by Hannah Ingram at Gigg Lane
After a pre-season that had seen Bury reform their team after many summer departures, they returned to open the new season on home turf at Gigg Lane. Andy Bishop had been playing well in the pre-season friendlies, which had many people awaiting his return to form in the league after a long stint of injuries has left him far from form.
The starting XI had six debutants for Bury, with Steven Schumacher stepping into the gap left by Stephen Dawson as Bury's captain. Similarly to Bury, Port Vale missed out on the play-offs last season, so the first match of the season looked set to be a case of getting a foothold on the match and setting up for the months ahead.
A powerful run forwards from Andy Haworth on two minutes seemed to test the Port Vale defence, but his final touch lacked the power to trouble Stuart Tomlinson in the Vale net.
Bury's appeals for a handball were turned down by the referee on 9 minutes after a strong cross from Haworth on the right met the head of an outstretched Andy Bishop to the left of the net; he was convinced the ball then made contact with a flailing arm from Port Vale, only for the referee to dismiss it.
Gary Roberts saw his chance from the right of the box on 13 minutes fly just over the bar after making space for himself as Bury's defence tracked back.
Ryan Lowe's sweetly struck pass from the right found Bishop just inside the box on the left on 16 minutes; after controlling the ball and taking it along the top of the box, his shot looked destined for the bottom left hand corner before being palmed away by Tomlinson.
Phil Picken was given a chance on goal on 24 minutes after the ball had been half cleared by Port Vale; collecting it just outside the box, his effort bounced just wide of the right post.
Anthony Griffith tested Cameron Belford in the Bury goal with a long range effort on the half hour, but he got down well to gather the ball.
Yellow card for Bury on 30 minutes - Andy Haworth
Yellow card for Port Vale on 37 minutes - Gary Roberts
Yellow card for Port Vale on 44 minutes - Justin Richards
Two minutes of additional time were indicated by the fourth official as Port Vale started to get more into the game after the early chances seemed to all go Bury's way. The Shakers has started well but knew they'd need to keep it up in the second half in order to get a goal on the score sheet.
Half Time - Bury 0 Port Vale 0
Port Vale came out flying after the break, and it wasn't long before the first real chance arrived, but Doug Loft wasted it on 52 minutes. He shot across the goal after gathering the ball on the right of the box, with Belford still tracking back from the left of the goalmouth.
GOAL! Lee Collins took the lead on 65 minutes after Bury failed to clear their lines in a crowded penalty area; the ball eventually came out to Collins who blasted home, high into the net.
Bury 0 Port Vale 1
Moments later and Mark Richards blasted his the ball towards goal but Efe Sodje was there to block.
At the other end of the field, Ryan Lowe made space on the right of the box on 68 minutes before turning to cross the ball for Andy Bishop, but Tomlinson got in front of him to gather the ball.
Richards tried again on 69 minutes after he was allowed a free header on the left of the box, but he managed to put the ball wide of the post with practically an open net.
Double substitution for Bury on 74 minutes - Kyle Bennett on for Andy Haworth, Michael Jones on for David Worrall
Double substitution for Port Vale on 76 minutes - Louis Dodds on for Doug Loft, Robert Taylor on for Sean Rigg
Michael Jones was ambitious on 79 minutes after sending the ball at goal from the right; his shot was heading towards the bottom right hand corner, but Tomlinson got down well at the post to save, despite dropping the ball in front of him at first.
Bishop made space on the right of the box on 81 minutes before crossing back for Ryan Lowe but his header was wide of the left post.
Substitution for Bury on 84 minutes - Lenell John-Lewis on for Ryan Lowe
Yellow card for Port Vale on 90 minutes - John McCombe
Three minutes of added time were indicated by the fourth official as Bury searched for a late equaliser. Their search was in vain as time was eventually called on the first match of the new season which saw Port Vale take the points home from Gigg Lane. It wasn't the best start for the Shakers but with plenty of games still to play, the marathon of the league was still anyone's game. Bury had played some good passing football, but it was Port Vale who took the game to them after the break and got their reward.
Full Time - Bury 0 Port Vale 1
Attendance - 4681 (1945 visitors)