Bury made the journey to Cheshire to take on The Alex in an encounter that had even more importance, as both teams were still looking for their first three points of the SkyBet League One campaign.
The last time Bury played The Railwaymen at the Alexandra Stadium was back in mid-December 2012, when the hosts ran out 1-0 winners in League One.
David Flitcroft named two changes to the defeat against Fleetwood on Tuesday night; Kelvin Etuhu and Leon Clarke were not included in the squad and were replaced by Danny Pugh and Danny Rose respectively.
Bury got off to the worst possible start as Crewe took the lead in the 3rd minute. A close range shot by Adam King was well placed, after a cross from the left wasn’t cleared.
Two minutes later and Crewe’s keeper, Ben Garratt pulled off a great save. Danny Rose’s low shot was pushed out for a corner after Andrew Tutte found him in space on the edge of the box.
The home side’s Ryan Colclough then broke on the counter on the 10-minute mark, picking up the ball after a foul on Tom Pope was waved away. The resulting shot was dragged from 25+ yards out and went well wide.
As The Shakers stepped it up a level to find the equaliser, Tom Pope found himself one-on-one with the Crewe keeper on the 15th minute; his shot was saved, as he couldn’t sort his feet out in time to curl it past. Rose came up for the rebound, but another instinctive save by Garratt in the Crewe net meant he touched it onto the post, as it trickled out for a corner.
Flitcroft’s men kept up the pressure in the feisty and open encounter, Danny Mayor scoring an absolute magical individual goal on the 22nd minute to put Bury back on level terms. After winning the ball on the left wing he turned the defender at the by-line, and as he ran into the box his low shot flew in-between the keeper’s legs and into the net.
Danny Rose then had the ball in the back of the Crewe net three minutes later. His close-range diving headed effort was ruled offside at the last second, after another spell of great attacking play.
The large number of Shakers fans sensed their side were on top after the bad start, with Pugh spraying passes in the centre of midfield. Tom Soares then guided a shot over the Crewe goal on the half-hour mark.
The Alex took the lead again on 37-minutes. A free kick was curled into the box after a Peter Clarke foul on the right. Ryan Colclough getting the vital touch for Crewe, as the ball was directed back across goal and bundled over the line.
Bury went up the other end, Pope rounding the keeper, but again his shot didn’t have enough power to beat Crewe’s Garratt who recovered well to get behind it.
Five-minutes before the break and there was a short stoppage, a perfect time for the players to get fluids on board and make tactical changes as Crewe Manager, Steve Davis was forced to make his first substitution at right-back shortly after.
Three minutes of added time were indicated and Tom Soares levelled things up, as Bury came from behind once again. His turn and shot in the box flew across the Crewe goal and nestled into the bottom left corner.
HALF-TIME: CREWE ALEXANDRA 2-2 THE SHAKERS
No changes were made by either team for the start of the second 45-miniute period and immediately Danny Rose had a curling effort well saved from the left. A couple of minutes later and he continued to cause Crewe all kind of problems as his volleyed effort was tipped over.
Crewe’s Ryan Colclough’s shot-cum-cross from the right cannoned off Walton’s right post on 53-miniutes, a very good save by the 19-year-old to push it onto the post and out for a corner.
Danny Mayor then came close again to putting Bury in the lead. Picking up the ball on the left wing, he cut inside and unleashed a shot, going agonisingly wide of the goal.
Bury then took the lead for the first time on the 58th minute. A great team goal as Chris Hussey kept running into space on the left, as he went towards the by-line unchallenged, he cut the ball back to Danny Rose who smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
The Shakers faithful were in fine voice once ahead as the Bury management made their first change of the game on the 66th minute. Player/Coach, Chris Sedgwick coming on for Danny Rose, who got a brilliant reception after his contribution in front of goal.
Minutes later and Mayor kept his excellent performance up by continuing to run towards the Crewe defence with the ball close to his feet. Joe Riley fired the ball across the face of the The Alex’s goal, Hussey doing the same from the other side, but it wasn’t met in the box on both occasions, as Crewe made their second change.
Sedgwick was playing the defensive midfield role for Bury superbly, as he marshalled the team, making sure the hosts couldn’t break the team down with ease.
Crewe’s keeper pulled off another great save 15-minutes before the end, Chris Hussey’s shot had plenty of power on it in the box, after Mayor did well to run into the area and instead of shooting himself, turned inside and passed it.
Two minutes later and Tutte found space on the right, his cross finding Soares, who tried to guide his header but it looped over the crossbar.
Crewe equalised on the 80th minute to break Bury hearts, Bradden Inman got the ball in midfield, ran towards goal and as he entered the box, his shot was dragged low towards the bottom left, a great goal after Mayor lost possession in attack when Pugh was in acres of space on the left wing.
As the game restarted the first booking of the game was given to Crewe’s Colclough. Flitcroft brought off Danny Pugh for Hallam Hope in a bid to get Bury back in the lead with 5-minutes remaining.
Both teams were under spells of pressure towards the closing stages, as Jacob Mellis came on for Bury’s last substitution in replace of Tom Soares.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added, but neither side could find that all-important winning goal.
Next up for The Shakers is a very tasty tie against Premier League opposition. Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City side visit Gigg Lane for the second round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night (7:45pm KO). A chance for the town of Bury to come out and support the team, which will no doubt be a great occasion for all involved!