Cheltenham Town v Bury FC by Maurice Dickson at Whaddon Road
The Shakers travelled down to the Cotswolds seeking revenge for last season's 5 - 2 mauling and sprung a surprise with the inclusion of 17 year old striker Nicky Ajose, a Friday evening loan signing from Manchester United, who had scored against the Shakers in the Lancashire Senior Cup last Monday evening.Peter Sweeney was absent from the squad having picked up a knock in training on Thursday. Andy Haworth dropped to the bench to allow skipper Steven Schumacher to return from suspension.
There was nothing between the two sides in the opening exchanges but in the eighth minute a fee kick on the left hand side was swung in by Steve Schumacher and as he rose for the header Efe Sodje had his shirt pulled by Andy Gallinagh and the linesman signalled straight away for the spot kick. Ryan Lowe strolled up and coolly sent Scott Brown the wrong way.
GOAL: Cheltenham Town 0 - 1 Bury FC - Ryan Lowe (pen) 8 minutes.
Cheltenham's first real effort on goal came on 21 minutes when a foul by Ryan Lowe led to a direct free kick 20 yards from goal. Robins left back Danny Andrew fired in a great curling free kick which made it around the wall but was saved superbly by Cameron Belford at full stretch. From the resulting corner the Shakers cleared and broke down the right hand side and after some good play between David Worrall and Lowe, the former pulled a delicious cross back from the by-line which was headed home beautifully by Andy Bishop only to see the linesman's flag raised for offside much to the consternation of the Bury bench, Lowe and Bishop.
Cheltenham then began to get more possession and on 28 Brian Smikle broke down the left but his shot went harmlessly wide. On 33 Schumacher was penalised by Mr Ward and as the opposing sides lined up along the edge of the line Andrew tried to fool everyone from around 40 yards and fired a direct effort at goal with Belford stood on his six yard line but his audacious effort sailed high over the bar.
It wasn't until the 38th minute that the Shakers got their first corner which was, in all honesty, a poor effort. The last chance of the first half came on 44 minutes when JJ Melligan played a lovely ball through a static Shakers midfield and with Sodje and Lees having pushed up, Wes Thomas was through on goal but a superb joint effort from Joe Skarz and Phil Picken denied the young Robins striker the chance to get his shot away.
Half Time: Cheltenham Town 0 - 1 Bury
The Shakers got the second half under way with no changes to either side. It didn't take long for the away side to put Cheltenham under pressure and a free kick by Jones was headed just over by Sodje.A minute later the Shakers had their second corner but Joe Skarz couldn't take advantage of a knock down by Bishop and the ball was cleared.
Town pressed forward and on 49 minutes won a corner which Belford got nowhere near but, despite efforts from Thomas and Pack, the Shakers cleared their lines. Two minutes later it was Bury's turn as they came close again to increasing their lead. Andrew gave the ball away in midfield and Bishop was on it instantly. He took the ball forward and fired in a powerful shot which Brown could only parry but Ryan Lowe's effort went wide when it looked easier to score.
The Shakers dominance began to increase but it was the Robins who had the next effort on target when a corner from Pook found Steve Elliott but his header was cleared off the line by Shakers skipper Steve Schumacher.
Cheltenham sub: Pook replaced on 56 by Shaun Jeffers.
On the hour a wonderful move by Damian Mozika, Andy Bishop and Ryan Lowe led to the ball being pulled back for Andy Bishop but his shot was just wide.
Bury sub: Lennel John-Lewis replaced Andy Bishop on 62
As the Shakers piled forward it was Steve Schumacher who had the next effort on Scott Brown's goal. Taking a leaf out of Andrew's book in the first half he tried a cheeky chip from a free kick which Brown just about tipped over the bar and, from the resulting corner, it was the Shakers captain who fired in, from the edge of the box, but Brown gathered at the second attempt.
By this time Worrall and Jones were causing all sorts of havoc down the flanks and it was the former who cut inside Andrew to fire a left footed shot just wide of the Town goal on 65.
The Shakers defence, ably marshalled by Sodje and Lees were barely troubled by the Town forwards and a rare attack was broken up by Sodje, he fed, Man of the Match, Damian Mozika who strode forward but his shot lacked any real power and was easily saved by Brown.
A minute later a beautiful pass by Schumacher found Ryan Lowe wide left and his first time control was a joy to watch. He skilfully layed the ball off to Mike Jones and the young wingers shot just skimmed the bar.
It was all Bury by this time and John-Lewis was the next to see his shot, from Lowe's flick on, just go over the top. The compliment was returned sixty seconds later but this time Lowe drove his shot wide after good work by John-Lewis.
Cheltenham sub: Bird on for Pack 74 minutes
By this time the Shakers dominance was total and they looked as if they could score at will. Lowe laying off a great pass from Mozika to Schumacher, who on another day could have scored a hat trick, but he saw his shot deflected for a corner.
Bury sub: Ajose on for Lowe 80 minutes
The Shakers latest signing caused mayhem down the right hand side before cutting inside Andrew but his cross was cleared for another Bury corner by Gallinagh.
The 83rd minute brought the game's only Yellow card for Steven Schumacher as his clumsy challenge on Bird was penalised by Mr Ward but, just two minutes later, the Shakers sealed the game with a wonderful goal from Mike Jones. He won a challenge on the right hand side and cut in towards the box and set off on a 30 yard run. The Robins defence parted like the Red Sea and the young Scouser's shot from the edge of the box left Brown flailing as it went in to the bottom left hand corner.
Bury sub: Bennett on for Worrall 88 minutes
The final whistle put the majority of the 2758 fans out of their misery but the travelling 236 Shakers will have gone home in buoyant mood with another away game at Morecambe","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;">Morecambe coming up on Tuesday night. This game should have been much more comfortable for the Shakers but with a clean sheet and a good performance the outlook is much brighter than this time last Saturday.
Bury FC: Cameron Belford, Phil Picken, Joe Skarz, Tom Lees, Efe Sodje, David Worrall (Bennett 88), Steven Schumacher (c), Damien Mozika, Ryan Lowe (Ajose 80), Andy Bishop (John-Lewis 62) , Michael Jones Subs: Richie Branagan, Max Harrop, Ben Futcher, Lenell John-Poole, Kyle Bennett, Nicky Ajose, Andrew Haworth
Cheltenham Town: Scott Brown, Keith Lowe, Danny Andrew, Andy Gallinagh, Michael Pook (c), Wesley Thomas, Jeff Goulding, Brian Smikle, JJ Melligan, Steve Elliott, Marlon Pack Subs: Daniel Lloyd-Weston, David Bird, Kyle Haynes, Theo Lewis, Shaun Jeffers, Robin Shroot
Referee: GL Ward. Referees Assistants: L Swabey, M E Weaver Fourth Official: A R Handley
n sheet and a good performance the outlook is much brighter than this time last Saturday.