Peter Shirtliff named an unchanged side for this Tuesday evening visit to Prenton Park, and the lads certainly looked good value in the opening 45 minutes but went in at the break a goal down following a soft penalty on 35 minutes.
Bury began the game the brighter of the two sides with Tom Hopper showing a good burst of pace to get the ball into the Tranmere box, but perhaps a lack of experience was his only downfall as he attempted to take it around a defender, allowing Holmes to smash clear.
Tranmere’s first sign of momentum came on three minutes when Bakayogo played a good one-two with Bell-Baggie, the sweeping move into the corner brought a cross from Bakayogo that thankfully drifted high over the cross bar.
Bury’s first half chance came two minutes later when a good delivery from young Hopper found the head of Cullen. His header down into the ground was well caught by Fon-Williams. Minutes later Cullen returned the favour for Tom Hopper with a floated ball into the box, Hopper just needed a touch to the ball to divert it to goal, but Fon Williams reacted the quicker and collected.
A Peter Sweeney 10th minute free kick saw him deliver the ball into the box, but a rising header from Adam Lockwood failed to bother the Tranmere keeper and flew wide for a goal kick. Another Sweeney delivery minutes later saw the ball fly deep across the box, Craig Jones looked to be on hand to hook the ball back into the area, but caught the ball wrong and it sliced out of play.
Marcus Marshall showed some good footwork on 17 minutes by bringing the ball to the edge of the box, his cross into the path of a charging Craig Jones saw his effort cleared to Sweeney, but his first time shot on goal would not stay down and the effort flew high over the bar.
Bury produced another good passing move on 21 minutes, feeding the ball to Tom Hopper on the edge of the box, but just as he pulled the trigger, defender Taylor thrust his foot out to block the shot. From the eventual clearance, the ball fell to Andy Robinson who tested the Shakers defence with a telling cross into the box that Lockwood rose well to meet and head out for a corner.
Bury broke the corner down quickly and charged at the Tranmere defence, the ball eventually falling to Schumacher. His fiercely struck shot was deflected around the post and away for a Bury corner. Schumacher’s delivery from that corner found the head of Efe Sodje. His bullet header beat Fon Williams, but Robinson standing on the far post somehow managed to clear the ball off the line, allowing the home side to clear their lines.
With half an hour gone, the Shakers produced another chance. An Andrai Jones long throw into the box was flicked on by Adam Lockwood, a half clearance fell to Marcus Marshall who shot at goal from the edge of the box, only for Fon Williams to produce the save of the game by diving smartly to tip the ball away before Gibson smashed the ball down the field.
A foul on Andrai Jones on 35 minutes on the corner of the Tranmere box produced another free kick. With Schumacher and Sweeney plotting what was thought to be the ‘Scunthorpe’ free kick, Sweeney suddenly flashed the ball around the Tranmere wall and unfortunately into the side netting.
Tranmere were awarded what looked to be a soft penalty soon after, Cassidy breaking into the box with Skarz and Marshall both challenging. With Cassidy suddenly on the floor, referee Kettle pointed to the spot. Andy Robinson stepped up and drove a softly hit penalty down the middle and beyond a diving Trevor Carson.
Bury restarted the game looking to get straight back into the game and from the re-start, Mark Cullen took the ball forward and past two defenders before shooting a crisp drive that rose high over the Tranmere bar.
Just before the half time whistle came, an Andrai Jones throw deep in the Tranmere corner as quickly cleared to Jean-Louis Akpra Akpro; his full pitch charge saw him break into the box before firing a stern shot straight at Trevor Carson
Bury started the second half as they had played the majority of the first half, on the front foot but it took a full eight minutes for them to carve out the first half chance of the second half. A bury free kick just outside the box saw Schumacher drive the ball at goal, only for it to deflect of Joe Skarz and out for a goal kick.
Bury continued to press looking for an equaliser with a good run from Mark Cullen, his quick one two with Schumacher didn’t quite work out though with a softly hit pass from Cullen being intercepted and eventually cleared by the home side.
A robust challenge from Sodje on Akpa Akpro just after the hour had the home supporter’s screaming for a card, but referee kettle allowed the challenge to go un-punished. The referee allowed the Tranmere physio onto treat the former Rochdale striker and play quickly resumed with a Bury goal kick.
Craig Jones produced a good run through the middle of the park on 65 minutes, his pace was frustrating the Tranmere back four, but his shot on goal flew straight to Fon Williams allowing the former Shakers loanee keeper to easily hold the ball.
The home side increased their lead on 67 minutes when Adam Lockwood got himself involved with Akpa Akpro inside the area, with the shakers defender dragging him down for an obvious penalty. Andy Robinson changed his tactics for the spot kick and drove a firm shot into the left hand corner, giving Carson no chance
Tranmere killed the game off four minutes later when a firmly struck shot from Akpa Akpro found Trevor Carson diving to his left to push the ball away from goal, the ball though fell to Cassidy and he quickly swept the ball into the back of the Shakers goal to seal the win.
Again, despite having the majority of the play, the Shakers inability to find the back of the net cost them dear as Tranmere cemented their place at the top of the table, with the Shakers now rooted to the bottom of the table
Bury: Trevor Carson, Joe Skarz, Adam Lockwood, Peter Sweeney, Steven Schumacher, Craig Jones, Marcus Marshall, Efe Sodje, Mark Cullen, Andrai Jones, Tim Hopper
Subs: Shane Byrne, Lenell John-Lewis, Mark Carrington, Lateef Elford-Alliyu, Mark Hughes, Max Harrop, Cameron Belford
Tranmere Rovers: Owain Fon Williams, Danny Holmes, Ash Taylor, Liam Palmer, James Wallace, Jake Cassidy, Andy Robinson, Zoumana Bakayogo, Ben Gibson, Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Jean Louis Akpra Akpro
Subs: Joe Thompson, Danny Harrison, Jake Kirby, Cole Stockton, Michael Kay, Roman Golobart, Jason Mooney
Ref: Trevor Kettle
Asst: Robert Atkin, Jason Whitely,
4th Official: Barry Cropp