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Bury Town 0-0 Kingstonian
K's bury their defensive past

Perhaps determined to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic start to last season, Alan Dowson set Ks up with the sort of cautious 4-5-1 formation that was highly in vogue during the World Cup. The result, as was often the case in South Africa, was a tight contest with few chances at either end, allowing Dowson's side to secure a reasonably comfortable 0-0 draw.

Ks did an excellent job of restricting their opponents mainly to long-range efforts and set pieces, with Rob Tolfrey never truly troubled. However, Ks only came close themselves a couple of times, and could have little complaint about the final score.

With Bobby Traynor not fully fit, Carl Wilson-Denis played alone up front. Despite often being isolated, he did a customarily excellent job of holding up the ball, but only he, Matt Gray and Dean Lodge offered much attacking threat through the game. Too often, there were not enough bodies in the box when Ks attacked to threaten a well-organised Bury defence.

With the centre of midfield packed with defensive-minded players, it was down the wings that Ks looked to attack. While Gray mostly sought to deliver crosses, Lodge's main method of attack was to cut in from the left. It was from such a chance in the seventh minute that he had the first chance of the game, but his shot was weak and easy for goalkeeper Marcus Garnham.

Bury often looked to have the better of Ks' defence in the pace department but some smart interceptions from the new-look back line kept the danger at bay. The first half was particularly non-eventful, with Garnham making another comfortable save from Gary McDonald being, in the loosest sense of the word, a highlight.

Ks came out after the break with more purpose but their closest effort of the game saw Gray's shot come out off the underside of the bar, the main chance of a spell of sustained pressure. Both sides continued to try, and fail, from outside the penalty box, Tom Bullard miskicked when in a good position for Bury and Max Hustwick fired well wide with a half-chance from a tight angle.

Callum Kearns had a sight of goal after a Tobi Jinadu mistake but Dean Hamlin covered quickly to force him to rush his shot from the edge of the box and Tolfrey got down well to save comfortably. Kieran Zeabon headed over from a corner and Tom Bird had a free kick easily saved as the deadlock was maintained through a second half that was only slightly more open than the first.

Garnham made the best save of the match on 65 minutes, making a reflex save from a turning shot by Wilson-Denis following a route one move involving Gray and Adam Thompson.

The game fizzled out in the last twenty minutes however, with both sides appearing content to settle for a draw. When the tired Wilson-Denis was withdrawn for Bobby Traynor, who fared less well in the isolated front role, the chances dried up for Ks but the Suffolk side never looked like taking advantage.

A leaky defence proved extremely costly for Ks last year and the evidence of this game would be an encouraging sign that Dowson has hopefully improved that area of his team. They will, however, need to show more spark and creativity, which should be more in evidence when Traynor, Bashiru Alimi and Mo Harkin return to fitness.

Sat 21st Aug 2010
Ram Meadow
Isthmian League Premier
Bury Town0
1Rob Tolfrey
2Dean Hamlin Cautioned
3Tom Bird
4Tobi Jinadu
5Gary MacDonald
6Jean-Sylvain Dossou12
7Matt Gray
8Max HustwickCautioned
9Carl Wilson-Denis14
10Adam Thompson
11Dean Lodge
12Bobby Traynor6
14Simon Huckle9
15Lee Hall
16Sam Clayton
17Nic Taylor
Match Report By
Simon Grier