Bury vs Torquay United
by Hannah Ingram at Gigg Lane
A hard-earned point at fellow promotion hopefuls Rotherham saw Bury stay second in the table at the weekend, while all around them lost.
Bury welcomed Torquay to Gigg Lane tonight - a far from enviable trip on a Tuesday night - looking to get back to winning ways as this was one of their games in hand following the postponements in December.
Alan Knill had a defensive headache after the Rotherham match, with both Efe Sodje and Phil Picken collecting their tenth yellow card of the season, seeing them suspended for two games. He brought in Richard Eckersley on loan from Burnley","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;">Burnley for cover, while Ben Futcher earned a place in the starting XI. Damien Mozika returned in midfield after serving his suspension and loan striker Chris Holroyd also made the starting line-up.
Torquay battered Shrewsbury 5-0 at the weekend, proving that they are more than capable of challenging for the play-offs, so tonight would not be an easy game for either side.
GOAL! Bury took an early lead in the fourth minute and it was loanee Chris Holroyd who chalked up his first goal for the club; a cross from David Worrall on the left sped dangerously in front of goal, and Holroyd was there to tap the ball in and give Bury the lead.
Bury 1 Torquay 0
Ryan Lowe saw a strong shot from the left of the box on 10 minutes blocked by Scott Bevan after a clever pass from Kyle Bennett on the right.
Holroyd could have doubled his and Bury's tally on 18 minutes with some controlled footwork which saw him bring the ball down in the box and shoot on the turn; it looked destined for the bottom corner but the post kept it out.
Bury had two chances in quick succession on 23 minutes; a clever cross from Eckersley on the right found Ryan Lowe waiting on the left of the box, but his effort was blocked. The loose ball fell to Worrall on the left, and his cross was destined for the feet of Holroyd, but he managed to shoot wide from close range.
Bennett tore through the Torquay defence on 29 minutes before laying off the ball to Holroyd who beat the offside trap but took the ball too far into the box, giving Torquay a goal kick.
It was poetic play from the Shakers who seemed to be easing around a Torquay team who hadn't had a real chance on goal in the first half hour.
Substitution for Torquay on 32 minutes - Damon Lathrope on for Ronan Murray
Bury were keeping the lion's share of possession, but the confidence they started the game with had slowed somewhat in the closing stages of the first half. Some passes and moves were going astray, but Bury still seemed on top of things.
One minute of added time was indicated by the fourth official as Torquay tried a forward ball that ended up as a Bury throw-in.
Time was soon called on a half that Bury had dominated. They were confident and classy with the ball, and got their reward early in the first half. Torquay hadn't formed a decent attack for the entire half, but Bury had plenty of chances to put the game beyond any doubt and hadn't taken them. The second half would be very interesting.
Half Time - Bury 1 Torquay 0
Torquay had a goal disallowed on 57 minutes; a long range effort from Jake Robinson beat Cameron Belford at the far post, hit the post and was almost rolling over the line when Gavin Tomlin ran in to make sure but was flagged offside.
GOAL! Torquay took the lead for real on the hour mark courtesy of a tap in from Craig Stanley; Bury didn't deal with a dangerous cross from the left, leaving Stanley with the easy task of finishing from close range. A reward for a Torquay side who had come out looking sharper after the break.
Bury 1 Torquay 1
Belford kept Bury in the game on 63 minutes with a reaction save from a Chris Zebroski header.
A piercing cross field ball from Bennett on 67 minutes met Worrall on the left of the box; he crossed to the head of Holroyd but the save was easy for Bevan.
GOAL! Torquay took the lead on 69 minutes with a header at the far post from Zebroski after a corner from the right. Bury must have been kicking themselves after all those missed chances in the first half, only to now find themselves behind.
Bury 1 Torquay 2
Substitution for Bury on 71 minutes - Michael Jones on for David Worrall
Substitution for Bury on 81 minutes - Andy Bishop on for Damien Mozika
The clock was running down as Bury seemed to be running out of ideas. Slick passing was few and far between as the visitors were frustrating Bury by keeping the ball out of their reach.
Substitution for Torquay on 85 minutes - Eunan O'Kane on for Jake Robinson
Substitution for Bury on 86 minutes - Lenell John-Lewis on for Ben Futcher
Three minutes of additional time were indicated by the fourth official as Bury looked frustrated both on and off the pitch. Torquay had taken the lead and were intent on keeping it by running the clock down by keeping the ball in the corner.
Time was called on a true game of two halves which saw Bury record their first defeat since mid-February. They had a hatful of chances in the first half which they ultimately regretted not taking as Torquay came out firing on all cylinders after the break.
Bury's point cushion kept them in second place, but it's a game in hand wasted when they could have had the game out of sight in the first half.
Cheltenham are the visitors to Gigg Lane at the weekend and the Shakers will need to bounce back to keep on track for promotion. They need to shake off the disappointment and come back fighting.
Full Time - Bury 1 Torquay 2
Attendance - 2747 (89 visitors)