A thrilling night at Gigg Lane with the Shakers taking Man Utd U21s to penalties
Manchester United under 21's team travelled the short distance to Gigg Lane to face Bury's development squad in the Manchester Senior Cup.
The game provided Manchester United’s Under-21 manager Warren Joyce with the opportunity to gives his players a run-out after only one Under-21 fixture since 23 August.
Bury's line up featured some key names from the first team squad including Brian Jensen, Euan Holden, Richard Hinds, Shaun Harrad, Marco Navas and Temitope Obadeyi.
Bury started the game brightly with two good opportunities falling to the Shakers within the opening 10 minutes. Shaun Harrad challenged Varela outside of the United box winning the ball, Harrad lined up the shot but it was hit wide of the right post. The second chance fell to Euan Holden who struck a powerful shot from distance, but the ball had too much behind it and fell wide.
United's first chance of the game fell to Reece James. Will Keane flicked a ball into the box finding which found the feet of James who took a shot on his first touch, but the ball flew wide on Jensen's goal.
Bury had dominated the first-half with nice spells of movement playing triangles across the pitch and maintaining possession when challenged. When United tried to push forward Bury's defence stayed resilient pressuring the reds.
Bury capitalised on their dominance on the 24th minute. A weak attempt to clear the ball by United’s goalkeeper Jonathan Sutherland was intercepted by Greg McDermott outside the box. McDermott fed the ball through to John Rooney who wasted no time in putting the Shakers ahead with a shot that his older brother Wayne would have been proud of.
Bury 1 – Manchester United 0 (John Rooney)
Neither side proved to be a real threat on goal as the rest of first half played out. Marco Navas came the closet with curling shot from 20 yards out, aimed towards the top left hand corner of United's net but with such power behind the shot the ball was sent high over the goal.
The half came to an end with Bury on the front foot, looking impressive with a strong and confident performance.
Manchester United came out in the second half searching for an equaliser. With a change of shape they began to threaten the Bury goal.
The first threat of the half came from United's Andreas Pereira. The young Brazilian skipped past 2 – 3 white shirts in midfield towards the box but his hard work and skilful play was let down by his final ball which could only be described as a woeful attempt on goal.
Bury were close to bringing the tie to 2-0 when Marco Navas broke down the wing. Navas played a lovely pass through the middle to Harrad who knocked the ball into the path of Rooney. A wrong footed Rooney, struck the ball which looked to hit the arm of a United back man. Rooney and the surrounding white shirts appealed for hand-ball but the referee shook his head and signalled to play on.
54 minutes in United's James Wilson used some smart thinking advancing past an unsuspecting Richard Hinds. Varela spotted Wilson's advance towards goal and threaded a nice ball through. Wilson remained calm; slotting the ball neatly passed an advancing Brian Jensen.
Bury 1 – Manchester United 1 (James Wilson)
56 minutes in Development Manager Ben Futcher made his first substitution of the game taking off Steve Jennings for Anthony Dudley.
Bury remained on top of the game on the hour mark, continuing to search for a second goal and showing strength in not allowing their heads to drop after the equaliser.
64 minutes Bury's second substitution - Richard Hinds off for Jake Cliffe
Bury's persistence was rewarded on the 67 minute when Euan Holden played a high ball to Shaun Harrad who controlled the ball well and played it through to Rooney. Rooney managed to avoid the advancing sliding challenge from Varela and get his shot away. His second goal to put the Shakers 2-1 in front was equally as well taken as his first goal, dropping his shoulder and striking the ball well with the ball drilling straight into top corner.
Bury 2 – Manchester United 1 (John Rooney)
Moments after the Bury goal, Will Keane managed to bag an equaliser. Keane turned on his man Jake Cliffe inside the box, who unfortunately slipped giving Keane the space to capitalise placing the ball in the bottom left hand corner of Bury's net.
Bury 2 – Manchester United 2 (Will Keane)
Bury looked the less convincing of the two sides after United's equaliser. United gained control of the game for the first time after a Marcus Poscha mistake in the box. Poscha had attempted to push the ball out for a corner only to see the ball taken from his feet of Blackett who played a simple ball across goal, creating the perfect opportunity for Will Keane to tap in his second goal of the game.
Bury 2 – Manchester United 3 (Will Keane)
Marcus Poscha made up for his mistake on the 80th minute. Poscha played a perfectly timed through ball to Antony Dudley. Dudley managed to beat his man Tom Thorpe with his pace, going on to hit a hard shot into the bottom corner.
GOAL Bury 3-3 Manchester United (Antony Dudley)
The United youngsters had stepped up their game in the second-half but Bury remained resilient and confident playing toe to toe with United.
After 3mins of added time the referee's final whistle signalled that the game was to be decided by spot kicks. Bury could have been forgiven for feeling that this was unjust as the Shakers had been the stronger of the two sides for large parts of the game, dominating both possession and chances on goal.
United's Will Keane stepped up to take the first penalty placing the ball on the spot in front of the United supporters. Keane calmly chipped the ball into the left hand corner sending Jensen the wrong way to give United an early advantage.
The shootout didn’t start quite as well for Bury with both Harrad and Holden missing their penalties.
Bury fans breathed a sigh of relief when Larnell Cole's effort was tipped out by Jensen.
Bury scored their next 2 penalties but so did United with Tom Thorpe slotting in the winning penalty to make it 4-2 to Manchester United. Bury should have taken the win but it was left to penalties to decided it.