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Time for Bury to kick on in play-off pursuit

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CHALLENEGE SET: Bury boss Ben Chenery
CHALLENEGE SET: Bury boss Ben Chenery

‘You have shown you possess the quality to be a top-five side, now go out and prove it on a weekly basis’ — that was the message from Ben Chenery to his Bury Town players after their Boxing Day demolition of Soham Town Rangers.

It took longer than Chenery liked for his side to make their domination count during the short festive trip to Cambridgeshire, but the 4-1 victory has moved his men to within a point of Cheshunt in the final play-off spot.

The result extended the Blues’ unbeaten run to three matches, helping to banish the memory of their previous sequence of five defeats in seven outings.

Now, Chenery has stressed, the challenge for Bury is to strengthen their quest for a place in next season’s Ryman League Premier Division.

“I said to the lads at half-time against Soham that they had to go and show the opposition you want to be a top-five team,” he said.

“There are no excuses. We had to be better than them and in the second half we were in every department

“We had a virtually fully fit squad at Soham and the lads showed what they are capable of.

“We are in and around the play-offs, now we have to make sure we go on and establish ourselves a place within them.

“It all comes down to pushing on from here and aiming for the top five. It means more performances like the one at Soham are needed.”

Bury’s promotion credentials will now be tested by back-to-back home games, starting tonight when Wroxham head for Ram Meadow (7.45pm), before Dereham Town visit on Monday (1pm).

Five wins all season sees Wroxham rooted to the bottom of the Ryman League Division One North table, while fellow Norfolk outfit Dereham (15th) have won only three of their previous 15 league fixtures.

“Realistically, the three games — starting with Soham — we should be winning all of those and as long as we are at it, we will do,” admitted Chenery.

“(Wroxham) are fighting for everything, but as long as you take control early and are in the ascendancy, that puts them on the back foot.

“I have been down the bottom before and you are used to being dominated — it gets you down.

“We will be taking nothing for granted, though. We have to make sure we are right because there is no such thing as an easy three points.”

A slight thigh niggle prevented new signing Leon Ottley-Gooch from making his Bury debut in the victory at Soham, but all being well, the experienced midfielder will be available to feature this evening.

“He should be involved in the next couple of games,” revealed Chenery.

“I think playing against Soham came about 48 hours too soon for him.

“It is a minor injury that he picked up while playing for Leiston, so we did not want to risk it and end up losing him for a few weeks.”