After 2 weeks on the road and a defeat against Fleetwood the Shakers were looking for a return to form at home.
Kevin Blackwell made 2 changes to the eleven that faced Fleetwood. Shaun Beeley returned to the side with Nathan Cameron back in the heart of defence. Richard Hinds dropped to the bench with Beeley back involved after being ineligible to play against his parent club last weekend. Shaun Harrad came back into the side after scoring twice midweek against Huddersfield Town.
The first effort of the game came within the 1st minute. Andy Procter played in a short ball from the right by-line to the feet of Craig Jones. Jones turned against his marker and set his sights on goal firing the ball at a tight angle inside the box, but the shot flew wide and across the face of goal.
On the 3rd minute Shaun Harrad fed the ball to Anton Forrester, his cross into the box was inches too high for a jumping Craig Jones and the visitors cleared the ball with a long punt up the field. Moments later, Tom Soares made a sharp run down towards the Southend box, playing a nice ball into the six yard box, but his shot come cross deflected out for a Bury corner...
With only 0 minutes gone, and Bury pressing for the opening goal, Tom Soares was presented with a good chance on the edge of the box. His powerful effort forced an excellent parried save from Southend's Dan Bentley. Prior to Soares' effort Anton Forrester had been challenged inside the box and had argued for a penalty, but the referee had allowed Soares to play the advantage.
Southend's first chance of the game fell on the 11th minute. It was more or less the first time they had managed to get the ball away form their own half, such was Bury’s early dominance and pressure. John White stroked the ball towards goal from the edge of the box, and with Carson looking beaten, the shot somehow deflected of a Southend player before Cameron cleared.
Southend could have taken the lead on 19 minutes, but for Trevor Carson. Ryan Leonard swung the ball over to Mark Phillips who drove a close range header at goal form six yards. Trevor Carson threw his arm at the ball with a quick reaction dive and save to tip the ball away from goal, preventing a certain goal.
The visitors did however take the lead four minutes later. A free kick on the edge of the Bury box, at a very acute angle, brought the opening goal. Ben Coker stroked home a powerful effort that deceived everyone around the Bury goal, and zipped into the far corner of the net to stun the Shaker’s
GOAL: Bury 0 Southend United 1 (Coker 23)
The opening goal obviously lifted spirits amongst the visitors, but for Bury, their early dominance and passing game wilted and all but disappeared as passes went astray and mistakes crept into their game.
Phil Brown's men came close to bagging a second goal minutes later when a mistake from Nathan Cameron left Freddy Eastwood clear on goal. Trevor Carson was quick on his feet off his line and parried the shot out to his right for a corner. The resulting corner was taken by Kevan Hurst, but his ball is too struck high into the Bury box, with Carson collecting the ball comfortably.
The referee reached into his pocket on the 33rd minute to award Will Atkinson a yellow card for an unfair challenge on Andy Procter. Craig Jones curled the ball into a crowded box but it was too high for any of the white shirts. Eventually Southend's Ryan Leonard cleared the ball from the box.
Referee Ilderton brought the first half to a close with Bury hardly in the game and the visitors in control.
Half Time: Bury 0 Southend United 1
The second-half brought about two changes from Kevin Blackwell. Jessy Reindorf coming on in place of Tom Soares and Danny Mayor on for Shaun Harrad.
Bury came out looking to bag a quick equaliser. A long ball by Trevor Carson, met the head Jessy Reindorf, his glancing header found the feet of Danny Mayor, and his trademark drag back left Coker floundering as the on loan Sheffield Wednesday player charged at the Southend box. The cross into the box when it did come, wasn’t as good as I should have been, or as we have seen, allowing John White to easily clear. Danny Mayor was leading the positive charge and creating problems for the Southend back line with his quick feet and quick turns.
The first real threat of the half fell to Southend. A nice piece of play down the middle of the park resulted in Anthony Starker delivering a perfect ball to a completely unmarked Kevan Hurst. Hurst drove a powerful shot towards the top corner of the net but his effort cleared the crossbar.
Danny Mayor continued to cause problems for Southend's skipper John White. Mayor played some wonderful football on the left wing with a combination of pace and skill after a nice crafty spin on the ball. He floated the ball into the box but again, proved to be too high for winger Craig Jones who couldn't get his head to it.
With less than 15 minutes to play, both teams managed to find the back of the net, but both goals were disallowed due offside play.
Southend were forced into finishing the remaining 3 minutes of the game with just 10 men when Ben Coker was shown his second yellow card of the game for kicking the ball away in frustration after being penalised for handball.
Bury began to push for a late equaliser. Jessy looked to be through on goal but he's deemed off side by the fourth official.
Bury were awarded a free kick right on the stroke of 90 minutes after an unfair challenge on Craig Jones by Cauley Woodrow. Jordan Sinnott stepped up to take the kick. He played in a perfectly timed cross which found the head of Anton Forrester, who with a glancing header at the near post secured a late, but undeserved point for the Shakers.
Goal: Bury 1 Southend United 1 (Forrester 90)
Despite throwing everything they had at the ten men visitors, the Shakers were unable to make any further progress, but after such a poor performance for the majority of the game, they left the field thankful with a point.
Attendance: 2,895 (204).
Sponsors Man of Match: Danny Mayor.