Bury Town Under-18s fell to a second home defeat in three games after two late Sporting '87 goals seal the points despite Blues hitting the post twice, writes Drew Kendall
Bury were on top in the first half, but just lacked the clinical edge to put the ball in the visitors net. The Blues went close on 4 minutes, Josh Revell setting Taylor Rothon through the centre who carried on running to the right side in the area before having a shot blocked. The loose ball however, was pounced on by the Sporting keeper Ellis Edwards. Bury then had another shot on 6 minutes, but Cameron Smith saw his effort on the right blocked. Following great persistence from Freddie McCracken, the hosts’ striker won his side a corner from which Bury shot wide off the right post from distance on 12 minutes. Four minutes later, Sporting found their way through onto the left in the box with Jack Wass alert to intercept just before the visitors could shoot at goal. The Sporting No.7 then evaded challenges from both Josh Revell and Jack Wass on his way through but shot over the top left corner from twenty yards after 18 minutes.
Bury then went agonisingly close to taking the lead with 22 minutes on the clock, rattling the post as the ball rebounded behind for a goal kick. The Young Blues then went close again two minutes later, skipper Revell’s free-kick from the right edge of the box curled over the wall but dipped just wide of the far post. With twenty minutes of the half to play, Bury swung in a corner on the left, which was headed away by a visiting defender, but was headed off target by a Bury man at the near post with Sporting being awarded a free-kick anyway. The Sporting No.6 then had a fiercely struck shot blocked from 25-yards on 26 minutes, followed by Smith shooting from the right edge of the box only to blocked after 28 minutes. The rebound fell to McCracken who eventually found space to shoot low and wide of the left post from 18-yards. With the half coming to a close, Rudnicki was picked out by a Bury cutback into the left side in the box on 29 minutes, but was palmed away well by the keeper diving down on his right.
Sporting then won a corner, on 33 minutes, on the right finding a man in acres of space at the far post, whose ball across goal was shot wide by No.3 at the right post, with Bury going close seconds later. The hosts’ counter sees the Blues get through onto the right but shot low with the keeper able to save. Bury then had the final chance of the opening half six minutes before the break, Blues’ ball into the box on the right was flicked on by the head of McCracken at the near post. The Bury No.9 then stabbed the loose ball straight at the Sporting stopper’s chest.
Half Time: Bury Town Under-18s 0-0 Sporting 87 Under-18s.
Arguably, Sporting got better in the second half with Bury struggling to get balls into the final third. Bury though had the first shot of the half, on 48 minutes Revell tried his luck with a thirty yard strike low at goal, but struck wide off the left post. Fifty-two minutes in Sporting went close to taking the lead, as the visitors countered down finding themselves through on the right side in the box. The visitors then beat Reynolds but saw the shot at the open goal cleared impressively off the line by the retreating defender. Then on 56 minutes, McCracken went for a half-volley on the right edge of the box only to hit the side netting of the top left corner. Sporting then had a shot on the left inside the box on 61 minutes, but fired out for a throw in on the far side. Seconds later, Bury crossed the ball into Tinde in the centre, his header towards the bottom left corner though was dramatically palmed away by the keeper with the flag up for offside regardless.
Then on 63 minutes, Rudnicki blocked Sporting No.8’s shot outside the area, before McCracken was set through to right edge of the box who was met by the keeper who stood just inside his area. The striker’s shot was stopped well by the stopper, though, who pounced on the rebound. Sporting’s No.8 then had a shot after 69 minutes, but shot comfortably at Reynolds at his right post. Then with twenty minutes to go, Revell’s 20-yard strike was hit low but straight at the keeper. After 72 minutes, Allison set Revell through the defence with the captain’s shot low on the left in the area saved by the stopper. The rebound though bounced off Revell and just behind for a goalkick. Sporting then won free-kick after free-kick, with the next one on 77 minutes being on the right edge of the box but was curled over the top near corner. Two minutes later, Spotting then whipped a corner in on the right, but headed it over the bar at the near post. Then on 84 minutes, Sporting’s corner in on the right was shot towards the near post as Bury cleared off the line.
As time began to tick down, Sporting won a free-kick from range with 4 minutes left to play. The free-kick which was swung into the right post was headed on with the second header going straight to Reynolds at his near post, but was offside regardless. Sporting’s No.7 then had a shot from the edge of the box on 87 minutes, but saw his effort blocked, the rebound though was shot low and wide of the near post from the left edge of the area. Sporting then struck right at the vital moment, taking the lead on 89 minutes, the corner in on the right being volleyed home from close range. Two minutes later, they made the points safe as poor defending from the hosts gave the ball away to No.7 who ran down the centre, charging at goal. The visiting man then netted into the bottom right corner one-on-one from close range.
By this point it was unfortunately game over for the Blues, but didn’t stop Josh Revell from having a long range strike on the turn going straight at the keeper on 90+5 minutes. Sadly, that was that as Bury were left to rue several missed chances.
Full Time: Bury Town Under-18s 0-2 Sporting 87 Under-18s.
Bury Town Team:
1 Connor Reynolds
2 Joseph Gunn
3 Tyler Matthews
4 Jack Wass
5 Aidan Browne
6 Ethan Heap
7 Taylor Rothon
8 Joshua Revell (c)
9 Freddie McCracken
10 Cameron Smith
11 Chester Rudnicki
12 James Field-Rayner
14 John Tinde
14 Adam Newton
16 Hari Jolland
17 Will Allison
Booked: Revell (57’)