Bury Town 2
Mildenhall Town 1
Sometimes, life just isn’t fair — so says the manager of Mildenhall Town, after losing 2-1 in controversial circumstances to Bury Town in Saturday’s Suffolk derby.
Dean Greygoose was highly critical of the game’s officials, who awarded Bury Town’s second goal in the Bostik North Division meeting, despite reservations over whether or not it had crossed the goal line.
It was a derby with plenty of drama to keep the 337 spectators entertained on the cold and wet afternoon.
Both teams showed they were keen to take the winning honours from the kick-off, and it looked as though Bury had got there first, although Cemal Ramadan’s goal was ruled offside.
Bury Town went on to enjoy the majority of chances in the first half and their persistence eventually paid off in the 39th minute, as Ramadan lobbed ‘keeper Jake Hallett to take his side into half-time a goal to the good.
Mildenhall came out a different team for the second half but, according to Greygoose, missed key chances that could have won them the game.
Matthew Green, Claudio Ofosu and Jake Chambers-Shaw all missed fantastic opportunities to equalise within just 10 minutes.
But they finally found a goal in the 58th minute, as defender-turned-striker Tom Debenham fired in from close-range after a goalmouth scramble. He is relishing his new role up-front, having scored five of their last eight goals.
The equaliser, however, seemed to reinvigorate Bury, who got back into the game during an exciting period.
Controversy then exploded as Gareth Simpson put in a heavy tackle on Noel Aitkens in the 78th minute to spark a lively debate both on and off the pitch about how to sanction him.
After emotions died down and Simpson was cautioned, Bury Town put the free-kick into the box where an unfortunate Hallett spilled the ball.
Both Ollie Hughes and Ramadan leapt to it, with the ball deemed to have been bundled over by Hughes — Greygoose said Hallett was ‘adamant’ it did not.
He said: “I don’t understand how the linesman could have seen it with so many bodies in the way. I think it was a guess. And it cost us the draw I think we deserved. We had chances, they had chances, both missed — we missed three open goals.
“We have to be more clinical, it’s been the tale of this season for us a little bit.
“I’m still proud of the players for trying different things though, we’re a young side and sometimes it just doesn’t work in your favour.”
• On Tuesday, Mildenhall bounced back from their derby disappointment with a 2-0 home win over Witham Town, thanks to goals from Debenham and Chambers-Shaw.
The Hall host third-placed Potters Bar Town on Saturday (3pm). Greygoose admitted the team have missed ‘the big man’ Luke Butcher to injury, and hopes he will soon have the defender back at his disposal.
He added: “We will only get better but we need the big man back, our skipper.
“We lost two goals to Bury Town on the long ball and I don’t think we would have conceded either with him on.”