A brave and proud performance from Shakers Youth Team
The theatre of Dreams laid on its finest facilities for the Shakers Youth team in the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round, but the young Shakers fell to a 12th minute goal after a nervous start to the game.
The nervousness of the Shakers was evident within 20 seconds of the game starting when they conceded a free kick on the edge of their own box. The free kick was well dealt with though by keeper John Ruddy with a clean catch as it floated over
United, perhaps sensing the Shakers nerves came surging forward again moments later and a chipped effort from the edge of the box seemed to have John Ruddy beaten, though thankfully for Bury Matt Foulds was on hands to clear the ball before it crossed the line.
With only five minutes on the clock, the home side again surged forward with Marcus Rashford bursting into the box with the ball at his feet, only for his shot to zip into the side netting from an acute angle.
United looked hungry for an early goal, and it came on 12 minutes when they slipped a ball into the path of Zachary Dearnley, who cut inside his man before flashing a fierce drive over John Ruddy and into the opposite top corner from the corner of the box.
As time wore on the Young Shakers seemed to settle their nerves though it was around 20 minutes before they made any headway into the United box and quickly won a succession of corners. The first delivery from Bourne brought a headed clearance that was pushed away into the opposite corner and out for a Bury throw. Then a second quick corner was over hit by Bourne and sailed over a packed box and out for a goal kick.
As the game went on, Bury grew more confident and began to stop the attacking prowess shown by their hosts and resorted them to long range efforts. One such effort from Fosu-Mensah on 25 minutes did no damage as the effort flew very wide of the target.
Bury created their first real half chance on 27 minutes with a clever turn from Henry Wordingham, his quick turn left his marking defender flat footed and off the pace, but agonisingly the ball rolled just out of reach for young Henry and another defender charged across to lash the ball high into the stand.
Moments later a clever defensive clearance from Foulds fed the ball down the wing to Antony Dudley. he cleverly took the ball down the flank but could not get a decent connection to cross the ball into the box, and the ball was forced out of play for a goal kick.
Dudley and Khalid Mohammed were beginning to cause problems to the United defence and just before the break, Khalid Mohammed carved himself a half chance when he took the ball from the flank and took the ball along the edge of the United box, but a heavy touch saw the ball cleared and the move thwarted. Moments later, Jake Durham won a clean tackle on the edge of the United box and burst to the 18 yard line, but his shot on goal lacked both pace and direction and was easily dealt with.
Bury came out for the second half a different side, the nerves had gone and fluidity returned to their game. Within minutes of the restart, a Matty Foulds volley flew wide of the target whilst at the other end, United's Rashford failed to hit the target with a close range header. With just five minutes of the second period players, Sam Gibson sprayed the pass of the night into the box with a delightful curling cross that unfortunately was just slightly too close to the keeper.
Jake Durham was the next to try his luck on 51 minutes, but his effort from the edge of the area lacked pace power and direction and rolled away harmlessly for a goal kick. Henry Wordingham had a good effort with a crisp shot on the turn from the corner of the box, but the chance flew high over the bar.
Confidence was beginning to ebb throughout the Bury team and a good passage of play fell their way on 56 minutes, only for a Scott Burgess shot to again rise above the cross bar. Within four minutes, Wordingham stung the palm of the united keepers hands with a crisp effort from distance. At the other end, John Ruddy began to thwart United time and time again with some excellent saves and last gasp challenges form skipper Marcus Poscha.
With an hour gone, Bury came forward again, this time with Ben Potter and he played a stunning ball into the box. The race was on between the United keeper and Anthony Dudley, but keeper Henderson just got their a fraction of a second before the Shakers' striker.
With Ruddy's commanding saves and the ball being worked from midfield, Bury were asking questions by the handful and won a succession of three corners on 66 minutes. A delightful overhead kick from Poscha was tipped over the bar for the first corner, the second a harried clearance at the back post and last gasp challenges coming in from the home defence.
Ruddy's saves were beginning to frustrate the United strikers as he was again called into action on 70 minutes, this time saving from Rashford who charged into the box with the ball with only the keeper to beat.
Khalid Mohammed produced another chance on 78 minutes, only for his shot to fly straight at the keeper. It was to be his final touch as, before he had another chance with a fine shot that drifted over the bar. With time running out the ball eventually fell to Anthony Dudley and his fierce drive at goal from the corner of the box was inches wide, it looked like United would hang on to their precious lead.
Despite four minutes of added time, it was the young Shakers that left defeated, but what a performance from the lads. They did themselves no harm on Tuesday evening and can be rightly proud of themselves for a job well done - and special praise for John Ruddy who was named man of the match by MUTV..
Final Score: Manchester United 1 Bury 0
Bury: Ruddy, Potter, Gibson, Bourne, Poscha (c), Foulds, Wordingham, Burgess, Dudley, Mohammed (Crosdale 82), Durham (Shaw 71)
Subs not used: Kimmins, McCarthy, Williams