A wet and wild afternoon brought goals, a clean sheet and another Accrington Stanley Red Card at Gigg Lane, their fourth in five visits.
A pre-match downpour left the Gigg Lane sprinklers redundant and the surface in perfect condition for what turned out to be a normal derby game with Accrington Stanley, with niggling challenges thwarting a passing game and as we have seen on two other occasions, a red card for the visitors.
Kevin Blackwell made four changes to the starting line up with Adam Lockwood replacing a suspended Nathan Cameron whilst Ashley Grimes was back in the first eleven with Shaun Harrad dropping to the bench. Euan Holden also dropped to the bench with Jordan Sinnott getting a first start at Gigg Lane. The final change saw Anton Forrester also get a first start with Rooney also dropping to the bench.
The game almost got off to the perfect start, a quick break after a long Accrington clearance was quickly worked forward and wide to Sinnott by a stunning ball from Tom Soares, he used his pace to get the ball towards the corner before whipping in a stunning cross that looked to be looping towards the back post, but suddenly dipped and came back into play after crashing off the cross bar, Accrington managed to scramble the loose ball away before Craig Jones could return it into the Accy box.
Accrington then created a good chance with five minutes gone when a snapshot from Will Hatfield crashed back into play off the Shakers upright, with keeper Rob Lainton rooted to the spot, the shot from just inside the Bury box came after Laurence Wilson had driven a low cross across the Shakers six yard box, eventually if fell to Hatfield just inside box who could only watch as his effort crashed onto the post before falling nicely for Adam Lockwood to volley up the field away from danger.
Ashley Grimes was then presented with a good chance on 16 minutes, Forrester had received another good pass from Tom Soares and held the ball up well whilst various teammates repositioned themselves in and around the area. Forrester fed the ball wide to Craig Jones, his trademark dash to the touchline saw another perfect cross where Ashley Grimes managed to connect with head and shoulder, the ball flew towards goal but lacked the pace of a clean contact and saw Ian Dunbavin collect easily.
Decisions from officials were brought into the mind again on 20 minutes when Craig Jones received a yellow card for what looked to be taking a free quick too quickly, though when the free kick was taken, the delivery into the box lacked accuracy and was well dealt with by the visiting defence.
Eventually, Bury’s midfield presence began to dominate the game and on 29 minutes a clever free kick from the Shakers saw Craig Jones deliver a curling effort into the area. Sinnott cleverly flicked the ball onto towards the back post for Anton Forrester to slide past the covering defenders and crash the ball home from close range for a very well worked opening goal.
Bury 1 Accrington Stanley 0 (Forrester 29)
Within five minutes of the opening goal, the visitors were reduced to ten men. Danny Webber had lost the ball to the Shakers defence, he seemed determined to get said ball back and chased every pass. Hinds fed the ball wide to Shaun Beeley and as the on loan Fleetwood defender played the ball forward, Webber slid in catching the Bury player with studs showing and through his ankle. There was only ever going to be one outcome, with Beeley writhing on the floor in agony, Referee Bond showed no hesitation and whipped out a straight red card for the former Sheffield United striker.
The Shakers used the extra man advantage to good effect three minutes later. A Shaun Beeley long throw from the side-lines brought a good headed clearance from Accrington’s Peter Murphy; the ball fell at the feet of Jordan Sinnott. The on loan Huddersfield youngster played a very clever dummy to deceive his covering defender before thundering a stunning shot across keeper Dunbavin and into the opposite corner of his goal.
Goal: Bury 2 Accrington Stanley 0 (Sinnott 39)
As we moved into first half added time, a high ball into the box seemed to strike the hand of Shakers skipper Gareth Roberts, thankfully all protests from the Accrington players were strongly waved away by referee Bond.
The second Bury goal looked to have killed off any movement from the visitors and when the half time whistle did come, they certainly looked to be relieved as they left the pitch, though it was the Shakers who left for the dressing room with a good spring in their step.
Half time: Bury 2 Accrington Stanley 0
Tom Soares failed to make the second half, a late knock to the ankle in the dying moments of the first half saw Danny Mayor – returning from illness – take to the field.
Minutes into the second half, a long range drive from Kal Naismith flew straight at keeper Lainton, the Shakers keeper collected the ball easily enough but somehow dropped it at his feet, thankfully the nearest Accrington player was some yards away and Lainton quickly recovered to clear.
A 50th minute free kick for the visitors on the edge of the Bury box brought danger, but when Naismith struck the shot, his effort looked to be anticipating a jumping wall, his daisy cutter shot saw the Bury wall stay firmly in place, allowing for the effort to be easily cleared.
An innocuous challenge involving Anton Forrester and Accrington’s Nicky Hunt on the hour saw both players on the floor in obvious pain. Forrester was quickly back to his feet whilst Hunt was taken off the field after a lengthy delay on a stretcher. It was later confirmed as a dislocated kneecap and several months out injured for the former Bolton player. No free kick was awarded or yellow cards shown, such was the lack of contact in the challenge.
The game was effectively over on 87 minutes, Craig Jones and Danny Mayor had combined well in getting the ball into the corner. The final ball into the box from Jones saw Marlon Jackson collect with a good block on his chest, after bringing the ball down he smartly took it to one side of Atkinson before drilling it low and hard underneath a diving Ian Dunbavin to make it 3-0
Goal: Bury 3 Accrington Stanley 0 (Jackson 87)
The earlier injury to Nicky Hunt brought an additional nine minutes of injury time, but the Shakers showed no signs of slowing down or accepting the result. Craig Jones again flew down the far flank before whipping in a stunning ball that just evading a chasing Andy Procter, who looked desperate to score against his former club.
Finally, the Shakers had their season up and running. Three points and a clean sheet. It may have not been the perfect performance, but points on the board was the main aim of the day for the Shakers.
Bury are up and running
Final Score: Bury 3 Accrington Stanley 0
Attendance: 3,080 (344)