Bury Town fire four past Felixstowe & Walton United to comfortbaly bounce back from run of defeats
Three second-half goals, ahead of a late consolation penalty, saw Bury Town to a comfortable 4-1 victory over Suffolk rivals Felixstowe & Walton United in the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division this afternoon to see them bounce back from three straight defeats.
Joe White bundled home an early effort before Cemal Ramadan fired in a penalty shortly before the interval to have them firmly in control at 2-0 at the changearound.
Ramadan fired in his second in the 64th minute before a late panenka-style penalty from Emmanuel Machaya came just before fellow substitute George Clarke converted from the spot for the visitors.
It saw Bury consolidate their place in the top five of the division, holding on to fourth place and opening up a four-point gap on sixth.
The win was their fourth over Felixstowe in as many games this season, having hosted them twice in different cup competitions, and mirrored the 4-1 scoreline to knock them out of the Suffolk Premier Cup in October.
Despite the pictures on Twitter during the week of the water on the pitch at Ram Meadow, forcing the club's under-23s game to be postponed, there was no need for a formal pitch inspection.
The Blues went into the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division clash having dropped to fourth in the table and just three points ahead of ninth-placed Histon, following three straight defeats.
With players coming back from injury and illness, Ben Chenery made three changes to the side who lost 3-1 at promotion rivals Aveley in midweek.
Joe White made a surprise return to the heart of the defence, following a dislocated knee with Will Gardner dropping to the substitutes bench. Stand-in skipper Olly Hughes and Ryan Jolland both returned from illness in place of Cruise Nyadzayo and Colin Oppong.
The Felixstowe line-up included former Bury duo Ollie Canfer and Joe Yaxley, who were both on target as they came from 2-0 down after 88 minutes to draw 2-2 at Soham Town Rangers last Saturday. Armani Schaar was also making a return to his former club.
Bury's Ipswich Town loannee left-back Tommy Smith had the first sight of goal but sliced his fourth minute shot over after a driving run.
But it was not long before the hosts were celebrating taking an early lead as, in the seventh minute, a deep free kick from Ross Crane caught out goalkeeper Jack Spurling, who came for the punch but did not cleanly get it, with the low sun. In the scramble that ensued it was White who took the congratulations for forcing the ball into the net.
A threaded ball in the 13th minute saw Felixstowe get in behind the home defence with Schaar then going over in the penalty box claiming his foot was clipped, though the referee was not interested, which looked the right call.
Up the other end Jake Chambers Shaw worked some space and fired in a low shot from outside the penalty area but Spurling was comfortably behind it.
Bury were looking firmly in control of proceedings moving the ball about well and went close to a second in the 26th minute when Ramadan's clever shot on the turn from 20 yards forced a diving save.
There was some concern just after the half-an-hour mark when White went down in agony following a heavy challenge, but the number six was able to continue.
Chenery's side got a helping hand in doubling their advantage when Jolland, who was running down a dead end in the area was tripped by Daniel Davis with the referee quickly pointing to the penalty spot.
Ramadan, who had uncharacteristically blazed his last attempt from 12 yards well over at Cambridge City on New Year's Day, buried it in the bottom left-hand corner only then to have to re-take it, bizarrely for an encroachment from Felixstowe's side. He went the same way but this time found the top left-hand corner.
The first half ended without Felixstowe having had an effort at goal with a 2-0 lead for Bury no less than they deserved for their efforts.
Ross Crane went close to adding a third in the 54th minute as his free kick whistled past the top right-hand corner.
In the 62nd minute Felixstowe had their first shot of the match when former Bury man Canfer sent a curling effort on the turn wide of the far post after Stuart Ainsley had headed on.
Any hope that had sparked in the visitors though was quickly extinguished when the Blues got a third at the other end within a minute.
Crane burst down the left-hand side and cut in along the touchline before his shot-cum-cross broke loose and Ramadan slammed it home for his second of the match.
Bury's hunger seemed undiminished as Chambers Shaws twisted and turned in the area before seeing his shot deflected out and soon after Crane flicked wide at the near post after good work from substitute Cruise Nyadzayo.
Norwich City loanee goalkeper Barden was called to make his first save in the 74th minute as he reacted well to push a low Yaxley effort away for a corner.
The impressive Crane flicked wide at the near post up the other end before substitute Machaya was awarded a late penalty which he confidently chipped down the middle in the 88th minute.
Within a minute of that though the referee awarded a spot kick to the Seasiders after Callum Bennett went down, with former Needham Market and AFC Sudbury striker George Clarke putting it just out of Barden's reach into the bottom right-hand corner.
Felixstowe ending the afternoon with a goal did nothing to take away from a confident display from the hosts which saw them bounce back from their recent run of defeats in style.
Bury: Barden, Stafford, Smith, Hood, Henderson, White, Chambers Shaw, Jolland (Maughn 60'), Hughes (c) (Nydadzayo 72'), Ramadan (Machaya 82'), Crane. Unused subs: Oppong, Gardner.
Felixstowe: Spurling, Bennett, Ainsley, Kerridge, Jopling (Hanson 78'), Davis, Newman (Clarke 59'), Matthews, Canfer, Yaxley, Schaar (Powell 59'). Unused subs: Barley, Hammond.
Free Press Man of The Match: Ross Crane. Showed his quality on the ball despite a heavy pitch while his set piece deliveries caused lots of problems.