Bury vs Bradford City
by Hannah Ingram at Gigg Lane
An empathic 3-1 win away at Aldershot saw the Shakers climb ever closer to the League Two top spot, sitting one point away going into tonight's match with Bradford City.
The Bantams put their poor start to the season behind them in recent weeks, with a thumping 5-0 win at home to Oxford City at the weekend propelling them up to 16th place and four points off the play offs.
A rainy Tuesday night lay ahead of both teams, and a sodden pitch looked set to cause a few problems.
Michael Jones fired over the bar on 8 minutes after some neat footwork on a tricky surface; the opening stages of the game were very much a case of adjusting to the soggy grass.
Bradford came close to taking the lead on 21 minutes after a whipped cross from Leon Osbourne on the right met the head of Jason Price in front of goal; his close range header forced a reaction save from Owain Fon Williams, sending the ball out for a corner.
GOAL! Bradford took the lead on 28 minutes after Fon Williams upended Jason Price in the box, resulting with the Bantams being awarded a penalty. Omar Daley stepped up to take it, sending the Bury keeper the wrong way.
Yellow card for Bury on 28 minutes - Owain Fon Williams
One minute of added time was indicated by the fourth official as both teams continued to battle against the elements.
Time was soon called on a largely uneventful half for both sides - it was undeniable that the weather was making things difficult, and the pitch was cutting up easily underfoot.
Bradford had the edge over the Shakers, with their one goal lead being the ultimate advantage on a tricky pitch. It was hard for either side the get the ball down and actually play.
Half Time - Bury 0 Bradford 1
Both sides returned to the field with no substitutions made.
David Worrall almost drew Bury level on 53 minutes after receiving the ball at the near post, but his shot was cleared by a goal line scuff from Bradford.
Ryan Lowe managed to find a gap in the steadfast Bradford defence on 65 minutes but hit the post with a shot along the ground from the edge of the box.
Substitution for Bradford on 69 minutes - James Hanson on for Omar Daley
Substitute James Hanson forced an acrobatic save from Fon Williams with one of his first touches of the match moments after joining the game, sending a powerful drive goal-bound which the Bury keeper tipped over.
Lowe was well wide with a right-footed shot on 75 minutes; he'd taken the ball down on his chest after a forward pass from Steven Schumacher but his shot on the turn wasn't a threat to the Bradford goal.
Substitution for Bradford on 83 minutes - Lee Bullock on for Tommy Doherty
Two minutes of added time were indicated by the fourth official as Bury forced a scrappy clearance from Bradford after a Lowe shot caused chaos in the box, giving the Shakers a corner.
Time was called on a frustrating evening for Bury, which saw them surrender their four match winning streak to a Bradford side that had done their homework.
The Shakers found it hard to get past the Bradford defence who defended their lead at every cost. The tricky surface made passing play near impossible, but the crucial penalty meant the slender lead was all it took for the Yorkshire team to take three points back across the Pennines.
The result saw the Bantams jump into the top half of the table in 10th place, while results elsewhere saw Bury keep hold of third place.
Full Time - Bury 0 Bradford 1
Attendance - 3521 (1198 visitors)