Bostik League division north

WITHAM Town’s Bostik League division north trip to Bury Town started badly and never recovered as they went down to a disappointing 5-2 defeat at Ram Meadow.

It was in just the second minute that sixth-placed Bury took the lead and they severely punished an under par Witham performance to extend that to 3-0 by half-time.

Although Toby Aromoloran scored twice after the break for Witham as they salvaged brief moments of hope, the hosts completed the job with two more headed goals from set pieces

The upshot was a second loss on the bounce for Witham – after the 2-0 defeat by Tilbury on Saturday – and they were left to ponder a first set of consecutive defeats since mid-November.

There had been two changes for Witham from the side that had lost to Tilbury at the weekend, with returns to the starting line-up for Andrew Tirivanhu and Tyler Christian-Law.

However, it was an awful start as the ball had barely been out of their half when they fell behind with just 63 seconds on the clock.

A simple ball through the middle caught their back line static and half asleep as Cemal Ramadan strolled through and tucked the ball past a woefully exposed Luca Collins in the Witham goal.

It was the worst possible start for the visitors and, with Bury buoyed by the early strike, they were on the back foot for a while.

There was almost a second goal when Jake Chambers Shaw found space on the edge of the Witham box and drilled in a low shot in that Collins had to turn round the post.

After the tough start, though, Witham started to respond and some good play up front from Ayo Odukayo forced a mistake from Luis Tibbles in the home goal.

The ball fell to Toby Aromoloran 25 yards out and, with the Bury keeper out of position, he tried to lob the ball into the net, but his shot was skewed wide of the open goal and the chance passed.

It allowed the home side to stay on top and the Witham goal was put under increasing pressure again, with one effort cleared off the line and Ryan Jolland heading over from close range.

And the second goal duly followed on 25 minutes.

It came from a Witham mistake as possession was surrendered cheaply in midfield and Ryan Horne advanced to the edge of the box before firing a low shot into the bottom corner of the goal.

It was a 25 minutes to forget for Witham when they had been distinctly second best all over the pitch and had paid the price for their sluggish start.

They realised they had a task on their hands and finally started to pick up their play as the home goal came under more pressure.

On 35 minutes a lovely ball played on the angle by Christian-Law allowed Aromoloran to get in behind the Bury defence, but his shot was saved by Tibbles and Pat Ahern’s reaction header from the rebound went just wide.

Tibbles then came out smartly to deny Johnny Ashman as he broke clear of the Bury back line from a nice through ball from Christian-Law and Witham were left wondering how they hadn’t got at least one goal back.

Instead the clinical edge remained at the other end.

On 41 minutes, there was a close call as Jolland’s 30-yard free-kick had to be tipped over the crossbar by Collins, but it proved a brief respite.

Just two minutes had passed when Bury extended their lead to three as Ollie Hughes powered home a bullet header from well-placed corner to effectively put the game to bed by half-time.

The second half got off to a considerably better start for Witham, though, and they resurrected hope with a goal in the 52nd minute.

It came when the ball was won strongly in midfield by Kevin Coyle, who spread the play across the pitch to where Aromoloran skipped inside and curled a shot past Tibbles.

However, the respite was short-lived for Witham and another headed goal from a corner – this time by Kyran Clements on 57 minutes – nipped the revival in the bud as the hosts led 4-1.

Witham had to respond again and they did get a goal back on 75 minutes when Aromoloran finished a neat move down the left.

However, there was a sense of déjà vu when, after five minutes had passed again, Clements scored with another powerful header from a corner to underline the hosts’ dominance on the night.

Witham Town: Luca Collins, Danny Norton, Kevin Coyle, Sam Owusu, Pat Ahern, Andrew Tirivanhu, Johnny Ashman, Tyler Christian-Law, Odukoya Ayo, Toby Aromolaran, Luke Foster. Subs not used: John Watson, Luke Mallett, Alfie Cerrulli, Jack Lelliot.