Bury Town consolidated their play-off credentials with a solid 1-0 victory in this potential âbanana-skinâ Ryman Premier league fixture against Hastings United.
Perfect playing conditions and the best pitch Iâve seen this season looked ideally suited for Buryâs passing game. However the first half passed almost entirely without goalmouth incident.
Both teams passed the ball well box to box but struggled with the final ball. Kieran Leabon, Lee Smith and Danny Cunningham all made good runs into promising positions but were unable to trouble the opposing defence with an accurate cross. Sam Reed toiled man-fully but lacked any significant support.
As the half wore on Buryâs five man midfield began to dominate possession but it was Hastings that came closest to scoring. Zac Attwoodâs 25 yard effort looked to be heading for the top corner until Marcus Garnhamâs fine save tipped the ball over the cross-bar.
Half-time Hasting Utd 0 Bury Town 0
The second half started much the same as the first, neither side looking likely to break the deadlock. The introduction of John Sands in the 62nd minute changed the game. The Bury striker had an immediate impact almost scoring with his first touch but good work form the Hastings defence kept him out.
On 64 minutes Sands flick on put Kieran Leabon through but he shot narrowly wide when well placed. It was to be his last meaningful contribution as he was replaced by Billy Clark on 72 minutes.
The decisive move came in the 76th minute as Bury were becoming more dominant. An excellent ball from Sands enabled Connor Hall to get to the bye-line. His pin-point low cross picked out an unmarked Billy Clark who side-footed the ball past the stranded Hastings keeper.
Hastings pushed forward in search of an equaliser but rarely troubled the outstanding Bury back four who were ably supported by John Kennedy and Callum Kearns. Hastings only real chance fell to substitute Joe Barham who hit the post from a narrow angle after Bury had failed to clear a corner.
Bury looked the more likely team to score and Roscoe Hipperson missed a good chance heading over the cross-bar from inside the six-yard box. Then in the last minute John Sands had an excellent chance. After beating two defenders he raced through on goal only to see his powerful shot saved by the home goalkeeper.
It was not the best Iâve seen Bury play this season but with the teams outside the play-off places dropping points another four wins from their remaining games should see them through, probably against Lowestoft, Wouldnât that be interesting?
Full Time: Hastings United 0 Bury Town 1