Bury Town Under-23s came from 1-2 down to beat their Essex opponents 3-2 thanks to another hat-trick from Emmanuel Machaya.
Tommy Robinson almost opened the scoring on 7 minutes, as the Bury midfielder was fouled outside the Witham box with his free-kick curling brilliantly around the wall and towards the top near corner, but was palmed behind the post by the keeper. Witham then won a free-kick on the left inside our half, but took it quickly putting it low and wide of the near post, with 10 minutes played. Then on 12 minutes Bury went close again, as a low cross in from the left was held up well in the middle before being teed up for Addison to strike just wide of the top right corner.
Witham then won a corner on the right after 15 minutes, which was swung in and had to be cleared off the line at the near post, with the visitors handling the rebound. Two minutes later, Bury were awarded a penalty as Robinson's ball in on the left byline in the box was handled by a Witham player as a Bury man tried an overhead kick. A minute passed before Machaya stepped up but saw his penalty towards the bottom right corner beaten away by the visiting stopper. The home side then hit an effort straight at the keeper, at his near post on the right on 19 minutes. After 22 minutes, Machaya set Joe through on the left in the box forcing the keeper to come off his line as the midfielder's shot goes underneath the keeper and wide of the near post.
Witham then shot wide of the far post, sliding in on the right in the box on 26 minutes, as the first half was fairly equal and ultimately came down to who took their chances. With 14 minutes before the interval, Crichton's curled strike, on the left from 25-yards out, went just wide of the top far corner as the hosts pressed for the opening goal. Two minutes later, Bury then won a free-kick on the left, which was flicked wide off the far post post by the head of Brown.
Witham then tried their luck with a 30-yard strike on the left on 34 minutes, but fired just wide off the near post. Bury then took the lead on 38 minutes as Machaya was fed in space on the left in the area before tapping home into the bottom near corner from close range. The Blues then won a corner on the right fives minutes before the break, which the home side headed towards goal only for Witham to clear witn Bury putting the rebound off target. The last shot of the half fell to Witham on 41 minutes, as the effort on the right edge of the box was blocked by Porter.
Half Time: Bury Town Development 1 Witham Town Development 0
Three minutes after the break the Blues went close to a second, as Robinson then did well down the right inside the box, as his chipped pass to Machaya at the far post is cleared as far as Brown, who was standing just inside the box, but fired just wide of the top right corner. Crichton then went for goal on the left, ten minutes into the half, but saw his strike deflected into the area as Witham cleared behind for a corner.
Witham though leveled proceedings on 55 minutes, Bailey Last was set through one-on-one with Bugg in the box as he had the simple task of rounding the Bury keeper with ease before slotting into the empty net. Witham then shot just wide of the far post with a low shot on the right on 56 minutes, brfore the visitors took the lead with Sutherland set through on the left side in the Bury area whose low shot found its way into the bottom right corner, despite Bugg getting a hand to it.
The visitors then had a free-kick from long range on the left, after 62 minutes, which was put wide by the visitors at the far post, before the Essex outfit's shot on the edge of the box was blocked on 65 minutes. Bury pulled level on 67 minutes, as a great ball from Joshua Revell over the top set Machaya through who lifted the ball over the retreating defender, before coolly slotting into the bottom right corner to pick up a brace. Witham then had a shot on the left inside the Blues box blocked well by Bugg, as the Bury stopper stood his ground well having advanced off his goal line on 69 minutes. The resulting corner though, was hit just over the bar a minute later.
Bury substitute Charlie Cook then tried his luck from 25-yards out on the left, but struck narrowly wide of the near post on 72 minutes. Six minutes later, Witham's shot on the right forced Bugg into a routine stop, simply catching the effort at his near post. Then with ten minutes remaining, the ball fell to Cook in the Witham box as the winger saw his shot blocked.
The home side then won the game on 82 minutes, as Emmanuel Machaya got himself yet another hat-trick. The striker was set through down the right whose shot in the box was saved by the keeper, well off his line, leaving the Bury goalscorer the easy task of calmly dispatching the rebound low and into the near corner, past two defenders running back to the goal line. With four minutes left, Witham went close as the visitors hit the woodwork with the ball going luckily the right side of the frame of the goal from the Bury prospective. Again, Machaya was set through down the right on 88 minutes but this time saw his low strike kept out by the keeper once more off his line. Soon after, the referee whistled for full-time, as Bury stretched their unbeaten home record to five games.
Full Time: Bury Town Development 3 Witham Town 2
By Drew Kendall