Shakers defeated on opening day of the new season
Bury lost at the JD Stadium for the first time under David Flitcroft against Cheltenham in the opening game of the 2014/15 season on Saturday.
A first half strike from Cheltenham youngster Joe Hanks was enough to seal the three points for the Robins to leave the Shakers in 17th place in League Two.
David Flitcroft handed a competitive debut to Shwan Jalal whilst Nicky Adams and Ryan Lowe pulled on the shirt for a competitive game for the first time since 2008 and 2011 respectively.
Jalal was tested early on by Cheltenham midfielder Jason Taylor with a left footed shot from the edge of the area but he dealt with it well and tipped it around the post.
Danny Mayor nearly created a goal with 24 minutes gone when he cut in from the left hand side and got a shot away but his effort cannoned off the head of Steve Elliott and out for a corner, which came to nothing.
Shwan Jalal was called into action again three minutes later after Byron Harrison headed back Lee Vaughan’ deep cross. Substitute Joe Hanks, on for Asa Hall early on, volleyed the ball from close range but his effort was well held by the former Bournemouth goalkeeper.
The game was end-to-end with both teams creating chances and it was Bury who had the next goalscoring opportunity in the 35th minute. The ball was spread out to Chris Hussey and he hit a ferocious shot across the face of goal which was nearly turned in by Tom Soares and only missed his outstretched leg by a matter on inches.
Cheltenham had the ball in the net seven minutes before half time but referee Eddie Ilderton ruled it out after he saw a foul in the build-up. Matt Richards floated a free kick to the back post and a number of players went down as Matt Taylor headed past Shwan Jalal but his celebrations were cut short and a free kick was awarded.
However the celebrations were soon starting again as they took the lead in the 42nd minute with a spectacular effort from 19 year old Joe Hanks. Byron Harrison laid it off to him and Hanks fired the ball into the top corner from 25 yards to give the Robins the advantage.
Early in the second half Bury tried to get a goal early on but they were thwarted by the Cheltenham defence and former Shakers stopper Trevor Carson. First Andrew Tutte sent a curling effort just past the post before trying his luck from distance again, only to be denied by the Northern Irish goalkeeper.
The Shakers continued to put heavy pressure on the Cheltenham defence and it nearly paid off ten minutes into the second half. Nicky Adams swung a corner into the box and Pablo Mills beat his man to the ball but a combination of Carson and Matt Richards on the line denied centre back Mills an equaliser.
Carson was on top form against his former club and pulled off another great save in the 67th minute after Richards diverted the ball towards his own goal from a Craig Jones cross. He instinctively clawed away the effort and then saw Nicky Adams shot wide of his goal and out for a goal kick.
David Flitcroft then made two changes in seven minutes with James Poole and Nathan Cameron replacing Danny Nardiello and Nicky Adams.
With time ticking away Pablo Mills tried his luck from long range but his effort flew just over the bar. He brought the ball down on his chest and took aim from around 30 yards but his effort dipped too late and went out for a goal kick.
Four minutes of added time were signalled at the end of the second half and it was enough time for Bury to get another chance at an equaliser but Carson was equal to it again. James Poole hit a shot from the edge of the area and it took a big deflection off a Cheltenham player to leave Carson backpedalling and he somehow managed to tip it over and out for a corner, which was headed over by Jim McNulty.
The final whistle sounded soon after the Carson save and the result left Bury in 17th place after the opening day defeat. Up next for the Shakers is a trip to neighbours Bolton Wanderers in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
Bury: Jalal, Jones, Mills, McNulty, Hussey, Adams (Cameron 82), Tutte, Soares, Mayor, Nardiello (Poole 75), Lowe
Subs not used: Lainton, Widdowson, Thompson, Sedgwick, O’ Brien