Shakers bow out at Kenilworth Road
Bury were knocked out of the FA Cup at the Second Round on Tuesday night against Luton Town in a replay at Kenilworth Road.
Jake Rooney scored the only goal of the game in the 47th minute when his cross evaded everyone in the box to nestle in the bottom corner to seal a 1-0 win.
David Flitcroft made five changes from the side that lost 2-1 at Oxford on Saturday. Keil O'Brien was handed his debut in a back three with Kelvin Etuhu, Nicky Adams, Ryan Lowe and Danny Nardiello coming into the starting eleven.
Both teams had set up in attacking formations but chances were limited in the first half with both sides being strong at the back.
Luton had the best of the early chances with Jake Rooney sending a teasing cross into the box that Shaun Whalley nearly latched onto but was beaten in the air by Nathan Cameron, who cleared the danger.
The best goalscoring opportunity of the first forty five minutes fell to former Shakers loanee Mark Cullen in the 29th minute. Whalley played the ball up to him and he was left one-on-one with debutant Keil O'Brien on the edge of the area but the former Chorley man did well to force him wide before Cullen flashed a shot past the outside of the post.
As the first half progressed Bury became more of a threat and came close three minutes before half time to an opening goal. Danny Nardiello's goal bound shot was blocked by Adam Drury and the rebound fell to Danny Mayor, who instinctively back heeled the ball into the side netting.
It wasn't long after the restart that the opening goal came through Jake Rooney, although it was a very fortuitous goal. Rooney cut in from the left wing and delivered a low cross into the box that evaded everyone and nestled into the far corner to give the home side the lead.
It could have been 2-0 in the 54th minute when Shaun Whalley was played in by Adam Drury but his chipped effort was wide of the post after being put under pressure by the onrushing Shwan Jalal.
The Shakers' created a chance of their own three minutes later following a quick breakaway. Ryan Lowe picked out the run of Nicky Adams, who stumbled at the wrong moment on the edge of the area and the danger was cleared.
David Flitcroft brought on Hallam Hope for Danny Nardiello in the 58th minute and it was the Everton loanee who was involved in the next key action of the second half. He was sent clear by a fantastic through ball from Ryan Lowe but, as he was about to pull the trigger, Fraser Franks completed an inch perfect tackle on the edge of the area to prevent him from getting a shot away at goal.
The game was certainly more open in the second half following the goal with both teams keen to get bodies forward. Shwan Jalal pulled off an excellent save to deny Scott Griffiths from Luke Wilkinson's knock down before Nathan Cameron cleared almost on the line from the rebound.
Luton centre half Wilkinson was then involved in the action at the other end as he put in a last ditch challenge to deny Hallam Hope a goalscoring opportunity from Craig Jones' far post header in the 71st minute.
The home side were eager to add a second to kill the game off but were unable to find a way past Shwan Jalal late in the game. The former Bournemouth goalkeeper was in fine form to deny both Michael Harriman and substitute Ross Lafayette to keep the score at 1-0.
Five minutes of added time were indicated at the end of the second half and Bury's pressure was rewarded with one final chance. Nathan Cameron beat the offside trap to latch onto a deep cross and found himself free in the area but his header was straight at Mark Tyler and the chance was gone.
The final whistle sounded shortly after and it meant that Bury were out of the FA Cup at the Second Round stage for the second time in three years. Meanwhile, Luton progress to the Third Round where they will meet fellow League Two side Cambridge United after they beat Mansfield 1-0 in a replay.