Maurice Dickson at Gigg Lane
It was fifth versus third at two of the Divisions promotion hopefuls clashed at Gigg Lane this afternoon in a classic War of the Roses battle. There was still no Andy Bishop in the Shakers line up due to Tendonitis but otherwise the Whites lined up as they had a Morecambe","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;" href="#">Morecambe on Tuesday night.
For the Millers, ex Shaker Ryan Cresswell was missing due to a family bereavement and our condolences go to Ryan and the Cresswell family.
It didn't take the referee, Mr Sutton, long to make his mark as he awarded the games first Yellow card to Efe Sodje for a clumsy challenge on Kevin Ellison in just the second minute.
The first ten minutes saw the two sides sounding each other out with Rotherham firing over the bar from the edge of the box on two occasions and the Shakers using the flanks to test the Millers full backs.The Shakers should have taken the lead in the fifteenth minute though, when a deep cross from Worrall wasn't cleared properly by Andy Warrington but Michael Jones blasted the ball high over the crossbar from eight yards out.
The Shakers next attempt on goal came five minutes later when good work by Worrall and Lowe created the opportunity for John-Lewis to try his luck from twenty yards but it was straight at Warrington who saved easily.
Rotherham's danger man Adam Le Fondre came close to opening the Millers account when he broke through in the 31st minute after a great pass by Mullins but he dragged his shot just wide of Cameron Belford's left hand post.
The midfield battle was raging…the slick passing style of the Shakers and the "Take no Prisoners" attitude of the Yorkshiremen with Law, Ellsion and Jason Taylor, a close season target for Shakers boss, Alan Knill, all putting in fierce tackles but Schumacher, Mozika and Jones were proving just as competitive but still trying to keep their passing game going and feeding the ball in from the flanks.
All that said it was a simple mistake by Nick Fenton which led to the Shakers taking the lead. His misplaced pass led to Lennel John-Lewis breaking forward and as Fenton tackled back the ball fell to Millers man mountain centre half, the brilliantly named Exodus Geohaghon, but his back pass to Andy Warrington fell woefully short and Ryan Lowe was onto it as quick as a flash, rounding Warrington in the United goal to stroke it home into the empty net for his 99th League goal.
GOAL: Bury 1 - 0 Rotherham United (Lowe 41)
That was the last real action of the first half and the Shakers went into break a goal to the good.
Half time Bury FC 1 - 0 Rotherham United
It took the Millers just over a minute to get back into the game when a horrible mistake by Phil Picken gifted Millers winger Kevin Ellison the ball and the big wingers cross found striker Adam Le Fondre and his header, from six yards out, past a helpless Cameron Belford, was his tenth goal of the season.
GOAL: Bury FC 1 - 1 Rotherham United
As the Shakers tried to get their lead back Ryan Lowe tried his luck from the edge of the area but his curling shot went a couple of yards wide. It was Bury's leading scorer who created the next chance, chasing the ball down in the corner and wriggling his way into the box before pulling the ball back for Lennell John-Lewis but he was quickly surrounded red shirted defenders who hacked the ball clear.
Rotherham were gifted a free kick after Sodje was harshly adjudged to have fouled Le Fondre and the ref gave the big Nigerian a final warning however, the free kick came to nought and Le Fondre ended up being spoken to by the ref for a foul on Tom Lees..
On the hour Shakers boss made a double substitution with Andy Haworth replacing David Worrall and Nicky Ajose coming on for Lennel John-Lewis.
Bury Subs: Haworth on for Worrall. Ajose on for John-Lewis 60.
On 67 some delightful passing between Schumacher and Mozika set young sub Nicky Ajose away and the youngster, roared on by a sizable following from his former junior club, Brandlesholme Warriors, amongst the crowd of 3,585, showed his speed to leave Harrison trailing but his cross was knocked away for a corner and the chance was lost.
A foul on 73 minutes by another ex-Shaker in a Millers shirt, Tom Newey, on Michael Jones, was only half cleared and Jones whipped in a cross which was met powerfully by Sodje but it went just wide of Warrington's left hand post.
Five minutes later and the pass of the match by Steven Schumacher was delightfully controlled by Ajose but the bounce of the ball was a shade too high and Geohaghon stretched out a long leg to knock it away before the young striker could get anything on it.
Rotherham Sub: Marshall on for Bradley 81
It was Tom Newey's turn next to be tested by the on loan Manchester United youngster as Ajose showed him a clean pair of heels but after all his good work he couldn't find a White shirt and the Millers cleared their lines.
Bury Sub: Bennett on for Jones 84
Ajose caused havoc, once again, when he picked up the ball after a great run by Sodje. He skinned Geohaghon and danced around a couple of defenders but as the ball broke back to him from Kyle Bennett's pass the ball cannoned around the Miller's box like a pin ball table until finally Harrison cleared off the line.
With a minute left in normal time Shakers skipper Steven Schumacher received a Yellow card for a foul on Le Fondre which the former Rochdale","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;" href="#">Rochdale striker really made a meal of.
The final whistle went soon after and the spoils were shared but the Shakers will be wondering how they managed to let two points slip away when the Millers were there for the taking and it seems that the lesson of not conceding immediately after half time was not learnt from the Gillingham","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;" href="#">Gillingham and Hereford games.
Full time score: Bury FC 1 - 1 Rotherham United
Bury FC: Cameron Belford, Phil Picken, Joe Skarz, Tom Lees, Efe Sodje, Damian Mozika, Steven Schumacher © , David Worrall (Haworth 60), Michael Jones, Lenell John-Lewis (Ajose 60), Ryan Lowe
Subs: Richie Branagan, Peter Sweeney, Andy Haworth, Kyle Bennett, Nicky Ajose, Max Harrop
Rotherham United: Andy Warrington, Tome Newey, Danny Harrison, Nick Fenton © Nicky Law, Jason Taylor, Adam Le Fondre, Kevin Ellison, Johnny Mullins, Mark Bradley, Exodus Geohaghon.
Subs: Jamie Green, Luke Ashworth, Paul Warne, Tom Elliott, Marcus Marshall, Dean Holden, Jamie Annerson.
Ref: Mr Garry Sutton, Assistants: Mr. S P Bennett, Mr PC Wright,
Attendance 3,585 (697 away)