Bury showed brilliant commitment to the cause to beat the Sky Blues 2-1 in a hard fought battle. Both sides had chances and on another day it could have been a different scoreline, but the Shakers put on a brilliant rear guard display to hold onto their lead after two goals by Leon Clarke on the 19th and 50th minutes put Bury in the lead.
Reda Johnson got Coventry back into the game on the 63rd minute, but it wasn’t enough to get anything out of the game.
David Flitcroft made a number of changes to the side that beat Port Vale at Gigg Lane last week, with the Bury Manager opting for a change in tactics with one striker up-front meaning Craig Jones" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 102); outline: none 0px; text-decoration: none;">Craig Jones replaced Tom Pope. The second change was a straight swap with Reece Brown making way for Danny Pugh.
The Sky Blues had an early chance on the 3rd minute when Peter Clarke had to stretch out to divert a shot for a corner. Danny Mayor then had a chance on the 4th minute as he cut inside and looked to put in one of his trademark shots, however it went high and wide.
Both teams kept pushing for the lead going past the 10 minute mark making for a very entertaining affair. Ryan Kent had a great chance for Coventry City on the 15th minute when he cut inside with brilliant pace and took a shot from 20 yards out which looked to be going in, before it took a deflection to send it out.
19 mins - GOAL – With what looked a well-worked training ground move, Leon Clarke ferociously placed a Chris Hussey free kick from the edge of the box straight into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the Shakers.
This goal gave Bury a massive incentive to keep pushing, having several chances to double their lead almost instantly after their first. However, the Sky Blues stayed strong to deny the Shakers’ probing.
The visitors soon started pushing Bury as they were looking for an equaliser. Their best chance was with a free-kick which fell to Reda Johnson on the back-post, but his shot hit the side netting to the relief of the Shakers’ faithful.
Not long afterwards the Shakers had a chance when Leon Clarke looked to chip the ball over Lee Burge in the Coventry net, however it was too low and he easily grabbed it out of the air.
The Sky Blues then had a chance when Adam Armstrong sprung the offside trap to run into space, but hastily took a shot from far out which went well wide.
The Shakers should have been 2-0 up on the 38th minute when Nathan Cameron headed a sublime Chris Hussey corner straight onto the crossbar and watched it ricochet out.
Nathan Cameron took down Ryan Kent who was looking to break into a goal scoring position, this challenge gave Coventry a free-kick in a good position. Adam Armstrong took the low free-kick which went just wide.
The whistle was blown for half-time with the Shakers going in with a well-deserved 1-0 lead, having looked the more clinical side throughout the half, although Coventry City battled hard to keep in the game.
HALF-TIME: THE SHAKERS 1 – 0 COVENTRY CITY
The second half started with excitement as on the 49th minute the Shakers were awarded a penalty after Reda Johnson pulled down Leon Clarke in the box, which made the referee instantly point to the spot.
50 - PENALTY – Leon Clarke stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the ball past Lee Burge - who got a slight touch to it - to double the Shakers’ lead. 2-0.
The Sky Blues looked shaken by the second goal, but still carried on trying to force a breakthrough to get back in the game.
However with their persistence never really getting them anywhere, Tony Mowbray opted for a double sub on the 60th minute with Marcus Tudgay and Marc-Antoine Fortune coming on for Jacob Murphy and Jim O’Brien.
63 – GOAL – Coventry got themselves back in the game on the 63rd minute when Reda Johnson made up for giving away the penalty by smashing a header into the back of the net from a corner. 2-1.
This gave the Coventry side and their 1,041 travelling supporters a new lease of life, as they started pushing the Shakers defence hard. Nathan Cameron and his defensive unit however stood strong to deny the onslaught and slowly forced themselves back into possession.
David Flitcroft made his first change of the game with striker Danny Rose coming on for Jacob Mellis, switching the formation to a 4-4-2 in the process.
Adam Armstrong broke into the box on his own in the 72nd minute, with the Bury defence behind him he looked to slot a ball past Rob Lainton to get the Sky Blues the equaliser, but Lainton had other plans and did brilliantly to turn the ball around the post for a corner.
Just after this chance for Coventry, the Shakers made their second change of the match with Danny Pugh making way for Reece Brown.
Play was halted on the 80th minute when Peter Clarke was down in the Bury box after being clattered. Club physio Tom Walsh raced on to give the defender treatment, and he was soon up and ready to carry on.
Coventry kept pushing and pushing, but the Bury defence dealt with everything that was thrown their way. However, it was nearly taken out of their hands when on the 86th minute Sam Ricketts hit a screamer from 28 yards out which hit the crossbar and out.
It was a very nervy final couple of minutes for the Shakers, and it was made even worse when 5 minutes of added time were given by the Fourth Official.
However, with two lines of four, the Shakers managed to weather the storm and stop the Sky Blues getting anywhere near the goal in the final minutes of added time.
In fact Leon Clarke nearly got his hat-trick when he raced forward on the right and cut inside to take a shot, but it was parried away by Lee Burge.
The whistle blew soon after to give the Shakers their well-deserved three points, and move one place up the League into fifth place.
FULL-TIME: THE SHAKERS 2 – 1 COVENTRY CITY
Next-up for the Shakers is an away trip to Peterborough United in the Sky Bet" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 102); outline: none 0px; text-decoration: none;">Sky Bet League One on Tuesday 29th September, kick-off 7.45pm.
STARTING LINEUP:Rob Lainton, Joe Riley, Chris Hussey, Peter Clarke, Jacob Mellis (OFF - 69), Leon Clarke (OFF - 90), Danny Mayor, Craig Jones" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 102); outline: none 0px; text-decoration: none;">Craig Jones, Tom Soares, Danny Pugh (OFF - 74), Nathan Cameron (c).
BENCH:Jack Ruddy, Hallam Hope (ON - 90), Anthony Dudley, Khalid Mohamed, Danny Rose (ON - 69), Matty Foulds, Reece Brown (ON - 74).
REFEREE:Mr N Miller (County Durham).
ATTENDANCE: 4, 526(1,041 Coventry City Fans).