|FA Vase (Carlsberg)
|Simon Harris reporting|
|Bury Town||1||Eady 8|
Wells taste bitter taste of defeat by boring Bury
The backdrop to Bury Town's compact stadium is dominated by a large sugar beat refinery.
However, there was nothing sweet for Tunbridge Wells to savour as they experienced the bitter taste of defeat to an un-refined football team in this FA Vase third round tie.
The home team's tactics were clear from the start. An industrious defence and midfield hurried their opponents on a narrow, short and bobbly pitch, with the ball being pumped long at every opportunity towards the box.
It was hard for Wells to get their footballing game going in such conditions and their task was made all the harder when they fell behind to a goal after just eight minutes. A high ball was lumped into the penalty area and fell onto the head of the unchallenged Eady and into the net.
This was to be Bury's only effort on target throughout the game, although once again missing a recognised striker Wells too found chances to be at a premium.
During a fifteen minute purple patch Wells managed to demonstrate some of the football that has established them as Kent League title contenders.
As Bury's defence stood firm, however, the closest the visitors came to an equaliser was when Cudworth was forced into a fine save, turning over a fierce shot from Brad Mortimer.
The second half saw Bury start with a real sense of urgency as they sought the second goal that they felt would kill the game.
Ultimately it was left to the Norfolk referee to achieve this with some remarkably inconsistent officiating.
Wells felt genuinely aggrieved at many decisions and their heads dropped when a dubious second yellow card was shown to Jay Westwood thus ending the defender's afternoon with half an hour remaining.
Despite their numerical advantage for the final half hour, Bury were kept at bay. Indeed it was Wells who went closest by calling Cudworth into action twice within a minute. First Steve Ward headed on to put Danny Barham through on the edge of the area. His firmly struck effort was turned round the post.
Then from the resultant corner, Ben Hilden arrived on the penalty spot to head towards the top corner only to see the ball desperately clawed away from under the bar.
The final whistle was met with dejection by the Wells players but they were nevertheless applauded off the field by some 50 travelling supporters amongst a crowd of 220.
Manager Kevin Metcalf, who normally sports the smile of the Cheshire Cat threatened to go home and kick his feline friend. He added that, 'the boys done very well and have been unlucky to get beat. We've played very well without creating anything. The referee had a very poor second half and a couple of decisions have cost us the game."
It is now back to the Kent League campaign with Maidstone United next at Culverden Stadium for a 3pm kick off on Saturday.