The Shakers began life after Lee Clark with a long trek down to Surrey to face National League side Woking, in what looked to be a tricky Emirates FA Cup First Round tie at the Laithwaite Community Stadium for the first ever meeting between the two clubs.
With the departure of Clark, following the 1 – 0 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers at Gigg Lane last Saturday, Shakers legend Ryan Lowe was handed the managerial reins, assisted by Youth team manager Ryan Kidd, by Chairman Stewart Day as the search for the Shakers 39th permanent manager commenced.
With 31 places between the two sides in the football pecking order and backed by a vocal band of 286 travelling Shakers caretaker manager Ryan Lowe opted to make five changes to the side which lost at home to Doncaster with Leonardo Fasan replacing the injured Joe Murphy and Jordan Williams replacing the suspended Eoghan O’Connell. Andrew Tutte started in midfield ahead of Callum Reilly, Danny Mayor came in for Rohan Ince whilst Chris Maguire replaced Jermaine Beckford in the Shakers starting XI.
Woking manager Anthony Limbrick made just one change to his Cardinals side, who currently sit in eighth place in the National Conference League, after they too suffered a home defeat in their last outing - a 2 – 3 defeat by Guiseley.
It was great to see, at the end of the warm-up, that Ryan Lowe called everyone in the squad and coaching staff over to acknowledge the travelling supporters, a gesture that was warmly received by the Shakers support.
The Shakers kicked off with Bury in their Charcoal change strip whilst Woking fielded in their Feyenoord-esque red and white halves, black shorts and white socks.
Appropriately enough, on 5th November, the Shakers began the game with a bang as they took the lead with a goal after just 45 seconds. A delightful ball, from Tom Aldred, to the left hand side of the Woking area found Greg Leigh who took a couple of touches before he delivered a great ball into the box where a defender got his head to the ball but only deflected it on to his own crossbar and, with the ‘keeper stranded, it fell to an unmarked Michael Smith who had the simplest of tasks to sidefoot home into an empty net.
GOAL: Woking FC 0 – 1 Bury FC (Smith 45 seconds)
The Shakers tried to build on their good start and, on five minutes, a deep cross from Danny Mayor saw Cardinals ‘keeper Nathan Baxter back pedalling to grab the ball just under his crossbar.
Bury continued to press and Chris Maguire saw his 14th-minute effort well held by Baxter after the Shakers forward tried his luck from the edge of the area.
The hosts then began to get a grip on the game, especially in midfield, and tricky winger Joe Ward crossed from the left towards big striker Inih Effiong, who was, by now, causing problems for the Bury back line, but he just failed to get a touch and the ball whistled across the face of goal and out for a goal kick.
On 19 minutes some excellent interplay, down the left hand side, saw Leigh, Mayor and Maguire combine well but the final ball from Mayor was headed out for a corner which was palmed away for a second on the opposite side but it was a poor delivery and was easily cleared by Woking.
The Shakers worked their way down the right hand side on 22 minutes with O’Shea, Humphrey and Williams exchanging some lovely, neat passes but the final ball into the box was easily cleared by Orlu.
The hosts were, by now, dominating the match and it took a brave clearance from stand-in skipper Phil Edwards who threw himself sideways and got his head to a fierce shot, from just outside the area, by Matt Young which was deflected out for a corner kick which was easily dealt with by the Bury defence.
Woking got back into the game in the 24th minute when, following a throw-in on the left which was quickly taken to Regan Charles-Cook – brother of former Shakers goalkeeper Reece Charles-Cook – who produced a lovely piece of skill to get away from Williams and deliver an inch perfect ball into the box where Jamie Philpot rose high above the defence to plant a firm header, from seven yards, past Fasan into the top left hand corner of the goal.
GOAL: Woking FC 1- 1 Bury FC (Philpot 24)
The Cardinals now had their tails up and Chares-Cook fired over from 25 yards after he was found by Jones with a glorious through ball on 28 minutes and almost immediately afterwards it took a hurried clearance from Aldred to ease the pressure on the Shakers defence after Effiong twisted one way and then turned the other on the edge of the box looking for the angle to get his shot away but Aldred swept the ball off his toes at the expense of a corner.
Woking did get the ball in the net from the corner but referee Darren England had already blown for a Bury free kick following a push on Edwards by Jones.
The first Yellow card of the match was shown, in the 33rd minute, to young full back Jordon Williams for a late challenge on Woking danger man Ward who was causing problems with some regularity, however the resulting free kick was dealt with by a good clearance from Greg Leigh.
Woking came close, again, in the 37th minute when a long ball through towards Effiong saw Fasan race out to the edge of his box to clear as far as Ward who cleverly lofted the ball back towards goal with the ‘keeper stranded but, thankfully for the Shakers, Tom Aldred was on hand to head the ball off the line and away from danger.
Woking finished the half the stronger of the two sides and Effiong, yet again, got the better of the Shakers defence to fire just wide of Fasan’s right hand post from the edge of the box in the 44th minute.
Half time: Woking FC 1 – 1 Bury FC
Although he had conceded a goal it wasn’t until the 47th minute that Leo Fasan was really tested by the Woking attack but he made a good block at his near post, following a shot from Ward who had cut in from the left hand side to the edge of the area, and the ball was cleared again by Aldred.
The Shakers didn’t threaten Baxter’s goal in the second half until the 54th minute when good work from Leigh, Aldred and Maguire down the Bury left saw the latter get the ball in the Woking area but his effort lacked power and was easily saved by Cards ‘keeper.
In the 57th minute, and as Woking continued to dominate the midfield, Ryan Lowe made his first substitution with Chris Humphrey making way for Rohan Ince.
Woking, again, came close in the 62nd minute when, after more good work from Charles-Cook, Effiong just failed to reach the cross from the on loan Charlton man and the ball went out for a goal kick.
A minute later, however, it was the Shakers turn to come close as Michael Smith got a slight touch to a Maguire ball in from the right but he couldn’t generate enough power to direct his header past Baxter.
Woking threatened again, through Effiong, following some hesitant defending by the Shakers that allowed Ward to put the ball into the box from the left hand side but the big striker’s effort was wide of Fasan’s right hand post.
The Shakers launched a rapid counter attack, on 79 minutes, from a Woking corner when Greg Leigh found Danny Mayor out wide on the left hand flank and the Shakers winger, making his first start of the season following a lengthy spell out injured, danced his way around a couple of defenders and found O’Shea whose first time ball back to Mayor saw him fire at goal but there wasn’t enough venom in the shot to trouble Baxter who saved easily.
The Shakers were, by now, on top as the non-league side began to tire a little and the influential Andy Tutte came close with a fine effort from 25 yards which went narrowly over the Woking bar on 81 minutes and the Shakers forced a corner shortly after, following good work down the right between Maguire, Tutte and Williams, but when the ball was delivered in to the Cardinals penalty area it fell to O’Shea but he was unable to keep his effort down and the ball went high over Baxter’s bar.
A flurry of substitutions saw Mihai Dobre replace Danny Mayor for Bury and Declan Appau replace Charles-Cook for Woking whilst Michael Smith found his way into Mr England’s notebook for dissent after complaining to the ref he’d been fouled as he tried to get on the end of a free kick on the Bury right hand side.
The Shakers survived a late penalty shout by the home side after Tom Aldred blocked yet another Effiong effort but the referee immediately waved away their claim.
Fourth official Mr Blake signalled three additional minutes of injury time but neither side could add to their total and both sides will enter Monday night’s Second Round draw with the replay between the two sides scheduled to take place at The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane on Tuesday, 14th November at 7:45pm
Full time: Woking FC 1 – 1 Bury FC
Bury FC: Fasan, Williams, Aldred, Edwards (©), Leigh, Humphrey (Ince), Tutte, O’Shea, Smith, Maguire, Mayor (Dobre).
Subs: Moloney, Danns, Reilly, Whitmore, Ince, Ajose, Dobre
Woking FC: Baxter, Jones, Orlu (©) Staunton, Wynter, Ralph, Isaac, Young, Philpot, Charles-Cook (Appau), Ward.
Subs: Mason, Stojsavljevic, Saraiva, Appau, Banton.
Referee: Darren England
Attendance: 1,858 (286 travelling Shakers)