Bury come from behind to snatch a dramatic late 2-1 win over Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.
The Shakers began life after Chris Lucketti with a trip to Oxford United. With the departure of Lucketti, following the 1 – 0 home defeat to Charlton Athletic at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane last Saturday, Ryan Lowe was handed the managerial reins for the second time this season.
Bury’s last League victory – and goal – was under Lowe during his spell as Caretaker Manager in November, and he was hoping that the side could find some form after a goal drought and winless streak has hit the Club, and that they did with two late goals from substitutes George Miller and Harry Bunn earning the Shakers their first away win since Charlton Athletic in February, and their first league win since 21st November against league high-flyers Shrewsbury Town.
Ryan Lowe made three changes to the side that faced Charlton Athletic with Phil Edwards, Neil Danns, and Chris Maguire coming in for Joe Skarz, Josh Laurent and Harry Bunn.
The home side were the first to go on the attack after some good work in midfield by Isaac Buckley-Ricketts. The ball was played to James Henry who found himself in a dangerous position inside the box, but Nathan Cameron was quick to react with a sliding challenge, sending the ball out for a corner. From the set-piece, the ball fell for Jon Obika who turned and managed to get a shot away but it was over the bar.
Minutes later Connor Ripley was called on to make his first save of the game. Alex Mowatt played the ball through the centre for Buckley-Ricketts who controlled it well but couldn't follow up with a decent shot, scuffing it and causing no problem for Ripley.
The Shakers almost found themselves in front in the 14th minute through an own goal. It was pandemonium in the Oxford goalmouth after a brilliant corner from Chris Maguire was almost turned into their own goal by John Mousinho, only to be prevented by the post. The U's scrambled to clear the ball, as the Shakers tried to get on the end of it to poke one home, but the ball didn't fall for them and was eventually cleared.
Bury's first real chance of the game fell to Danny Mayor. A great forward run by Zeli Ismail after stealing the ball off Alex Mowatt, saw him play a good ball to Mayor in the centre - he tried a curling shot but it was just wide of Simon Eastwood's left post.
Bury really should have been given the opportunity to take the lead in the 25th minute when Zeli Ismail was brought down in the box, but referee Robert Lewis waved away the protests from the Bury players and fans alike.
The first substitution of the game bizarrely didn't come from either side, it was, in fact, the referee who was changed by the fourth official after he looked to be injured, with Adrian Waters stepping into the middle.
Bury were dealt a blow on the stroke of half-time after being on top for much of the first-half. A poor attempted clearance on the edge of the box saw Buckley-Ricketts slide the ball down the line for Dwight Tiendalli, whose low cross found it's way right across the six-yard box where Henry was waiting to steer the ball home.
HT: Oxford United 1 – 0 Bury
The opening chance of the half fell to the Shakers. A good corner from Maguire found James Hanson at the back post but his headed effort fell straight to Eastwood.
Oxford's first chance of the second-half fell to Jon Obika when he was played in down the left channel, and he hit a sharp volley, but Connor Ripley was equal to it with a fantastic save, turning it behind for a corner.
In the 58th minute Bury were calling for a penalty for the second time in the game. Danny Mayor drove into the box looking for a shooting opportunity but was blocked sending him to the ground – but once again no penalty was given.
Ryan Lowe made his first change of the game in the 66th minute, bringing on new signing, but familiar face, George Miller and he was quickly involved, when Neil Danns turned well in the middle of the park and slid a ball through to the young striker but he couldn't quite get on the end of it.
Pep Clotet's side tried to double their lead as James Henry stole the ball in the Bury half, and tried his luck with an adventurous shot from 30 yards, which Ripley watched sail over the bar.
Bury's hard work and determination finally paid off in the 81st minute when George Miller on his return to the Shakers, stabbed home a loose ball inside the 6-yard box to give the Shakers a deserved equaliser.
Bury pushed for a second goal and they were rewarded when Harry Bunn found himself with all the time in the world as he ran onto a long ball from Greg Leigh, he controlled it well then smashed it past Eastwood to bag a dramatic late winner for the Shakers.
A well-worked move between Miller and Bunn saw Bunn almost grab a third for the Shakers. Miller showed good strength in the right channel to keep hold of the ball, he passed it across to Bunn whose curling shot was just wide of the top corner of the goal.
The Shakers were on top for much of the game, putting in a solid performance against a side who are currently sitting 10th in the Sky Bet League One table. There was no luck needed for the Shakers' victory, the three points were earned by hard work, team spirit, and persistence.
FT: Oxford United 1 – Bury 2
Oxford United: Simon Eastwood, Dwight Tiendalli, Aaron Martin, Josh Ruffels, James Henry, Jon Obika, Alex Mowatt, Agon Mehmeti (62' Ryan Ledson), John Mousinho ( C ), Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (79' Malachi Napa), Canice Carroll
Unused Subs: Scott Shearer (GK), Rob Dickie, Xemi Fernandez, Charlie Raglan, Gino Van Kessel
Bury: Connor Ripley, Greg Leigh, Chris Maguire (66' George Miller), Stephen Dawson ( C ), Danny Mayor, Phil Edwards, Zeli Ismail (74' Harry Bunn), Nathan Cameron, Neil Danns, James Hanson, Peter Clarke
Unused Subs: Joe Murphy (GK), Andrew Tutte, Josh Laurent, Tsun Dai, Joe Skarz
Attendance 6,475 (Bury 191)