Young Shakers bow out of the FA Youth Cup after a spirited second half
With the thought of Crystal Palace away in the third round the carrot on the stick for both sides, both the Shakers and Port Vale emerged to a mild evening at Gigg Lane with the promise of an entertaining game ahead.
Bury got the game underway by pressing the visitors and some good link up play through the middle of the park. A challenge on Tom Pratt on four minutes brought a shout for a penalty, but referee Johnson waved away any such appeal allowing Vale to clear.
Bury won their first corner on 10 minutes after a good challenge and cross from Thornton. Thornton quickly took the corner but failed to clear the first defender, the ball came back into the corner for Thornton who whipped in a much better ball for Tom Pratt to connect with a glancing header, his effort though floated across the face of goal and out for a goal kick.
Bury produced their best effort on 16 minutes when a long diagonal ball from Tommy Toth released Thornton, he chased the ball and just beat the keeper on the corner of the box, but could only watch as the ball rasped into the side netting.
A Levi Clarke 18th minutes clearance from the edge of his own box saw Tom Pratt chasing what looked to be a lost cause, however he managed to barge one defender over and the sheer number of defenders closing the ball down saw the ball into the back of the Main Stand,
A long searching diagonal ball from Marland on 23 minutes saw Joe Evans just keep the ball in play in the corner, the challenge when it came in from Tommy Toth, though robust was clean and Port Vale won their first corner of the evening, again that the Shakers defence dealt with ease.
Bury produced another excellent effort on 25 minutes when Joe Thornton took the ball into the corner, he cleverly delivered the ball into the box where Tom Pratt superbly headed across the keeper and towards the far corner, however a stunning diving save from Ryan Boot saw the ball pushed wide and away from goal.
Tommy Toth was replaced by Ben Potter on 27 minutes, the shakers skipper looked visibly upset to be out of the game as he hobbled off.
Port Vale could have taken the lead on 33 minutes when sloppy play from the Shakers saw Tom Morris intercept a cross field ball, he took two touches before unleashing a ferocious shot that drifted just wide of the Shakers post. Valiant’s skipper Price attempted something similar moments later, but again his shot drifted high over the Shakers bar.
With five minutes of the first half remaining, Port Vale’s Joshua Croft surged forward with the ball, riding challenges on his way through, he struck a powerful shot at goal that Bury keeper Connor Keane saved smartly. Moments later a clever training ground free kick for the visitors saw the Shakers defence hold firm before clearing the ball to Tom Pratt, his quick ball down the wing for Thornton though was overhit and Vale cleared quickly.
With two minutes added to the first half, Regan Walker had his own attempt to surge forward with the ball, a good shot from the edge of the box though was deflected away for a corner, when it did come in the delivery wasn’t as good as it could have been and the visitors cleared.
Half time: Bury 0 Port Vale 0
Bury got the second half underway in the best possible way, with a goal. Two minutes into the second period, Regan Walker collected the ball on th edge of the area, with a pair of quick nimble feet he managed to bring the ball under control before unleashing a stunning shot into the roof of the net leaving keeper Boot with no chance.
Goal: Bury 1 Port Vale 0 (Walker 47)
Port Vale attempted to get straight back into the game by forcing the ball forward, only a last minute save by Connor Keane from close range kept the ball out, however they did get their goal a minute later. A sternly hit free kick cannoned off the post, Centre half Nathan Smith was on hand to poke the ball over the Bury line to make it all square.
Goal: Bury 1 Port Vale 1 (Smith 50)
Port Vale surged forward looking to raise their game and they almost took the lead on 53 minutes when Beesley burst into the Bury box, but a stunning challenge from Ben Potter saw the danger cleared. However, the visitors took the lead moments later when a good ball into the box found Marland unmarked and he managed to fire the ball across Keane and into the opposite corner to take the lead.
Goal: Bury 1 Port Vale 2 (Marland 56)
Matthew Prickett almost got the Shakers back into the game on 64 minutes when he collected the ball on the flank and cut inside towards the corner of the box, showing some good close control and silky skills on the ball, he took it around and inside three defenders before seeing his drive at goal blocked and cleared for a Bury corner.
Alan Moore made two changes on 66 minutes with Brown and Dudley replacing Dickinson and Bickett. With the changes came a change of shape for the Shakers and it certainly seemed to have some affect as balls began to arrive in the Port Vale box on a more frequent basis.
A succession of quick free kicks for both sides on 70 minutes brought hurried possession and wasted chances for both sides, though at least the Shakers did get the ball into the Port Vale box.
Luke Beesley continued to cause problems for the Shakers back line, he took the ball wide on 72 minutes and fired at goal from an acute angle that keeper Keane was more than a match for as he parried the ball away by his near post.
Regan Walker won a free kick for the Shakers on the front of the Port Vale box on 74 minutes, though Tom Pratt's free kick was far too high and flew harmlessly over the Vale bar.
It was Walker again on 78 minutes, again showing good close control before firing the ball at goal, but again the visitors defence threw bodies at the ball and cleared the ball from their box.
Another chance fell to Port Vale's Ollie Marland on 80 minutes, a good pass across the front of the area brought a quick turn from the young striker, but he failed in putting any pace through the ball and Keane held easily.
Good play from Tom Pratt on 81 minutes saw him chase the ball into the corner from a long Cook pass, the youngster pulled the ball back on the touchline and cut into the Port Vale box, but instead of squaring the ball to Walker, he went for the keepers inside post and fired the ball wide of the target.
Matt Cook produced a good run to the edge of the Port Vale box, as he took the ball around a defender, the referee suddenly blew for a Bury free kick, when playing the advantage would have been the better option. The resulting free kick from Thornton lacked height and it was cleared for a Bury corner that Wheildon cleared with a thunderous header.
As the fourth official held up three additional minutes, Regan Walker attempted to loop the ball towards the back post, but this time keeper Ryan Boot leapt high to claim the ball.
A determined piece of play from Clarke deep in injury time saw him win the ball on the touchline and fire across the face of the goal, it needed a touch but nobody could find it and Bury left the FA Youth Cup at the second stage
Bury: Connor Keane, Matthew Cook, Tommy Toth (c), Sam Dickinson, Levi Clarke, Thomas Rouine, Joe Thornton, Liam Bickett, Tom Pratt, Regan Walker, Matthew Prickett
Substitutes: Ben Potter, Jonathan Barber, Anthony Dudley, Connor Willis, Joe Brown
Port Vale: Ryan Boot, Joe Evans, Tom Morris, Will Whieldon, Dougie Proice (c), Nathan Smith, Joshua Croft, Jack Pryor, Ollie Marland, Luke Beesley, Dave Lander
Substitutes: Joe Hemmings, Macauley Davies, Matthew Warner, Elliot Osbourne, Luke Wright
Referee: Mr Joseph Johnson
Assistant Ref: Mr M Herzog
Assistant Ref: Mr S Eagles
Fourth Official: Mr P Wilcox