Bury Town Under-23s maintained their record in scoring in every home game in their first Isthmian Development League season, after Harry Brown’s late winner ensured all three points for the fourth place Blues. The Blues, who remain unbeaten in home fixtures this season, beat tenth placed opponents Bishop’s Stortford 4-1 away from home earlier this season- and the score line could’ve easily resembled that here.
Bury didn’t take long to begin firing at goal, immediately firing over the top far corner from the right edge of the box- just seconds in. Back came Bishop’s though, firing over from the left edge of the box on 2 minutes. Bishop’s No.7 then tried his luck from the right edge of the box, a minute later, but saw his shot blocked. Bury man Charlie Cook was next to go close to scoring on 5 minutes, shooting just wide off the top near corner. The Blues then won a free kick from 25-yards out on the left, after 13 minutes, but ends up going way over the bar. The action continued, as Bishops fired comfortably over the top far corner, on the left, on 16 minutes. Back came Bury though, as Emmanuel Machaya won back possession in the visitors’ box. The striker then shot low at goal, but was kicked away by the keeper on 17 minutes. Four minutes later, the Bury number nine again had a go at goal- this time shooting low from close range on the left side in the box. Once more though, the keeper saved with his feet at his near post. The home side however, kept up their search of an opening goal, as Bury shot wide off the far post from the right, on 26 minutes.
Down the other end, on 27 minutes, Bishop’s then had a go at goal themselves- shooting low on the left side in the box but was denied by George Bugg catching down to his left at his near post. Four minutes later, Tommy Robinson went agonisingly close to opening the scoring, shooting from the right edge of the box but curling and dipping just wide off the near post. Bury though were denied again on 40 minutes, Emmanuel Machaya’s shot from the right edge of the box again saved low by the keeper at his near post. Seconds later, Bury went close again from a Tommy Robinson free-kick from 20-yards out. The Bury midfielder curling just wide off the near post. Back came Bishop’s though, who should’ve scored, No.9 set through one on one but blazing over the bar, with George Bugg rushing out to narrow down the angle on 43 minutes. Emmanuel Machaya then did well to get down the left wing and into the byline in the penalty area, however the keeper narrowed down the angle well at his near post, to block the shot on 44 minutes. The Blues still had two great opportunities to go in front at the interval, Bury flashing a dangerous free-kick in from the left wing across the face of goal- but Bishop’s headed it away on 45 minutes.
The second meanwhile, fell two minutes into added time, as skipper Lawrence Porter headed just over the top right corner from close range. The centre-back’s chance ended a goalless first half, that could’ve easily have been a goalfest.
Half Time: Bury Town Development 0 Bishop’s Stortford Development 0
The second half was literally more of the same, as both sides went close numerous times, before Harry Brown’s late screamer sealed the win for the home side. The Bury striker had the first opportunity of the half on 49 minutes, as Brown blocks the keeper’s clearance with his head- with the loose ball bouncing behind the keeper, who recovered well to gather just before Brown could take advantage of an open goal. Again Bury went close on 54 minutes, as the Blues’ free-kick was sliced by Bishop’s No.2 back towards his own goal, with Harry Brown running in to chase but was beaten to it by the keeper. Bishop’s then countered down the other end a minute later, as Bishop’s on the left lobbed the ball over George Bugg with the ball bouncing on the line before hitting the near post and bouncing away to safety. The home side then went narrowly close to going in-front on 57 minutes, going for goal on the edge of the box but were denied once more, as the keeper dived up superbly to tip past his top left corner. On the hour mark, Bury went close again as Charlie Cook set Emmanuel Machaya through with a superb lifted ball over the top. The latter‘s low strike from the edge of the box however, was palmed behind his left post by the diving keeper.
As Bury continued to go close to an opening goal, Branham Ince swung in a free-kick on the right wing, with 25 minutes left to play. The right back’s ball into the back post though was headed wide. Bishop’s then had a half chance to going ahead themselves, the visitors’ cross in on the left was bundled wide off the left post for a goal kick on 70 minutes. Down the other end, Harry Brown again had a go at finding the Bishop’s net, this time shooting from the right edge of the box, the Bury striker saw his shot deflected wide off the far post, with the keeper able to gather- on 71 minutes. A minute later, the Bury forward went even closer, as Bury increased the pressure on Bishop’s goal- shooting on the left side in the box but just wide off the far post. Stortford then could’ve taken the lead themselves on 73 minutes. The away side squaring in from the left wing, with the shot at the open goal cleared off the line by Joshua Revell. Bury then countered up the other end, with Harry Brown’s shot from 18-yards being parried away by the keeper.
The away side then set a man through the defence on the left side in the box, forcing George Bugg to come out well to block the low shot with his hand- only to be offside anyway on 77 minutes. The Blues went close again with 12 minutes to go, as Emmanuel Machaya squared across goal from the left finding Harry Brown two yards out. However, the striker’s touch went straight to the keeper. On 79 minutes, Bury kept up the hunt for what proved to be the winning goal, Charlie Cook curling just over the top right corner. Seconds later, Tommy Robinson was the next to go for goal as the midfielder lobbed the keeper but also just beat the right post. The home side then had slight appeals for a penalty waved away, when Emmanuel Machaya went down on the left side in the box but was waved away by the referee on 80 minutes.
A minute later though, Stortford had a go at goal, on the left side in the box but hit low and wide off the near post. Back came the Blues however, Harry Brown shooting low and wide off the left post from 18-yards out on 84 minutes. Next to go for goal, was Bury forward Emmanuel Machaya on 86 minutes. As Machaya got through on the left wing and cut into the box, the number nine then shot low at goal but was put behind his near post by the keeper. With the game entering stoppage time, it was clear one goal would decide this thriller, with chances still coming- Bishop’s firing over from the right side in the box on 90+2 minutes. Two minutes later, there was still time for both sides to find a winning goal, Stortford’s number fifteen has the freedom of the box but hit just wide off the bottom right corner. Bury then countered down the other end and got that deserved winning goal, Harry Brown finding the top right corner to superbly settle the game in the Blues’ favour. Brown’s late cracking strike also meant that Bury maintained their home unbeaten league record, with just one game at home to go (home to Haringey Borough on February 11th).
Full Time: Bury Town Development 1 Bishop’s Stortford Development 0