A brace of goals from James Vaughan plus Zeli Ismail’s tap-in secured all three points as the Shakers were put under the cosh at Stadium:MK with a severe case of ‘put your chances away’ on show from both sides.
A dominant home performance from MK Dons was not enough to claim the points as the Shakers put on the perfect away performance to head back North will three goals and all three points.
got the game underway with the Shakers making one change to the side that took three points from Chesterfield at the weekend. Neil Danns
came into the side, after recovering from his foot injury, whilst Hallam Hope
reverted to a role from the bench. Danns took over the role vacated by Danny Mayor
who had failed to recover from a jarred knee picked up, in the closing stages of the win, at Swindon Town.
MK Dons showed their intent from the start of the game by holding and spreading the ball amongst all eleven players for the first three minutes of the game, though they were struggling to get the ball through, round or over the Shakers back four. The first half chance came on four minutes when Ben Reeves collected the ball just inside the Bury half. He strode forward, with the ball, and let loose a shot on target that brought a diving save from Ben Williams
and with the Shakers ‘keeper unable to hold onto the shot, Craig Jones
was on hand to steer the ball clear with a quick turn and long drive up the field.
MK Dons came straight back at the Shakers with Nicky Maynard working the ball well down the flank before cutting inside Niall Maher
to take the ball along the touchline and towards the Shakers goal. His toe poke at goal from a very acute angle, again, saw Jones on hand to drive the ball clear but, with two chances inside the first five minutes, you began to see what sort of game this would be.
Another MK Dons forage into the Shakers box led to the first goal of the game. Ed Upson sprayed the ball to the corner of the box to find Reeves but a strong shoulder challenge, from Tom Soares
, saw him take the ball into possession. Soares then strode away with the ball before delivering a long, hopeful, effort forward and Dons defender Paul Downing looked to have the ball under control on the edge of his own box. James Vaughan, on the other hand, had different ideas and stabbed the ball away from Downing. His touch saw the ball jump into the air and Vaughan followed up to smash it past ‘keeper David Martin into the middle of the goal, giving the Shakers the lead.
GOAL: MK Dons 0 Bury 1 (James Vaughan 8)
Play was held up for a few minutes as the damage from Vaughan’s goal celebration was repaired and, with another corner flag duly found to replace the one which was broken in half, referee Darren Deadman restarted the game. Although, it has to be said it wasn’t Vaughan who actually broke it!
MK Dons looked to get back into the game almost straight away from a Dean Lewington throw deep in the Bury half. His lob found brought a good touch from Reeves who pushed the ball into the middle of the park. Upson unleashed a powerful drive at goal that brought another fine save from Ben Williams
. It was, however, to be Upson’s last involvement of the game as he was replaced soon after collecting, what seemed to be, a hip injury.
Bury suffered their own injury woes on 17 minutes when Craig Jones
won the ball on the half way line with two strong challenges. The second challenge on Dean Lewington, however, had Jones immediately signalling to the bench that his evening was over with what later turned into a thigh strain. Kean Bryan replaced Jones and immediately started his defending masterclass alongside his fellow team-mates with Niall Maher
switching from centre half to right back.
Another long range drive from the home side came on 21 minutes when sub Samir Carruthers collected the ball halfway in the Bury half, his immediate shot on goal, from distance, though didn’t bother Ben Williams
and drifted harmlessly away from goal.
Ryan Colclough was the next to test Williams, again, from distance, though after crafting the ball around Maher on the edge of the box, his shot on goal lacked pace and power, giving Williams an easy opportunity to collect the ball.
For the remainder of the first half, the ball spent its time in and around the Bury box, either in the air with many crosses coming in from both Colclough and Agard, or being driven, long range efforts, at goal. Most of those that did find their target found either Ben Williams
, who was in inspired form, or saw Bury defenders putting their bodies on the line to block any effort.
Half time: MK Dons 0 Bury 1
Bury made another change at the break with Kelvin Etuhu
replacing Niall Maher
as the former Bolton Wanderers youngster was suffering a tight groin and Kelvin, surprisingly, sitting in at right back.
MK Dons continued to raid the Bury box from the start of the second half and Samir Carruthers pulled a shot on goal from outside the area on 47 minutes, his drive flew across Williams and crashed back into play off the upright though, thankfully, away from any incoming MK Dons player.
Another Colclough cross got over the Bury defence on 50 minutes and with Nicky Maynard unmarked just outside the six-yard box, the inevitable looked on but, thankfully, Maynard didn’t get the best connection with his header and looped the ball into the arms of Ben Williams
. Williams, again, was on hand moments later to dive quickly at the feet of Maynard to, again, thwart the former Crewe striker, before Etuhu drove the ball out of play.
The next chance fell to Bury and Tom Pope
. He collected a stunning ball from James Vaughan inside the Dons’ box and took the ball across the ‘keeper before cleverly flicking the ball back across him, only for his effort to flash across the line, on the wrong side of the post, and away for a goal kick.
MK Dons hit the post again on 53 minutes. A corner was floated into the Bury box where Downing managed to stoop and connect with a header, the ball, again, smashed off the post and was quickly lobbed back into the six-yard box, where Williams was on hand to collect the ball.
More long range drives and hopeful balls into the Bury box were being peppered in and around the Bury box but, eventually, the pressure from the home side told and they deservedly grabbed their equaliser.
Maynard managed to squeeze past Kelvin Etuhu
before delivering the ball into the Bury box, Ben Reeves side footed the ball at goal but Williams was equal to the chance and manged to palm the ball away. Agard tapped the ball back into the six-yard box where Reeves was again on hand to side foot the ball at goal though, this time, his effort found its target with the inevitable goal, much to the relief of the home support and MK Dons assistant manager (and former Bury manager) Richie Barker.
GOAL: MK Dons 1 Bury 1 (Ben Reeves 63)
Some five minutes later and the home side began another raid at the Bury box, starting from the back, the Dons worked the ball forward before an attempted cross from George Baldock was charged down by Greg Leigh
who quickly moved the ball forward to Jacob Mellis
. Mellis charged forward before slipping in an exquisite ball into the box where James Vaughan was on hand to get the final touch to divert the ball past ‘keeper David Martin to restore the Shakers the lead.
GOAL: MK Dons 1 Bury 2 (James Vaughan 68)
The rest of the game saw the home side apply more and more pressure on the Bury box with chance after chance either going adrift of the target, being blocked by defenders or Ben Williams
pulling off save after save. Frustration began to grow around Stadium:MK, apart from one corner section where the 269 travelling faithful were willing referee Deadman to blow for full time and on the pitch for anyone of a Milton Keynes persuasion.
With the game drifting into injury time and the Shakers still holding onto a slender lead, MK Dons manager Karl Robinson sent ‘keeper David Martin up the field for a corner, deep into the added five minutes of injury time - this really was the last attacking chance for the home side as they went in search of an equaliser.
The corner, from Ben Reeves, drifted across the six yard box before Tom Soares
managed to get a touch on the ball and knock it towards the penalty spot. Jacob Mellis
stretched to connect with the ball and sent a powerful clearance back up the pitch. With Dons ‘keeper Martin stranded in the Bury box, the closest player to the ball, Zeli Ismail
, had the easiest of tasks to power past a defender and he walked the ball into an open goal to secure all three points for the Shakers and sending the 269 Bury supporters into delirium.
Final Score: MK Dons 1 Bury 3