Bury Town 1, Aveley 2
Two second-half goals helped the Millers to a first ever victory away at Bury Town at the tenth attempt.
Before this game the Millers had a torrid record away at Ram Meadow, after seven losses and two draws. However, it proved to be tenth time lucky after goals from Andy Freeman and Tom Richardson in the second half clinched three points and kept them firmly in contention for the Bostik North title.
Both sides made a slow start to the matchand there wasn’t much really to report after 25 minutes into the game. Bury Town had a couple of headers from corners drift well wide of David Hughes’ goal and a bad tackle from Bury’s Tommy Hughes on Sam Mvemba was awarded with a yellow.
The Millers started to get the ball down and play after a scrappy start to the match, Andy Freeman slipped in Alex Akrofi who curled past keeper George Bugg into the bottom left-hand corner, but it was ruled out by a late flag.
The hosts’ stand-out performer was Jake Chambers-Shaw and he was unlucky with a couple of attempts in the first half when both efforts hit the Millers wall.
Aveley began to exert some authority and after a neat passage of play Jason Raad curled an effort from the edge of the area towards goal, but it was comfortably saved by Bugg.
Raad was soon after involved again, he played in Richardson after winning the ball back in the middle of the pitch. Richardson had to take his shot early after being closed down and could only find the keeper again who made the save and the sides went into the break goalless.
Aveley started the second half strongly, Freeman ran at the fullback, only to see his cross miss both Akrofi and Richardson in the box. The Millers kept going and after Richardson was fouled on the edge of the area, Raad stepped up and he saw his curled free-kick go perfectly over the wall, beat Bugg but just go wide of the right-hand post.
On the 65th minute the game came to life, the ball ended up with Freeman in the Bury penalty area, the ball didn’t look like it would come down but he got his shot off and with enough power to beat Bugg.
A minute after the goal Freddie Gard got the ball just outside the area and opted to shoot but he saw his effort just go wide of the keepers’ left-hand post.
However, a second goal wasn’t long in coming. On 70 minutes Sam Cross took a free-kick on the edge of the area and it took a deflection off of the wall before landing to Richardson who applied a finish to score his 12th of the season.
Bury then threw caution to the win and pressed Aveley back. And the pressure paid with eight minutes remaining when the ball wasn’t cleared from a corner and Chambers-Shaw volleyed home into the bottom right-hand corner.
The Millers were then reduced to ten men with Alex Akrofi shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident. Six minutes were then added on and in the fifth of them Millers’ James Love pocked up a second caution to leave the visitors with nine men to see out the last minute.
Bury Town had one last chance for a free-kick which was for some reason blasted over the crossbar rather than putting it in the box, and the Millers managed to hold on for a precious three points.