Retrospective penalty sparks joy for Bury Town as Blues claim stoppage-time victory over Histon
Bury Town fans got a taste of what a VAR moment could feel like when they were retrospectively awarded a penalty seven minutes into stoppage time from which Cemal Ramadan scored to seal a 2-1 victory against Histon.
Danny Gould had fired the Cambridgeshire side into a 48th minute lead as they worked towards inflicting a third defeat on Bury this season, before Joe Hood fired in a loose ball on the hour mark.
The fourth versus eighth BetVictor Ishtmian League North Divsion clash had looked like ending in a 1-1 draw until, with Histon on the attack with seconds to go, the referee stopped play to consult his assistant at the far end.
The result was a red card to goalkeepeer Sam Roach for kicking out at Olly Hughes off the ball and a penalty to Bury, leading to three vital points on an afternoon which saw the teams underneath them winning.
The hosts had gone into the game looking to get back on track off the back of Tuesday's 3-0 derby defeat at AFC Sudbury.
But a mammoth injury list, which has deprived Ben Chenery of nine first-team players, showed on their teamsheet. With both his goalkeepeers sidelined – stand-in George Bugg having suffered a shoulder problem following Tuesday – former reserve keeper Ben Mayhew had been registered and was named in the starting line-up as part of five changes.
Top goalscorer Cemal Ramadan started on the bench with Will Gardner, Cruise Nyadzayo, Max Maughn and Emmanuel Machaya in for Alex Henderson, Lounes Foudil, Carols Edwards and Ramadan.
Bury showed some promising passages of play in the early stages with a dangerous low cross from Ross Crane just eluding Emmanuel Machaya.
But in the ninth minute Histon showed their danger when striker Dan Brown easily turned Will Gardner before drawing a low save from Mayhew at his near post.
From the corner a good header from Evan Key, from almost the edge of the 18-yard-box, rattled the crossbar before being hastily cleared.
Mayhew got away with a terrible kick straight to Key in the 14th minute, with the number seven putting his shot straight back into his grateful arms.
Smith curled a free kick from a good central position over the crossbar and Key sent a scissor kick wide as Histon kept up a dominant period in the game.
But Bury broke that just before the half-hour mark with Hughes heading a deep free kick well over before setting up Nyadzayo on the edge of the penalty box, who fired a low shot just wide of the left-hand post.
Stafford should have done better when firing well over after Crane did well to beat his man down the right and pull the ball back to him inside the area in the 39th minute as the Blues continued to enjoy a good spell.
Bury almost took the lead in the 43rd minute when Histon keeper Sam Roach misjudged a long-range shot from Crane and almost dropped it over his line.
It was Histon who broke the deadlock through within three minutes of the restart when a long ball over the top from Max York found Gould, who bore down on goal before providing a cool low finish into the bottom left-hand corner.
Machaya soon found himself in a great position in the penalty area with a clear sight of goal, but could not sort his feet out quick enough.
Bury continued a positive response to going behind though and their probing paid dividends on the hour mark. Tommy Smith's hanging cross from the left caused problems for Roach, who resorted to clawing it away with Hood reacting first to the loose ball near the edge of the area to fire it into the unguarded net.
Histon were still looking to catch Gould over the top and nearly did so as they sought to regain the lead, before Pat Bexfield side-footed an effort from the edge of the box that was straight at Mayhew.
Soon after they were shouting for a penalty, claiming a player was blocked off, but the referee waved it away.
There was a hairy moment for Bury when goalkeeper Mayhew came out of his box for a corner with Key heading it at goal before Hood headed it clear.
In the 85th minute Ramadan got free on the left-hand touchline and bore towards goal before firing straight at the keeper before sending fluffing his follow-up.
Soon after the ball broke for Hood on the edge of the box but after turning well inside he curled left-footed shot wide of the far post.
It looked like Bury's chance of victory had gone when Hughes' header from a Crane corner deep into added time was claimed by the keeper. But with Hughes then floored following his kick out, the referee stopped play once it went out for a throw in half-way into Bury's half to run the length of the pitch and speak to his assistant before running over to the goalkeeper and showing him a red card and eventually pointing to the penalty spot.
Up stepped Cemal Ramadan, who had out away from the same situation to win the points late on for Bury at Ram Meadow last weekend. He fired it low down the right-hand side with the goalkeeper not moving, sparking wild scenes.
Play resumed for a matter of seconds before the final whistle sounded with Histon players and officials immediately running to the officials to question what had happened. But for Bury it was a precious three points to bounce back from Tuesday's derby defeat.
Bury: Mayhew, Stafford (Carden 78'), Smith, Hood, Gardner, White, Nyadzayo (Foudil 87'), Maughn, Hughes (c), Machaya (Ramadan 81'), Crane. Unused subs: Castro, Rossis (gk).
Histon: Roach, Bexfield (McDonald 72'), Lawrence (Mair 80'), Smith, York (c), Chivers, Key, Coy, Brown (Harradine 83'), Swinton, Gould.
Free Press Man of The Match: Ross Crane - Once again Bury's most creative force in a game belying his young age.