Crewe Alexandra vs Bury
by Hannah Ingram at Gresty Road
Following a memorable 5-4 victory against Gillingham","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;">Gillingham at home, Bury took to the road again to play Crewe. The Alex had drawn their previous two league games 1-1, with their last win coming in mid-August as they put seven goals past Barnet.
Bury boss Alan Knill named an unchanged side to the one that battled for the 5-4 win, and was looking to extend the Shakers' unbeaten run of four games in the league. Bury had sneaked into the play-offs in seventh place last weekend, and Crewe were only two points behind them in 13th.
Bury's starting XI contained three ex-Alex players, with Steven Schumacher, Efe Sodje and Ryan Lowe all receiving warm welcomes from the home fans.
GOAL! Crewe took an early lead on 3 minutes after Efe Sodje tried to cut out a forward ball but ultimately left the ball for Shaun Miller to collect as he strode forward, beating the out-stretched Cameron Belford.
Crewe 1 Bury 0
Calvin Zola was left with time to shoot on 7 minutes after Clayton Donaldson fed the ball through to him as he waited on the edge of the box; curling his shot towards the right post, Belford gathered the ball to his left.
Miller came close to making it two on 13 minutes from close range, but a good save from Belford made sure the ball went well over the bar.
GOAL! Dave Artell doubled Crewe's lead on 18 minutes; he got up well to claim a free header from a corner on the left and had Belford well beaten.
Crewe 2 Bury 0
Miller was close to claiming his second and Crewe's third on 22 minutes with a snapshot from the edge of the box, but Belford saved to his left.
Yellow card for Bury on 30 minutes - Steven Schumacher
Yellow card for Bury on 34 minutes - Phil Picken
Calvin Zola came close to grabbing a third for Crewe before the break, but he was flagged up by the linesman for using his arm to control the ball.
Two minutes of additional time were indicated by the fourth official, and Bury were yet to get anywhere into the game.
Time was soon called on an uneventful first half for the Shakers. They had been out-played by a Crewe side who were snapping at their feet and confident on the break. Bury's defence needed to work better as a collective to avoid letting Crewe's danger men leak through at the front.
Half Time - Crewe 2 Bury 0
Both sides returned to the field with no substitutions made.
Miller tested Belford on 55 minutes after a Lee Bell shot was palmed away by the Bury keeper; whilst still on the floor, he had to scoop the ball away from the feet of Miller at the near post.
Picken had space to shoot on 59 minutes from close range but shot wide of the right post.
Bury were down to ten men just after the hour after captain Steven Schumacher received his second booking after a foul on Calvin Zola; he passed the captain's armband to Ryan Lowe.
Second Yellow Card for Steven Schumacher on 62 minutes
Substitution for Bury on 68 minutes - Damien Mozika on for Andy Haworth
Double Substitution for Crewe on 68 minutes - Nick Powell on for Calvin Zola, Mat Mitchel-King on for Matt Tootle
GOAL! Crewe's third goal arrived on 71 minutes as Luke Murphy confidently shot from the right of the area into the opposite side of the net.
Crewe 3 Bury 0
Crewe could have easily made it 4-0 on 73 minutes after Joe Skarz brought down Nick Powell on the right of the box and the ref pointed to the spot. Clayton Donaldson stood up to take the penalty, but Cameron Belford blocked and sent the ball over the bar.
Substitution for Bury on 77 minutes - David Worrall on for Michael Jones
Bury's first attempt on target arrived on 81 minutes as Andy Bishop took a shot from the right of the box but it lacked any power and was easily gathered by Rhys Taylor in the Crewe goal.
Substitution for Bury on 83 minutes - Danny Carlton on for Andy Bishop
Substitution for Crewe on 85 minutes - Byron Moore on for Shaun Miller
Four minutes of additional time were indicated by the fourth official as Bury had another shot on target in the form of Ryan Lowe shooting from just outside the box, but Taylor was down in plenty of time to save.
Powell missed a good chance to make it four for the home side in the final minute of added time after the ball was crossed from the right by Donaldson, but Powell missed the net from close range as Belford tracked back to cover.
Time was then called on a bad day at the office for the Shakers. They didn't get out of first gear for the entire match, and it remains to be seen whether they were simply out-played or that they just didn't turn up on the pitch.
Bury return to home turf to face Hereford next week, and will draw a line under a disappointing afternoon in Crewe.
Full Time - Crewe 3 Bury 0
Attendance - 4030 (687 visitors)