Peter Sweeney's free kick earns the Shakers a point, but could have been more
Bury’s search for their first win of the season continued after a hard-fought afternoon at Bramall Lane, but the score line could have been so different in the dying moments of the game.
Nick Blackman was a thorn in Bury’s side for the whole match, taking the lead after 10 minutes and then being a continuous threat as he looked for more.
Peter Sweeney’s sweetly-struck free kick cancelled Blackman’s goal out moments later, and the rest of the game was played out in an end-to-end thriller.
Mark Cullen could have sealed the elusive win as the seconds ticked away, but he headed over at the far post and what Blackman thought was the winner hit the side netting in the final kick of the game.
It was a spritely start for the Shakers, with Marcus Marshall making the most of a mistake on the left on 3 minutes, but he was stopped in his tracks as he made his way into the box. Five minutes later and Craig Jones received a through pass from Peter Sweeney, turned and took the ball forward to shoot, but Mark Howard had it covered.
GOAL! The home side took the lead on 10 minutes, thanks to a cross from Paul Gallagher which found Nick Blackman in front of goal. He brought the ball onto his chest with style and buried past Carson from close range.
Sheffield United 1 Bury 0
GOAL! The Shakers reacted just two minutes later as Peter Sweeney curled a free kick into the top left hand corner of the net. Howard got a hand to it, but couldn’t stop Sweeney bringing things level.
Sheffield United 1 Bury 1
Blackman continued to be a threat for the Blades and whipped a dangerous cross into the box from the right on 19 minutes. It only needed the slightest touch to alter the score line again, but luckily for Bury, it never came.
Bury’s latest loanee Tom Hopper made a quick run down the right flank on 27 minutes, but his cross went begging as it rolled behind Mark Cullen as he forced his way into the box.
It was end-to-end action as two minutes later, a close range header from Harry Maguire tested Carson in the Bury net after yet another dangerous corner from the left.
The Blades’ set pieces were a chink in the Bury armour and a free kick from Gallagher swirled into the box on 35 minutes, but Bury somehow scrambled it clear.
The home side continued to press and goalscorer Blackman tried his luck from distance on 42 minutes, but his effort was well wide.
Craig Jones forced a save from Howard with moments left to play, and the Sheffield United keeper deflected the ball away for a corner.
Half time – Sheffield United 1 Bury 1
The home side were quick out of the blocks after the restart and a nippy cross from Blackman on the left on 49 minutes forced Carson to meet the ball with an equally strong save.
Sheffield United substitution on 52 minutes – Richard Cresswell on for John Cofie
Sheffield United yellow card on 57 minutes – Kevin McDonald
Blackman continued to search for his second goal of the game, and a strong shot from the edge of the box on 59 minutes forced Adam Lockwood to step in front of the ball and deflect it away for a corner.
The Shakers were far from out of the game and on 61 minutes, Cullen pulled the trigger from the edge of the box and saw the ball sail just wide of the left post.
Blackman was back moments later, curling the ball from the right of the box and being met by a diving save from Carson.
Bury yellow card on 67 minutes – Efe Sodje
Bury substitution on 68 minutes – Lenell John-Lewis on for Tom Hopper
Bury substitution on 75 minutes – Mark Hughes on for Efe Sodje
Blackman continued to press and on 79 minutes, a low shot from the left of the box forced Carson into a reaction save to keep the game at 1-1.
Sheffield United substitution on 83 minutes – Dave Kitson on for Darryl Westlake
A Bury free kick on 83 minutes found the free head of Lockwood, but he headed over. The end-to-end second half continued and moments later, a shot from Blackman was saved by Carson but only as far as Cresswell, who headed well over.
Memories of Huddersfield away came back to haunt Bury on 85 minutes as Cullen was brought down in the box, no penalty was given and Cullen was left limping away from the challenge.
As four minutes of added time were announced, a weak header from the home side failed to trouble Carson in the Bury net.
At the other end of the pitch moments later, Bury missed the chance of the match as a cross from Craig Jones met the head of Cullen at the far post and he somehow headed over from close range.
Bury substitution on 90 (+1) minutes – Shane Byrne on for Mark Cullen
The game was far from over and the dying seconds played host to what some home fans thought was the winner from Blackman, but his low shot from the right hit the side netting.
Full time – Sheffield United 1 Bury 1
Attendance – 16,866 (476 visitors)