Bury vs Lincoln City
by Hannah Ingram at Gigg Lane
Bury returned to home turf for a third consecutive game to welcome Lincoln to a sun-drenched Gigg Lane for a Good Friday meeting.
The Shakers were still had promotion in their own hands and were sitting comfortably in second place, while their opponents still had one eye on the wrong end of the table as they were not yet safe and occupying 20th place.
A hamstring injury saw Phil Picken sit this game out, and Kyle Bennett made the starting line-up after his influential substitute appearance in the previous match.
The return fixture saw Bury beat Lincoln to the tune of a 5-0 drumming earlier in the season and a repeat would be more than welcome.
Some cheeky footwork from Kyle Bennett on 9 minutes saw him take the ball forward to the edge of the box before passing short to Nicky Ajose who sent the ball wide of the right post.
Lincoln wasted a good chance to take the lead on 23 minutes after forming a good attack, but the shot from Tom Kilbey was blocked by Cameron Belford to his left.
The first half was played out as Bury struggled to break down a Lincoln defence which seemed to stop them playing and passing. Lincoln had taken the ball forward but to no avail while Bury had most of the possession.
Two additional minutes were indicated by the fourth official, but they were also played out with neither side getting a clear hold on the game. It was clear what Bury were trying to do but it was easier said than done.
Half Time - Bury 0 Lincoln 0
Bury came back out knowing they needed a goal to set the ball rolling and give them the confidence to keep on track for promotion.
GOAL! After more persistence, Bury took the lead on 56 minutes with a strong header from Tom Lees, almost identical to his winner against Burton a few games ago. A curling corner from Peter Sweeney found Lees' head in front of goal and he made no mistake to put Bury into the lead and sent Gigg Lane wild.
Bury 1 Lincoln 0
Yellow card for Lincoln on 60 minutes - Ben Hutchinson
Ryan Lowe tried his luck from outside the box on 66 minutes, but Elliot Parish had it covered at the left post.
Substitution for Bury on 65 minutes - Andy Haworth on for Michael Jones
Bury were awarded a free kick on the very edge of the box on the left on 68 minutes after Ajose was hassled off the ball by Paul Green and the referee deemed it to be cynical. Steven Schumacher passed the ball low to Joe Skarz but he sent the ball over the bar at the second attempt.
Substitution for Lincoln on 70 minutes - Mustapha Carayol on for Josh O'Keefe
Substitution for Bury on 77 minutes - Lenell John-Lewis on for Nicky Ajose
Sweeney tried his luck from distance on 80 minutes and was only just wide of the target, sending the ball over the bar.
Double substitution for Lincoln on 85 minutes - Drewe Broughton on for Tom Kilbey, Scott Spencer on for Ben Hutchinson
Four minutes of additional time were indicated by the fourth official soon after Mustapha Carayol walked back into the Lincoln dugout soon after coming onto the field.
Substitution for Bury on 90 (+2) minutes - Max Harrop on for Ryan Lowe
Max Harrop worked hard on the left of the box with moments remaining to pass to Bennett in the box; his shot was blocked and fell to Sweeney whose strong shot was blocked and sent away for a throw in.
Despite late pressure from Lincoln, which included their keeper Elliot Parish getting forward, Bury held on to claim their fifth consecutive win to further cement their place in second.
Chesterfield","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;" href="#">Chesterfield were confirmed as promoted as Wycombe failed to beat Torquay - a result which also helped Bury enormously as Wycombe were now six points behind Bury in third.
Easter Monday sees Bury travel to Chesterfield","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;" href="#">Chesterfield for a huge game for both sides - could Bury's fate be sealed with two games left to play?
Full Time - Bury 1 Lincoln City 0
Attendance - 4248 (218 visitors)
Bury: Cameron Belford, Joe Skarz, Tom Lees, Ben Futcher, Peter Sweeney, David Worrall, Steven Schumacher,Michael Jones, Ryan Lowe, Kyle Bennett, Nicky Ajose
Substitutes: Andy Haworth, Lenell John-Lewis, Richie Branagan, Andrai Jones, Zach Rothwell, Luke McCarthy, Max Harrop
Lincoln City: Elliott Parish, Paul Green (c), Joe Anderson, Danny Hone, Gavin McCallum, Josh O'Keefe, Luke Howell, Cian Hughton, Tom Kilbey, Ben Hutchinson, Ali Fuseini
Substitutes: Joe Anyon, Mustapha Carayol,Drewe Broughton, Jamie Clapham, Scott Spencer, Patrick Kanyuka
Referee: Mr Trevor Kettle (Berkshire)
Assistant (Red & Yellow Flag): Mr A Hutchinson
Assistant (Yellow Flag): Mr L Metcalfe
Fourth Official: Mr S Bennett