Bury progressed to the second round of the FA Cup at the first time of asking after clinging on to a slim first half lead against League Two’s Exeter City.
A confident first half display from the Shakers saw an Efe Sodje header at the far post put Bury into the lead. But Exeter were dangerous on the break, causing Sodje to go on and collect two yellow cards, leaving the field after an hour.
The Shakers defended for their lives in the closing stages as the visitors continued to press forward, only to miss the target or fail to beat Trevor Carson.
Bury’s first golden chance to take the lead fell to the feet of Dominic Poleon on 7 minutes –a killer through ball from David Worrall on the right somehow slipped through to Poleon at the far post, but with only the keeper to beat, the Leeds loanee’s shot clipped the bar.
Bury yellow card on 28 minutes – Efe Sodje
Alan Gow tested Trevor Carson on 29 minutes with a long range free kick – the Bury keeper met the ball at the top corner and had it covered.
GOAL! Efe Sodje took the lead for the Shakers on 34 minutes, with a looping header at the far post – a curling cross from Worrall found Sodje waiting for a delivery and the Bury defender headed the ball past Artur Krysiak.
Bury 1 Exeter City 0
Steven Schumacher picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box in added time, but could only blast the ball just over the bar.
Half time - Bury 1 Exeter City 0
Exeter substitution at half time – John O’Flynn on for Steve Tully
A precise through ball from Schumacher in the middle found Poleon on the left as he paced forward on 48 minutes – he controlled the ball well and his effort forced a save from Krysiak.
Substitute John O’Flynn blasted the ball over the bar from close range on 54 minutes, after a clever cross from the left. With only Carson to beat at the far post, he somehow missed the target.
Gow was back to test Carson moments later, shooting low from the edge of the box and forcing Carson to fumble the ball before stopping it just in front of the goal line.
Bury yellow card on 57 minutes – Adam Lockwood
Bury red card on 60 minutes – Efe Sodje (second bookable offence)
Bury substitution on 62 minutes – Mark Hughes on for David Healy
Bury yellow card on 67 minutes – Joe Skarz
A neat, low cross from Worrall on the left on 72 minutes was teed up perfectly as it rolled towards the penalty spot, but Troy Hewitt and Dominic Poleon couldn’t get close enough to connect.
Exeter yellow card on 81 minutes – Pat Baldwin
Exeter substitution on 87 minutes – Aaron Dawson on for Kevin Amankwaah
Bury looked close to claiming a second goal on 88 minutes – first with a breakaway which ended in a save from Poleon, before Hewitt turned and shot on the volley, striking the bar with venom.
The Shakers managed to cling on, playing out three tense minutes of added time.
Full time - Bury 1 Exeter City 0
Attendance - 1,821 (113 visitors)