Bury Town were unfortunate to lose their two month unbeaten run to their Ryman League Cup Final opponents East Thurrock.
They were the better side for much of the game and but for a match winning first half performance by home keeper Richard Wray could have won it comfortably.
The keeper made a fine flying save to deny Kieran Leabon in the opening minutes and then produced an equally good stop from a John Sands header
Although defences were generally on top, Bury were looking the more likely to score and it was Wrayâ€™s heroics again with two great blocks in a goalmouth scramble keeping Bury at bay.
At the other end Bury were fortunate not to concede when Kye Ruel got clear on the left but his shot was cleared off the line by Tom Bullard.
Half Time: East Thurrock 0 Bury Town 0
The pivotal moment of the match came on 58 minutes as Roscoe Hipperson was adjudged to be the last man when fouling Mat Hall, and was shown a straight red. The resultant penalty was scored by Sam Higgins.
Bury fought back strongly from this setback and John Kennedy fired wide from a good position. But worse was to come, when in an isolated home attack Higgins close range shot following Sam Collins free kick, rebounded off Marcus Garnham and Tom Bullard was unable to avoid putting the ball into his own net.
To their credit Bury continued to take the game to their opponents, and got their reward in the 90th minute when Sam Reed ran onto a great through ball from Lee Smith to fire into the roof of the net.
It was too little too late however as despite their efforts in stoppage time, they were unable to find an equaliser.
Full Time: East Thurrock United 2 Bury Town 1