Bristol Rovers 1 Bury 1
Shakers make the point
Missed chances was the key word from Ronnie Jepson, but a point is a point
Ronnie Jepson named both new signings Dean Howell and Daniel Nardiello as part of the 18 to face Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium. Both Craig Jones and Danny Hylton also made a return to the squad after returning from injuries.
Bristol Rovers were granted an early advantage after just the third minute when Shaun Beeley brought down Eliot Richards with a mistimed tackle inside Bury's box. John – Joe O'Toole wasted no time in firing the ball high into the top left corner of goal leaving Jensen helpless and granting The Gas an early lead.
Goal: Bristol Rover 1 Bury 0 (O’Toole 4)
Ronnie Jepson was forced into making an early substitution when a returning Richard Hinds was smashed in the side of the head by a challenge from Matt Harold, following prolonged treatment from physio Tom Walsh, the decision to replace the veteran centre half was made with Edjenguele coming off the bench to claim his place.
Bury's first real attempt of the game fell to Chris Sedgwick who struck a right footed low effort from just outside the box towards the near post but the shot fell wide of goal.
Bury looked set to level the game on 19 minutes when Tom Soares played a perfect cross into a vacant Rovers box to an unmarked Shaun Harrad, but he could only watch on in dismay as his right footed shot from inside the 6 yard box flew over the bar.
Bury got back into the game on 36 minutes in Danny Hylton brought the Shakers level. Shaun Beeley redeemed himself by firing in a low cross from the right to the far post. Harrad rose highest through a packed box to find the ball and played it down to the feet on Danny Hylton who managed to tap the ball in past goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall to bag his first goal for the Shakers.
Goal: Bristol Rovers 1 Bury 1 (Hylton 36)
Chris Sedgwick came close to taking the Shakers into half-time a goal to the good with a well struck free-kick just outside of the box which forcing a smart save from Mildenhall, who managed to push the ball out for a corner.
Half time: Bristol Rovers 1 Bury 1
Rovers started the second-half the brighter of the two sides, pushing for an early second-half goal and putting pressure on the Bury box. They came close to bagging a second goal in the 50th minute when Chris Beardsley struck a powerful headed effort towards Jensen's left post from the centre of the box but his effort lacked direction and flew wide of the left post.
Brian Jensen was forced into making another quick save when Chris Beardsley played the ball past Dean Howell. Beardsley struck the ball low and with power towards Bury's near post but Jensen was quick down onto his line to push the ball out for a corner.
Shaun Harrad once again came close for the Shakers to adding his name to the score sheet but his close range header looped over the keeper and rolled off the crossbar before Brown smashed the ball clear and away from danger.
Bristol were continuing to push the Bury's midfield and defence when Matt Harold fired a powerful shot on goal from the centre of the box, but his effort drifted high and wide of the target.
Some scrappy play in the Bristol box saw both Beeley and Jensen called up on to deny The Gas from taking the lead with 20 minutes to go. Beeley was first to prevent Harold from taking a shot at the near post with a well-timed tackle which resulted in a corner. Jensen was then forced into making a quick reaction save when Beardsley headed the ball from the centre of the crowded box.
Bury were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Bristol area after referee Andy Davies deemed Tom Lockyers challenge worthy of a yellow card. Tom Soares stepped up to take the free-kick but his well taken strike was expertly saved by Mildenhall in the top left hand corner of goal, tipping the ball over the bar for a Bury corner.
In the final 5 minutes Bury were forced into closing ranks with Rovers pushing for a late goal. Harold almost netted the winner for the home side with a close range headed effort, but the striker had placed too much power behind the ball sending it over the bar.
Bury's last real chance of the game fell to debutant Daniel Nardiello. Nardiello hit a right footed shot from a difficult angle inside the box but it was saved by the goalkeeper in the bottom right corner to deny the Shakers of 3 points.
The Shakers had had the Gas on the on the back foot throughout the first half having taken the game to the home side but at half-time Rovers regrouped and became the brighter of the two sides, but the Shakers were heading back to the JD Stadium with a solid performance and with a well-earned point in the bag after having displayed both strength and character.
Full Time: Bristol Rovers 1 Bury 1
Attendance: 5,534 (240)