Shakers bad start to the season shows no sign of ending
Peter Shirtliff’s final game as Caretaker Manager finished with an embarrassing 4-1 defeat after probably the worst performance seen from a Bury side in a number of years with many players just not in the game. Shirtliff attempted to shore up the back line by switching the formation to a 532, a plan that was changed before half time and shortly after the visitors took the lead. Confidence appears to be severely lacking amongst the Shakers.
The game started with the new look formation, though it took only two minutes for the visitors to carve the Shakers open. A Trevor Carson clearance fell short to the MK Dons midfield and they quickly stormed forward in search on an early goal. The ball flew in from the side from the left foot of Dean Lewington, keeper Carson read the delivery perfectly and dived to hold the ball as Charlie MacDonald charged in behind him.
A Bury free kick on five minutes, from an acute angle just outside the MK Dons saw Sweeney fire the ball to the near post where Mark Hughes glanced the ball into the side netting. From the resulting goal kick, MK came forward again. They worked the ball forward quickly, eventually finding Jay O’Shea, who cut inside Andrai Jones and drilled a crisp shot across the face of goal, but off target and out for a goal kick.
Bury carved out another half chance on 16 minutes when a quickly taken Andrai Jones fell to Tom Hopper, a quick burst into the box saw his shot again drift wide of the target as Bury’s horrendous luck in front of goal continued.
On numerous occasions balls were floated into the MK Dons area with the majority of them providing catching practice for the Dons keeper, and unchallenged. David Healy was the next to try following a Trevor Carson clearance that was expertly headed on by Andrai Jones. Healy took the ball on his chest, dropped it to the floor but saw his sternly struck shot drift wide of the post.
Tom Hopper produced Bury’s best chance with a long range shot that keeper Martin finger tipped just over the cross bar. Peter Sweeney’s delivery from the resulting corner flew through the six yard box at chest height, but with nobody in the box managing to get a touch on the ball, if rolled out of play on the far side for a Dons goal kick.
MK Dons opened the scoring on 32 minutes with a swift flowing move the ripped apart the Bury midfield and defence. From keeper to goal, it took six passes, a burst of pace into the corner and a good cross into the box for Dean Bowditch to stroke him completely unchallenged and unmarked
MK Should have made to two just two minutes later when a rasping shot from Luke Chadwick was well saved by Trevor Carson. The power behind the shot saw Carson spill the ball and a second shot from Bowditch struck Adam Lockwood and then the crossbar before Efe Sodje cleared. It was to be Adam Lockwood’s last touch of the ball as he was dragged off by Peter Shirtliff as the Shakers changed shape with Marcus Marshall coming onto replace him. Charlie MacDonald was also replaced by Carl Robinson with a facial injury, to be replaced by former Shaker Ryan Lowe, who received the reception he deserves from the home fans.
Half Time: Bury 0 MK Dons 1
The second half began with Bury attempting to get back into the game, a long ball forward found David Healy on the edge of the box, again he controlled with an excellent touch off his chest but finished with the same result, by volleying the ball high over the MK Bar.
MK Dons increased their lead on 54 minutes. A low cross into the box from Ryan Lowe brought a good header on target from Chadwick that Carson did well to block. Ryan Lowe followed up with a crisp drive from close range that Mark Hughes somehow blocked but Bowditch followed up to smash the ball into the back of the net.
Ryan Lowe has scored many goals at Gigg Lane, and he nearly notched another just after the hour, but again Trevor Carson was more than equal to the effort and dived smartly to tip the effort around the post. Bowditch was the next to try with a shot, this time deflecting out for a corner off Joe Skarz.
An MK Dons free kick on 66 minutes deceived the Bury defence. Taken quickly by Chadwick, he slipped the ball through the Bury defence where Dean Bowditch again slotted home for his third goal of the afternoon.
Marcus Marshall had a good effort on goal on 72 minutes; he cut inside the defender on the corner of the box and fired a good effort on target, but straight down the keeper’s throat who made a good stop. David Healy fired another effort just wide moments later following good work from David Worrall
Bury did eventually get a goal back on 80 minutes when a long hopeful ball over the top saw a two horse race between Lenell John-Lewis and keeper David Martin. With the keeper a long way out of his area, Lenny won the race and cleverly lobbed the ball over Martin and watched as it bounced twice before rolling over the line.
MK Dons had the final laugh as a bad back pass from Joe Skarz was seized upon by Ryan Lowe, he squared the ball to Luke Chadwick who arrived in space, before he fired the ball across Trevor Carson and into the back of the net for a fourth goal.
Whoever takes the managers role on Wednesday has a task ahead of him, first of which is confidence amongst the players – which judging by this performance, is lower than a whales belly.
Final Score: Bury 1 MK Dons 4
Bury: 1. Trevor Carson, 3. Joe Skarz, 5. Adam Lockwood, 6. Peter Sweeney, 8. Steven Schumacher (c), 13. Mark Carrington, 16. Efetobore Sodje, 17. Mark Hughes, 21. Andrai Jones, 25. David Healy, 28. Tom hopper
Substitutes: 4. Shane Byrne, 7. David Worrall, 11. Marcus Marshall, 12. Lenell John-Lewis, 15. Lateef Elford-Alliyu, 19. Mark Cullen, 30. Cameron Belford
MK Dons: 1. David Martin, 2. Jon Otsemobor, 3. Dean Lewington (c), 6. Shaun Williams, 7. Stephen Gleeson, 8. Darren Potter, 9. Dean Bowditch, 10. Charlie MacDonald, 23.Jay O’Shea, 24. Anthony Kay, 26. Luke Chadwick
Substitutes: 4. Mathias Kouo-Doumbe, 11. Alan Smith, 12. Adam Chicksen, 14. Ryan Lowe, 16. Ian McLoughlin, 17. Daniel Powell
Referee: Mr Mark Haywood
Assistant Ref: Mr. N Sharp
Assistant Ref: Mr. M Coy
Fourth Official: Mr. D Handley