The Shakers struck twice in the second half to claim their first three points of the campaign on the opening day of the EFL Sky Bet League One season.
After a goalless first half, dominated by Bury, a second half penalty from Neil Danns and a cheeky tap in from Kelvin Etuhu along with a, well-deserved, clean sheet sealed the points.
With five debutants making their Shakers bow, it was left to Neil Danns to get the new season underway, in sweltering conditions, at Gigg Lane and it took Bury just 90 seconds to make their first raid on the Addicks defence. A long ball from the back by Nathan Cameron fell to Tom Pope, who was to spend the afternoon being a complete nuisance to the visiting defence, and his deft touch dropped to Tom Soares and the ball was quickly moved out wide to Craig Jones who skipped past his man before whipping a delightful ball into the box from the bye-line though Addicks ‘keeper Declan Rudd was more than a match for the cross as he plucked the ball out of the air.
Another Shakers debutant, Greg Leigh, produced some silky skills on four minutes when, from a throw, he played a quick one-two with Danns, before cheekily flicking the ball over a Charlton defender. Leigh quickly spun around his opponent and latched onto his own pass before returning the ball back to skipper Antony Kay.
Bury’s first corner of the game came on seven minutes when a long ball down the flank from Leigh saw Charlton’s Chris Solly seemingly letting the ball run out of play, however, good pressure from a re-vitalised Hallam Hope forced Solly to poke the ball out for the corner. Tom Soares took the first corner kick and delivered a deep ball to the back post where Neil Danns just got a head to the ball, but could not get his effort on target.
Charlton’s first foray into then Bury box came on nine minutes when a deep Holmes cross was easily dealt with by the impressive Antony Kay though, in truth, the Shakers defence dealt with every effort the Addicks could throw at them for the remainder of the game.
Bury won another corner on 13 minutes when Hope played a quick one-two with Tom Pope. The latter’s consistent harassment of Solly, again, forced the Charlton defender to poke the ball out of play. The corner was taken by Danns but, again, it saw Declan Rudd leap to pluck the ball out of the air.
By twenty minutes, the Hope & Pope double act brought more pressure on the Addicks defence and the two central defenders resorted to playing balls out of play with either of the two Shakers bearing down on them to force the issue.
Jacob Mellis forced the issue on 22 minutes when he collected the ball on the edge of the centre circle, his quick turn on the ball not only deceived the Charlton midfield completely, but also gave himself plenty of room to charge and shoot on goal. His effort, when he did unleash his shot, seemed to have deflected out of play for a third Bury corner, but referee Nigel Miller saw it differently and awarded a goal kick to the visitors, much to the annoyance of the Shakers players, management and fans.
Another Bury corner came moments later when Hope and the overlapping Leigh caused more problems for Charlton with Solly again electing to put the ball out of play. Neil Danns’ corner looked to be dropping onto the head of Nathan Cameron but a huge punch from Declan Rudd saw the ball cleared to Greg Leigh. His first time volley on the left foot though curled away from goal and into the 1,015 visiting Charlton supporters in the Cemetery End.
Soon after the Shakers kept the ball under control with an excellent passing spell. Hallam Hope, in particular, pressed and bothered the Charlton defence and chased many a lost cause to keep the ball in play. His final pass across the box fell to Mellis whose simple tap and pass to Soares saw him unleash a thunderous drive that flew to the right of the post to crash of the back stanchion.
Charlton won a free kick after a rare raid down the Shakers right hand side, with former Northampton Town winger Ricky Holmes, but an innocuous challenge from Mellis saw Holmes left spread eagled on the floor and the visitors awarded a free kick. Holmes took that free kick and delivered a good ball into the Shakers box but, again, the Bury back line dealt admirably with the ball and charged away with the ball only to see Foley manage to get a foot on the ball and pass it back to his own ‘keeper from just inside his own half.
Charlton’s first effort on goal came on30 minutes when a wayward pass from Tom Soares was cut out by former Shaker, and Bury born, Nicky Ajose. His first touch killed the ball and his second touch fired it at goal from outside the area but Ben Williams was equal to the effort and stopped the ball from progressing, but without holding the shot, thankfully, for Bury, new skipper Antony Kay was on hand to drive the ball out of play, although it wouldn’t have counted in any case as Lee Novak had strayed into an offside position and the lineswoman awarded the Shakers the free kick.
Williams was on hand again moments later and, again, thwarted Ajose. A ball over the top saw Ajose bear down on Williams, he leapt for the ball but Williams got enough on it to push it off his shooting foot before stooping to collect the ball and clear.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon came as a result of a foul on Jacob Mellis, with referee Miller letting many challenges go, the award of the free kick brought much irony from the Shakers faithful. The free kick though saw Mellis deceive the visitors but could not get his shot on target and it flew high over the crossbar.
A Charlton throw deep in their own corner brought the next half chance for the Shakers. The throw from Foley was quickly cut out by a header from Jones and his looping effort was nicely brought down by Pope in the edge of the box, he quickly turned and shot at goal in the same movement but didn’t quite connect with the ball as planned and it scuffed out of play.
Antony Kay collected a wayward pass just inside the Charlton half on 38 minutes and lofted the ball towards Nicky Clark, who was just inside the visitor’s area, but as he stretched to connect with the ball, and leaning back, he couldn’t get enough power on his header and though on target, his half chance lacked power and fell easily for keeper Rudd.
Half time: Bury 0 Charlton Athletic 0
Charlton began the second half showing a little flair and applied some pressure to the Shakers. A Declan Rudd long ball from the edge of his box eventually fell to Ricky Holmes in the corner, but a stern challenge from Greg Leigh saw the ball put our of play for Charlton’s first corner of the game though, again, the Shakers defence were more than equal to the delivery and quickly cleared.
Another Addicks corner, on 50 minutes, brought a Holmes delivery from under the Main Stand and again the Shakers safely dealt with the delivery and subsequent second balls into the box. It took the visitors another 12 minutes to create their next half chance and it was Holmes, again, their architect. A cross fizzed across the box needed just a touch, but Williams managed to get a finger to the ball to divert its flight thus thwarting Novak at the far post and his effort went out of play.
Charlton could have, and probably should have; taken the lead on the hour as a driven ball from Addicks skipper Johnnie Jackson flew across the face of the Shakers goal. Lee Novak stretched and threw his body at the ball but could not connect with the cross and the ball flew out of play for a Bury goal kick.
Danny Mayor, on as a substitute for Hallam Hope, won the Shakers a free kick on 68 minutes when his twisting and turning on the ball brought a rash challenge from Crofts. From Neil Dann’s curling free kick into the area, it was Mayor who got his head to the ball first to divert a powerful header on target and the ball looked as though it would beat Rudd in goal, but he somehow managed to scramble across his goalmouth and produced a stunning one handed save to tip the ball out of play for a Bury corner.
The resulting deep Tom Soares corner though brought reward for the Shakers when Nathan Cameron was dragged to the floor by Pearce, leaving referee Nigel Miller with only one decision to make and make it he did by pointing at the spot to award the penalty to the Shakers. Neil Danns promptly took charge of the ball and, although Rudd dived correctly, the power behind the spot kick was enough to find the bottom left hand corner to give the Shakers the deserved lead.
GOAL: Bury 1 Charlton Athletic 0 (Danns 71 - pen)
Bury continued to push forward and doubled their advantage some sixteen minutes later. A Zeli Ismail corner found Tom Pope at the back stick and his header down fell nicely for Kelvin Etuhu, on as a substitute for Jacob Mellis, who side footed the ball at goal and despite the Addicks defence stopping the ball from travelling, referee Nigel Miller had seen enough of the ball across the line and duly awarded the goal to Etuhu.
Goal: Bury 2 Charlton Athletic 0 (Etuhu 87)
The Shakers weathered the visitors, few, lack lustre efforts to get back into the match and saw out the game comfortably to claim their first win on the opening day of the season in eight attempts, and richly deserved victory it was.
Final Score:Bury 2 Charlton Athletic 0
Bury FC: Williams, Jones, Leigh, Cameron, Kay ©, Soares, Mellis (Etuhu), Danns, Clark (Ismail), Pope, Hope (Mayor).
Subs:Rachubka, Etuhu, Tutte, Mayor, Ismail, Brown, Dudley.
Charlton Athletic: Rudd, Johnson, Pearce, Fox, Solly, Foley (Hanlan), Crofts, Jackson, Holmes, Novak, Ajose (Lookman).
Subs:Lookman, Holmes-Dennis, Ahearne-Grant, Hanlan, Konsa, Phillips.