Crawley Town took all the spoils following a 5-goal thriller at the Broadfield Stadium after a late winner from Ollie Palmer. Crawley took an early lead through Jimmy Smith, before goals from Dagnall and Mayor turned the game on its head in the second half. Unfortunately, late goals from Panutche Camara and Ollie Palmer left the Shakers returning home with nothing to show for their efforts.
Ryan Lowe named three changes to his side that cruelly lost late on at Lincoln mid-week, with Gold Omotayo and Danny Mayor dropping to the bench for Dom Telford and Jay O’Shea, while Callum McFadzean replaced the suspended Will Aimson.
The first chance of the game brought about the first goal as Crawley took the lead thanks to the head of their captain Jimmy Smith. George Francomb whipped the ball into the box, after he was picked out by Ashley Nathaniel-George, finding Smith’s head in the middle as he nodded the ball beyond Shakers ‘keeper Murphy.
The home side kept the pressure on the Bury defence, with multiple corners in the opening 10 minutes, the Shakers did well to prevent Crawley from creating an opportunity to double their tally.
Bury responded well to the early dominance of Crawley, with Nicky Adams looking to create from the right-hand side. He whipped a dangerous ball into the back post, however Chris Dagnall couldn’t leap high enough, as the ball was put behind for a corner.
Nicky Adams continued to be the main attacking threat for the Shakers on the far side, as his darting runs kept drawing fouls from the Crawley defence. Unfortunately, he couldn’t pick out a Bury head from the resulting set pieces as Bury looked for a way back into the game.
Dom Telford wasn’t far off levelling the scores from distance, he worked himself some space outside of the area, however his well-struck effort was straight at Morris, who palmed the ball down before collecting, stopping O’Shea nipping in.
20 minutes in, it looked like Harry Kewell’s Crawley had doubled their advantage through Filipe Morais, his 30-yard strike was deflected over Joe Murphy and into the back of the net, but he was denied a first Crawley goal as the strike was disallowed for offside.
The Shakers were pushing for an equaliser in what was turning into a rather feisty affair, O’Connell brought the ball forward brilliantly, playing a telling ball in behind for Dagnall on the right. The forward then put his ball across the danger area, but he couldn’t pick out a team mate as Crawley cleared the danger.
The visitors continued to grow into the match, with Nicky Adams causing Crawley problems again, this time he worked his way into the box at the by-line, before putting a dangerous ball into the middle, he managed to lift it above Morris, unfortunately though, it wasn’t met by a Bury head.
Dom Telford came very close to breaking his Shakers’ duck moments later. O’Connell did superbly to find him on the edge of the area, Telford turned the Crawley defender smartly, but he couldn’t curl his effort into the far top corner, as the ball was just beyond the upright.
Bury had another chance to put a telling ball into the middle, Stephen Dawson played a brilliant dinked ball to get Nicky Adams in behind the Crawley back line, unfortunately he was only able to find ‘keeper Morris in the middle, as the search to level the scores continued for Ryan Lowe’s side.
The half time whistle would have been a relief to the Crawley players, as the Shakers were beginning to control the game, as Ryan Lowe’s men went in a goal behind at the break after Jimmy Smith’s early header. It could have been worse for the away side, but the Assistant’s flag ruled Filipe Morais’ strike out.
HALF TIME: Crawley Town 1-0 Bury
The introduction of Danny Mayor at half-time was already proving a good decision. Just two and a half minutes in he was already causing problems. First, he was dragged down on the edge of the area, but the referee gave nothing. He then drove at the back line of Crawley before slipping the ball to McFadzean down the left, however, the cross from the full-back flew over Morris’ bar.
Crawley responded to the Bury dominance as they had the ball in the back of the net through Poleon as he put Palmer’s rebounded shot beyond Murphy, the Assistant’s flag was the saviour again for Ryan Lowe’s side, as Poleon was deemed offside.
The Shakers were back on level terms just 10 minutes into the second-half. Chris Dagnall made it eight from eight against Crawley, as he slotted the ball beyond Morris in the bottom corner. After some terrific play in and around the edge of the area, Telford played the ball to Dagnall, whose subsequent finish saw him get off the mark in a Bury shirt. A much deserved first goal for the experienced forward, who’s worked exceptionally hard since joining the Shakers in the summer.
Crawley came close to restoring their goal advantage shortly after Dagnall’s equaliser. Smith played a dangerous ball across the face of goal, Palmer and Poleon got in the way of each other, before Ashley Nathaniel-George fired an effort in from close range, but Murphy did exceptionally well to keep the ball out with a fine reaction save.
Neil Danns looked to get the Shakers ahead for the first time in the match as he battled his way past the Crawley defence, he was tripped in the box, but referee Chris Sarginson waved away the protests of the Bury players.
The confidence of the Shakers continued to grow. Danny Mayor was the next to test Crawley shot-stopper Glenn Morris, after taking the ball beyond a few defenders. However, Morris was equal to the half time substitute’s jabbed effort.
The Shakers turned the scores around with little over 10 minutes left on the clock. They took the lead after an expert counter attack that started when Murphy collected a cross brilliantly. He threw the ball up-field to Dom Telford, who split the Crawley defence with his ball as he found Mayor, who knocked the ball beyond a back-tracking defender, before calmly firing beyond Morris.
The Bury lead didn’t last for long, as minutes after falling behind, Crawley Town were level. Nicky Adams tripped Ashley Nathaniel-George down the left of the Bury box. The resulting free kick from Francomb was straight onto the head of Panutche Camara, who headed beyond Joe Murphy.
The home side thought they had a quick turn around when they had the ball in the back of the net again. Murphy did well to keep the first effort out, Crawley managed to turn the ball home following a goal mouth scramble, but the Assistant’s flag was up to deny the hosts for a third time this afternoon.
It was heartbreak for the Shakers as they fell behind with minutes left on the clock. Ollie Palmer forced his way into the box from the left, riding the challenges of 3 Bury defenders, he then slipped the ball beyond Murphy, rounding off a decent solo goal.
Telford must have thought he had managed to salvage a point for the Shakers in the 6 minutes added on by the officials. The ball was deflected to him inside the Crawley box, however, a superb stop from Glenn Morris protected all 3 points for Crawley.
FULL TIME: Crawley Town 3-2 Bury
Crawley Town: Morris, Doherty, Connolly, Smith (C) (Milsom 90+5’), Palmer, Poleon (Camara 75’), Francomb, Nathaniel-George, Vincelot, Bulman, Morais (Young 70’)
Unused Subs: Mersin, Grego-Cox, Randall
Bury: Murphy, Stokes, Thompson, O’Connell (Styles 58’), Adams, Dawson, Dagnall (Omotayo 63’), Telford, McFadzean, O’Shea (Mayor 45’), Danns (C)
Unused Subs: Hudson, Edwards, Moore, Barjonas
Attendance: 2036, with 272 Shakers making the 502.8 round mile trip. Thanks again for your incredible support this afternoon!