while an ill-directed chest-back from Lewis O’Malley had him scrambling to retrieve it.

Mayhew got his head to a Barley free kick but sent it looping well wide.

In the second of four minutes added on Felixstowe had a golden chance to take all three points when Josh Hitter’s great long pass put Brown in behind the defence but his shot rolled agonizingly wide of the far post, to the relief of the home fans.

There was a season-high crowd of 1,285 at the OCS Ram Meadow Stadium Picture: Mecha Morton
There was a season-high crowd of 1,285 at the OCS Ram Meadow Stadium Picture: Mecha Morton

It was a result which showed there is not much between the sides with both hoping they can still catch Lowestoft to avoid extending their seasons in the play-offs.

Ed Upson plays a pass forward Picture: Mecha Morton
Ed Upson plays a pass forward Picture: Mecha Morton

Bury: Beckwith, O’Malley, Caroll, Upson, White, Canfer (Curtis 90’), Maughn (Isaacson 84’), Jolland, Ramadan, Brown (Arnold 73’), Yun.

Unused subs: Curry, Mayhew.

Booked: Jolland (65’), O’Malley (68’), Ramadan (87’)

Felixstowe: Blunkell, Bennett (Howell 52’), Ainsley, Aitkens, Ottley-Gooch, Whight, Fowkes, Hitter, Mayhew, Harrison (Brown 66’), Barley (Hassanally 90+3’).

Unused subs: Bullard, Ford.

Booked: Brown (82’).

Attendance: 1,285

SuffolkNews Man of the Match: Henry Barley’s two goals in three minutes changed the course of the game in his eye-catching display to earn the award. Ed Upson also stood out controlling Bury’s midfield.