Bury Town 5-0 up when match is controversially abandoned because of fog
- Credit: Archant
Bury Town 5 Witham Town 0 (match abandoned)
Bury Town were 5-0 up against Witham Town, with just seven minutes remaining, when referee Murray Grant controversially called off last night’s Isthmian League North match because of fog.
The Blues were in cruise control after Jake Chambers-Shaw had bagged a hat-trick, in addition to setting up the other two goals for Cemal Ramadan and Ollie Hughes.
Conditions were foggy throughout the second half, but it didn’t seem to get much worse before the referee called off proceedings, much to the frustration and anger of the home club.
Bury were heading for a deserved three points, and will feel very hard by - you could clearly see both goals, from the sidelines, throughout the evening.
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“It was a crazy and a naive – whatever you’d like to call it – decision by the referee,” blasted Bury Town boss Ben Chenery.
“The referee has to be accountable. We are in the middle of a pandemic, and we’re not replaying this match because we can’t fit another one in!
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“The club are working so hard to get these games on, and to get these people in, and we are 5-0 up with just seven minutes remaining!
“We are about to win a league game when the referee decides to call off the match when the fog was no worse than it had been throughout the whole game.
“The referee told me that he had made his decision and that I am not to argue with him, because the linesmen cannot make correct decisions (because of the fog).
“I have never come across anything like this, in my whole career as a player and a manager, and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
“It is a real kick in the teeth!” added Chenery.
It seemed that Bury effectively put this game to bed inside the first 35 minutes as they raced into a 3-0 lead. Only poor finishing prevented them from being five or six ahead at the break.
They deservedly took the lead in the 14th minute when Chambers-Shaw cracked in an angled low drive which was deflected into the far corner of the net, past Witham keeper and skipper Rhys Madden.
The busy Madden did well to tip away a swirling cross-cum shot by Will Gardner, with Hughes waiting to pounce, while at the other end Witham had just one real first-half chance, striker Usman Adeniji blazing over from an excellent position.
Bury’s pressure told with a second goal on the half-hour mark. Chambers-Shaw was the creator with a dazzling run into the box, weaving past several defenders before teeing up Ramadan, who could hardly miss from five feet out and an empty net beckoning.
The Blues were 3-0 up in the 33rd minute. Again Chambers-Shaw was instrumental in the build-up, this time setting up Hughes, who created room for himself before planting a shot from the edge of the box into the roof of the net.
More goals could have followed. Hughes was denied by a fingert-tip save from Madden on 42 minutes, while both Ramadan and Gardner peppered the target in first-half stoppage time.
It didn’t take long for Bury to add to their tally in the second period, Chambers-Shaw stealing in to prod home his second and his side’s fourth in the 54th minute.
And Chambers-Shaw then completed his hat-trick with a terrific long-range shot that flew into the net via the underside of bar, from 25 yards out, on 67 minutes.
It seemed that a home win was inevitable, only for the match to be called off on 83 minutes, much to the frustration of a bumper crowd of 400.
Chenery added: “To be honest, the referee did not know what he was doing.
“I asked the referee when we went in - ‘can we give it 10 or 15 minutes and bring them (the players) back out? - but he said ‘no, I have made my decision.’
“That was another incorrect decision, because you should wait for 10 or 15 minutes before you call a game off, so he’s made that wrong decision.
“He’s then tried to justify it, but he couldn’t do that. He should have said that he got it wrong.
“It was just the most outrageous decision that I have ever come across in football, ever! I’ve got no answer for it.
“I’ve had occasions in my (playing) career when we have gone off, but we’ve left it for 20 minutes. I remember a match at Halifax (playing for Cambridge United) when we went off and then came back on when it (the fog) cleared.
“There was only seven minutes left, we needed to be sensible. The game was done, and yet Witham players were trying to get the game called off.
“We have worked so hard to win games. The effort my management team and players have put in to get results like this is immense, and yet we have people who are not up to the job.
“The fog did not get much worse in the second half. I’m lost for words.
“It looked to me like the referee was out of his depth when he made that call. He didn’t take control of the situation and say that we will walk off for 10 to 15 minutes.
“There were no need for that decision to be made, and I call on the FA to have some bravery, because this result has to stand.
“We can’t do this again. Why should we have another football match when the chairman and board have worked so hard to put this on.
“We sold fully out (crowd of 400), and it’s a sickening blow, after what was such an entertaining game of football.”
BURY: Rose, O’Reilly, Gardner, Hood, Altintop, Hastings, Chanbers-Shaw (sub Maugn, 71), Edwards (sub Mills,74), Hughes, Ramadan (sub Nyadzayo, 71), Snaith. Unused subs: Cook, Mayhew.
WITHAM: Madden, Willis (sub Salami, 46), Norton (sub Parson, 46), Nesbitt, Mackenzie, Emsden, Capel, Bell, Adeniji, McCullock (sub Portway, 64), Whipps. Unused subs: Godward, Papple.
Josh Kerridge scored an injury-time winner as FELIXSTOWE & WALTON UNITED beat AFC SUDBURY 3-2 in a thrilling Suffolk derby in the Isthmian League North last night.
The Seasiders trailed twice, before taking all three points at the death.
Shane Temple put AFC Sudbury 1-0 up in the sixth minute, and Billy Holland hit the bar shortly afterwards, before Ollie Canfer equalised for the Seasiders on 28 minutes.
Sean Marks headed AFC Sudbury back in front from Tom Maycock’s 34th minute corner, but Leon Ottley-Gooch equalised for the hosts 20 minutes into the second half.
And Kerridge then came up trumps with an injury-time winner for the Seasiders.
Meanwhile, in the Southern League Premier Central, LEISTON crashed to a 7-4 defeat at Biggleswade Town. That match stood at 4-4 going into the last quarter of the game.
NEEDHAM MARKET beat Royston Town 3-1 in the same competition, thanks to a brace from Ben Foakes (8 & 82) and one from Byron Lawrence (23).