The phrase used by Kevin Blackwell – ‘it’s both boxes’ – is a phrase that seemed to be custom created for a cold Easter weekend at Brisbane Road, as the Shakers showed exactly why they are ‘bad in both boxes’.
In truth, this game should have been over within ten minutes as Blackwell’s charges spurned three excellent chances to put the game to bed. Nicky Ajose twice and an Andy Bishop header should have claimed three points before Leyton Orient virtually got into the Shakers half of the field, but this inability to put the ball into the back of the net came back to haunt us again as two goals from the home side took all the points.
Andy Bishop must have recorded the quickest offside on record, as he quickly burst forward from Cameron Belford’s long clearance – Belford himself had received the ball from the kick off – as the Ball dropped to the Shakers striker on the edge of the box, he had just managed to stray into an offside position.
Within sixty seconds, Bury should have taken the lead, a good through ball to Ajose from Schumacher, saw his snap shot blocked by a lunge from former shakers loanee Nathan Clarke. From the resulting half clearance, a clever interception by Schumacher saw him slip the ball to Bishop, he cleverly squared the ball quickly to Nicky Ajose, stood just inside the six yard box and with the goal gaping – but completely unchallenged he managed to fire the ball wide of the target. Keeper Jones was nowhere to be seen, the goal looked ready to be celebrated, but the ball was some five to six feet wide of the target.
The home side just knew that today was going to be their day as three excellent chances had gone astray, and with Bury setting off line an express train, surely a goal would fall their way – but no, the opening goal did come after just seven minutes, for the home side.
A corner was zipped into the Bury box by Dean Cox, and somehow the ball managed to fall to Jimmy Smith, who stood just off the six yard line, and unchallenged, managed to fire a crisp low shot into the corner of Belford’s goal, to put them in front
Goal: Leyton Orient 1 Bury 0 (Smith 7)
The next chances again came to Bury, A minute later and following excellent work from the impressive Tom Soares and Craig Fagan, the twosome worked the ball down the wing before Fagan floated the ball into the box. Bishop rose, and again unchallenged, connected with a good strong header that flew high over the home crossbar.
The Orient goal then brought a period of ‘passing it around the middle of the park ‘for both sides. The 15 minute spell saw neither side really carve out any chances, indeed it wasn’t until the 33rd minutes that the next meaningful surge forward came, and when it did come, it was the home side applying pressure.
Clarke headed a Sodje long ball wide, which fell to the feet of Dean Cox, he quickly turned and fired the ball down the line to David Mooney. From the corner of the box he took the ball beyond Landell’s reach and fired at goal. Thankfully David Worrall threw his body at the ball and blocked the effort, but his block gave Mooney a second bite of the cherry. Worrall did exactly the same; he threw body at the ball and again blocked the effort – though this time, Belford managed to collect the ball.
A second goal did come eventually for the O’s, and somewhat controversially, something of a scramble inside the Bury box saw the Shakers defence attempt to push the Orient attackers out by pressing, however, a swiftly clipped ball to the back post saw the ball pushed to David Mooney, who seemed to most of the gathered media to be at least three yards offside. The look of disbelief amongst Shakers players and on the lofty press perch as the goal was given just about summed up the Shakers miserable season
Goal: Leyton Orient 2 Bury 0 (Mooney 34)
Orient could have made the game safe just before half time when Jimmy Smith drove a ferocious shot from close range, though thankfully Cameron Belford was on hand to palm the ball away to safety.
Half Time: Leyton Orient 2 Bury 0
A Bury free kick on 48 minutes brought a good chance for Craig Fagan as he rose to meet a Tom Soares delivery. Fagan’s glancing header flashed the wrong side of the post and out of play. Bury had another excellent chance five minutes later when some persistent running from Ethan Ebanks-Landell saw him whip in a stunning cross. Bishop rose well and connected well – but aimed the ball right down the throat of Jamie Jones, the Orient keeper.
Efe Sodje took one for the team just on the hour when a strongly struck shot from the edge of the Bury box was caught full in the face by the Shakers veteran defender. The strike seemed to knock Sodje out cold for a brief moment, but he carried on manfully until a knee injury took him out of the game some 12 minutes later.
A 67th minute Steven Schumacher volley from just outside of the Orient box again flew just over the crossbar, with Jones stretching for the ball; it seemed to rise and flew away to safety. Craig Fagan attempted the same on 75 minutes, but with the same result. Four minutes later and Schumacher, so often so reliable with the free kick saw a similar effort again fly high over the cross bar from the edge of the box.
A Tom Soares free kick on 80 minutes was well held by keeper Jones, but at the second attempt as the ball continued to stay out of the O’s goal.
Leyton Orient should have wrapped the game up on 87 minutes when they suddenly burst forward and caught the Shakers defence flat footed. David Mooney seemed odds on favourite to grab his second of the game; however, David Worrall appeared from nowhere to somehow clear the effort of the line and away to safety.
Bad in both boxes – a line written for the Shakers game at Brisbane Road
Final Score: Leyton Orient 2 Bury 0
Gate: 3,713 (152)