A clinical Shakers side romped to a 4-1 victory against League Two strugglers Macclesfield. A brace of goals from Neil Danns, including a Goal of the Season contender, and a Jay O’Shea free-kick in the first half pretty much ended the tie in the opening period.
Ryan Lowe named just the one change to the side that suffered a 1-0 defeat at Port Vale last time out, as Dom Telford replaced Chris Dagnall up front.
The Shakers must have thought they’d made the perfect start to the fixture. In the opening minute, Telford stretched the Macclesfield defence, driving forward with the ball at his feet. He then released a venomous strike that looked destined to beat Taylor, but his strike bounced down off the upright, not over the line according the referee and his assistant. The follow-up was worked out to the right into Nicky Adams, whose first-time effort wasn’t troubling the home ‘keeper.
Murphy was called into early action. Michael Rose drifted a long free-kick into the box from just inside the attacking half. He found Lowe who looked to casually lob the Bury ‘keeper with his effort, but Murphy was equal to the effort, catching the ball comfortably.
Michael Rose again put a dangerous delivery into the box, this time from a corner. Peter Vincenti rose the highest in the box, but his glancing header was behind for a goal kick, not troubling Bury shot-stopper Murphy.
Macclesfield continued to respond well to the early Bury pressure. Ben Stephens played the ball in behind to Wilson, thankfully for the visitors, Adam Thompson was back across superbly to make the block.
Bury took the lead through skipper Neil Danns 14 minutes into the fixture. Nicky Adams with a looping cross deep into the box from the right-hand-side, looking for a team mate. Rhys Taylor came and parried the ball forward, into the path of Danns. The midfielder made no mistake in slotting the ball into an empty net, giving his side an early lead with his first goal of the season.
It took the Shakers 4 minutes after the opener to score a second. Neil Danns doubling his tally for the season, and afternoon, in immaculate fashion. He struck a ferocious effort from distance, finding the top corner as the ball dipped, leaving Taylor helpless, two ‘keepers would have struggled to keep the classy midfielder’s strike out!
The hosts pulled one back on the half hour mark through Ben Stephens. Peter Vincenti switched the play to Hodgkiss who darted forward, dinking the ball in behind to Stephens. The Silkmen forward chipped the ball over Joe Murphy, who was charging off his line to close the angle down, halving the deficit for the hosts.
Stephens looked to copy Neil Danns by getting his own first half brace. Rose released Fitzpatrick down the left with a decent ball. The latter whipped a ball into the middle, the ball fell to Stephens, who saw his volley sail comfortably into the arms of Murphy.
Rose, Stephens and Smith linked up well down the centre with some quick, simple passes. They worked the ball for Stephens to try and curl one into the top corner from the edge of the area. His effort wasn’t far off, but it was over Murphy’s bar, leaving the Bury ‘keeper with nothing to do.
Rhys Taylor pulled off a remarkable finger-tip save to keep his side just one goal behind. Nicky Adams delivered a brilliant free kick just inside the Bury attacking half. He found Will Aimson with his delivery, his header looked destined to nestle in the bottom corner, but Taylor had other ideas, tipping the ball behind.
The Shakers restored their two-goal cushion as the half-time whistle was just around the corner with 2 minutes plus stoppage time remaining. Michael Rose took Nicky Maynard down on the edge of the area, giving the visitors a free kick. Nicky Adams and Jay O’Shea stood over the ball. O’Shea struck the free kick, sending the ball past the wall and into the opposite corner, giving Taylor no chance with the amount of power he mustered on his attempt.
HALF-TIME: Macclesfield Town 1-3 Bury
Michael Rose was starting attacks with his passing range. He played the ball in and behind with the outside of his left boot into the path of Wilson, who won a corner on the by-line. Rose took the corner, finding the Macclesfield scorer, but Stephens directed his header just wide of Murphy’s far post.
Macclesfield started the second half the better side. Peter Vincenti slipped the ball into Harry Smith who played a brilliant low ball across goal, finding Wilson. It looked harder for the forward to miss from 6-yards out, but he ballooned an effort over the crossbar.
The Shakers were under the cosh, with Macclesfield creating plenty of half-chances, but not testing Murphy, who was able to collect the ball easily.
The Shakers responded well, scoring a fourth of the afternoon in swift fashion. McFadzean down the left, whipped in a trademark low ball, in a similar chance to Wilson’s at the other end moments later. Callum McFadzean found Maynard in the area, sliding in to make it 4-1, poking the ball beyond Taylor, making it 6 in 6 for the striker on the hour mark.
Ryan Lowe’s side were not happy with just four, with Telford and Maynard looking to add to the score line. Telford looked to be getting in behind, but a great tackle saw the ball fall to Maynard, but he couldn’t test the ‘keeper as his effort was blocked.
The Shakers carried on attacking the Macclesfield back line, Maynard playing the ball out wide to Adams who won a corner. He took the set-piece himself, finding Stokes who had a header blocked before it could ask any questions of Rhys Taylor in between the sticks for Macclesfield.
The Macclesfield players were looking frustrated on the pitch, with Michael Rose trying his luck from 40 yards, allowing Muprhy to catch easily.
Bury saw the game out in solid fashion. Not giving the hosts a sniff, looking comfortable in and out of possession as they return to the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane with all 3 points!
FULL-TIME: Macclesfield Town 1-4 Bury
Macclesfield Town: Taylor (GK), Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick (C), Lowe, Kelleher, Wilson (Blissett 76’), Smith, Stephens (Arthur66’), Maycock, Vincenti (Lloyd 66’), Rose
Unused Subs: O’Hara (GK), Grimes, Marsh, Welch-Hayes
Bury: Murphy (GK), Stokes, Aimson, Thompson, Adams, Mayor, Telford (Moore 69’), McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns (C) (Styles 94’), Maynard (Dagnall 89’)
Unused Subs: Hudson (GK), Miller, Archer, Barjonas