Bury’s first away trip of the season brought an industrious effort from the Shakers, but saw them leave the Kassam Stadium with nothing to show for their efforts. The day was made more miserable by a a quick fire pair of yellow cards to Nathan Cameron towards the end of the game that saw the Shakers finish the game with ten men.
Bury made one change to the starting eleven that faced Crewe in the Capital One Cup with John Rooney and Ashley Grimes switching places to the starting line-up and bench respectively as the Shakers took to the field with Shaun Harrad playing the lone ranger role at the sharp end of the field, with Rooney dropping in just behind.
It was the home side that had the better start to game half with Sean Rigg going close a couple of times in the opening minutes. With 12 minutes gone, Rigg had a shot from the edge of the area that squirmed through the Bury defence, and forced Lainton to smartly save by the post. Bury broke quickly from the keepers long throw, and cleverly worked the ball to Rooney on the edge of the area, only for his shot to be deflected wide for a corner.
Oxford could have done better on 25 minutes when Rigg created another good chance for himself, though his thunderous shot from the edge of the area brought another save from Lainton, though initially spilled, the Bury keeper was quickly down to smother the loose shot.
Oxford took the lead seven minutes later from a Danny Rose free kick. Nathan Cameron had bundled over Deane Smalley just outside the area. Rose stepped up curl the free kick around the Bury wall and into the back of the net with a smart strike.
Goal: Oxford United 1 Bury 0 (Rose 34)
Bury looked like they had forced an equaliser within ten minutes of conceding the goal. A good delivery from Craig Jones into the box saw Richard Hinds stretching to toe the ball beyond keeper Ryan Clarke, but as he touched the delivery, the nearside linesman flagged for an offside decision, ruling the chance out before it hit the back of the net.
Half Time: Oxford United 1 Bury 0
The red shirted Shakers made a good positive start to the second half with Tom Soares thundering a good header at goal, again from a stunning Jones delivery, though the header flew straight at keeper Clarke.
Within five minutes, Bury had created another chance, this time for John Rooney but his crisp shot brought a smart save from the Oxford keeper after Rooney had done well to create the space for the shot.
When the equaliser came, it took a pair of quick feet from Euan Holden as he forced himself into the Oxford box. Riding several challenges, Holden played a smart one-two with Soares, he took the ball to the touchline before clipping a smart delivery back to Soares, who had the easier task of rifling the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Goal: Oxford United 1 Bury 1 (Soares 70)
Rob Lainton kept the Shakers in the game moments later as Dave Kitson thundered a header towards goal; Lainton dived and clawed the goal bound effort away from goal with a smart stop that Roberts smashed up the field.
The home side retook the lead with less than ten minutes to go, Smalley had won a free kick in the corner after a heavy challenge from Cameron, for which he was shown the yellow card. A quick free kick was delivered into the box along the floor where Mullins smashed home from close range. The free kick looked horrific and was easily despatched through the Shakers defence, but it was to prove costly as Cameron continued his argument with the referee, for which he received a second yellow card and was dismissed form the game.
Goal: Oxford United 2 Bury 1 (Mullins 80)
With six minutes injury time added by the officials, due to a lengthy stop for an injury to Kitson and Hinds after a clash of heads, the ten men Shakers attempted to get back into the game, but a series of substitutions from former assistant manager Chris Wilder slowed the game down and Bury were unable to get back into the game.
Final Score: Oxford United 2 Bury 1
Gate: 5,774 (341 Bury)