The Shakers managed to win their final home game of the 2017/2018 campaign thanks to a George Miller goal on 67 minutes as he capitalised on a catastrophic mistake from Portsmouth goalkeeper Luke McGee.
There was a solitary change to Ryan Lowe’s starting 11 for the visit of Play-Off chasing Portsmouth as Greg Leigh returned from injury to replace Phil Edwards. Joe Adams, Tsun Dai and Callum Hulme were on the bench, as the Shakers' thriving Academy continued to produce talent for the future.
A cagey start saw both sides struggling to keep possession, Portsmouth came close through Ben Close, he worked his way forward down the right-hand side, his cross-come-shot nearly found the bottom corner across Joe Murphy, but the ball was behind for a Shakers' goal kick.
Harry Bunn came extremely close to putting Bury ahead within the first 15 minutes, he skipped past Nathan Thompson just inside the attacking half. He drove forward with the ball, but his effort was just past the far upright.
Bunn was causing problems for the Portsmouth defence again moments later, his dangerous low ball into the box beat everyone, Neil Danns then found space on the opposite flank, his cross was deflected into the path of Jay O’Shea, but the midfielder couldn’t make it two in two as his powerful shot flew over the bar.
Portsmouth squandered a good chance through Brett Pitman, the Portsmouth skipper found himself free on the right-hand side of the box, as the second highest scorer in the league this season couldn’t get a shot anywhere near Joe Murphy’s goal.
Jay O’Shea’s distribution was excellent throughout the first half. This time he played a long ball out wide to Zeli Ismail, the winger took the ball forward before cutting back onto his left to deliver a cross. He couldn’t find a Bury head, the clearance was straight to Neill Danns on the edge of the area, however, he couldn’t direct his volley towards goal.
What appeared to be a promising afternoon for Harry Bunn was cut short. The forward was forced off after picking up a knock just after the half-hour mark. Tsun Dai came on in Bunn’s place for his 10th appearance of the season in all competitions.
Jamal Lowe had the last chance of the first half as he found space on the right, his right footed shot from 15-yards never looked like going in as it was always swerving away from goal.
Both sides managed to find themselves in good areas of the pitch, but neither Bury or Portsmouth were able to capitalise and take the lead.
HT: BURY 0-0 PORTSMOUTH
O’Shea was the first to go close in the second half. He battled his way inside from the left, but he pulled his effort just wide of Luke McGee’s right-hand post.
Portsmouth responded with a chance of their own, Lowe’s cross was aimed at Oliver Hawkins, the forward couldn’t find the target as his header looped over Murphy’s bar.
It didn’t take Kenny Jackett’s side long to go close again, as Donohue’s corner was headed back across goal by the skipper Pitman, Stuart O’Keefe then saw his volley deflected behind for another corner as both ‘keepers were yet to make a difficult save.
Two chances in quick succession for the visitors, first Chris Burgess headed over from a Conor Ronan delivery. Then Ben Close volleyed way over from about 25-yards as the ball came out to him from a corner.
The Shakers thought they were ahead as O’Shea whipped a dangerous corner in, Miller got a shot away, he beat McGee, but Portsmouth managed to clear the ball off the line by the visiting skipper Brett Pitman.
The Shakers took the lead a minute later, Miller stole the ball from Mcgee on the edge of the six-yard box, this time there was no one on the line to save the Portsmouth ‘keeper, it was a gift for the Middlesbrough loanee as he put Bury ahead with his 7th goal of the season.
As Portsmouth looked for a way back into the game, they thought they had one, not once but twice, as they had two penalty appeals waved away by referee Andy Haines, the first as Matt Kennedy and then Brett Pitman went down inside the Shakers’ area.
Matt Kennedy had a glorious opportunity to get the visitors on level terms. A long ball forward was flicked onto the midfielder, but his weak shot with the inside of his right foot was comfortably stopped by Joe Murphy down to his left.
Saul Shotton had a chance to score his first goal on only his third league appearance of the season, McGee made a mess punching the corner clear, but the 18-year-old couldn’t direct his volley on target.
Shotton then put his body on the line to get on the end of a cross from Lowe, he turned the ball behind as he got to it before Brett Pitman and the Shakers kept their goal advantage.
The visitors almost went home with a point, but a brilliant save from Joe Murphy and a goal-line clearance from Tsun Dai in stoppage time, saw Bury keep a clean sheet as Portsmouth couldn’t find the back of the net this afternoon.
The Shakers won their final home game of the season thanks to George Miller’s 7th goal of the campaign. The 20-year-old was making his final home appearance for the club and ensured the points went in Bury's favour at the last home game of the season.
FT: Bury 1-0 Portsmouth
ATTENDANCE: 4575 (AWAY 1525)
Bury: Joe Murphy, Greg Leigh, Adam Thompson, Zeli Ismail, George Miller (Chris Sang 90+2’), Callum Styles, Jay O’Shea, Ryan Cooney (Peter Clarke 80’), Neil Danns ( C ), Harry Bunn (Tsun Dai 33’), Saul Shotton
Unused Subs: Connor Ripley (GK), Andrew Tutte, Joe Adams, Callum Hulme
Portsmouth: Luke McGee, Matt Clarke, Christian Burgess, Stuart O’Keefe, Brett Pitman ( C ), Oliver Hawkins (Matt Kennedy 55’), Conor Ronan (Conor Chaplin 85’), Dion Donohue (Brandon Haunstrup 62’), Jamal Lowe, Nathan Thompson, Ben Close
Unused Subs: Alex Bass (GK), Gareth Evans, Sylvain Deslandes, Adam May