Bury end up on the wrong side of a seven-goal thriller at Gigg Lane, after taking the lead twice in the first-half.
Bury hosted their second successive home game on Tuesday night against Fleetwood Town, the third ever competitive meeting between the two clubs. After Swindon’s comeback at the weekend, David Flitcroft named an unchanged side, with Kelvin Etuhu and Danny Mayor recovering successfully after picking up late knocks against The Robins. Whilst Graham Alexander made wholesale changes to the Fleetwood side that lost to Oldham Athletic on Saturday.
The last time The Cod Army were at Gigg Lane was on the 11th March 2014, when they picked up a 2-2 draw back in League Two.
Although The Shakers had made a better start to the league campaign, both teams were still looking for their first win of the season in SkyBet League One, and it was that man once again, Leon Clarke who opened the scoring on the 4th minute. He lobbed Fleetwood’s keeper, Chris Maxwell from close range after capitalising on a defensive error from a long ball. A brilliant goal for Clarke, who used his pace, power and strength to get in front and put himself into a great goal scoring opportunity.
After the horrible start by the visitors, they began to step up the pressure, winning a number of corners in a 10-minute period. Fleetwood’s most notable chance coming from their captain, Antoni Sarcevic, who drilled a shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Soon after and the away side equalised through Conor McLaughlin, who headed home direct from a corner on the 16th minute. Danny Mayor had the ball in the back of the net two-minutes later, only for it to be ruled offside.
The fans were once again treated to another excellent game of attacking football, as Tom Soares’ powerful close-range shot on the 20-minute mark hit a Fleetwood player, who could do nothing about it as it nestled into the corner.
Nathan Cameron headed agonisingly wide from a Hussey corner on the right 5-minutes later, using his height to tower over the challenger.
Fleetwood Town equalised again just before the half-hour mark. Tyler Hornby-Forbes smashing his effort into the roof of the net, after Christian Walton failed to hold onto a low cross from the right.
As the interval drew closer, the crazy goal-fest simmered down in terms of clear-cut chances. The Cod Army having the last effort of the half, Stephen Jordan flicking on a corner with his left foot, but Walton was quick to react.
HALF-TIME: THE SHAKERS 2-2 FLEETWOOD TOWN
The same teams emerged for the second-half, as a confrontation soon escalated on the 46th minute, Leon Clarke and Fleetwood’s keeper, both receiving a booking for their involvement.
Five minutes later and a well worked move on the left between Mayor and Hussey meant a fast-paced cross was put in the box. Soares was waiting to pounce, only for the ball to be taken away from him by the gloves of Maxwell.
The next goal and memorable chance came three-minutes after the applause for ‘Big Nev’ – the visitors taking the lead through Jamie Proctor, who tapped in from close range unchallenged.
The eventful encounter stepped up a level as Bury looked for the equaliser this time. Jacob Mellis was brought on for Tom Soares 20-minutes before the end. Mayor then had an effort saved at close range, after he was fed the ball, L. Clarke coming close with a header from the resulting corner.
Kelvin Etuhu was booked just before the 75-minute mark for a late challenge on the cold and damp evening at Gigg.
Fleetwood’s Maxwell was then called upon as a sweeper-keeper a minute later, as Mayor chased for the ball, just missing out.
Danny Rose was introduced on the 80th minute for his first league appearance of the season, replacing Tom Pope for a straight swap in attack.
A penalty was awarded to The Cod Army 60-seconds later, Sarcevic slotting to his left and making Walton dive the wrong way to make matters worse for The Shakers after Cameron fouled Lyle Della Verde.
The goals continued to flow like the first-half as Bury pulled one back on the 83rd minute, Danny Rose rolling the ball over the line whilst on the floor, after an initial shot wasn’t dealt with from the opposite side. Alexander then made his first change straight after to try and protect the narrow lead.
However, the Shakers fans began to roar again in pursuit of that all-important fourth goal. But, Fleetwood started to revert to keep-ball tactics in the corner for the final two-minutes of normal time, much to the frustration of Bury, the ball being repeatedly kicked against a Shaker.
As five minutes of additional time was indicated by the fourth official, the ball ended up going towards Rose’s path, unfortunately skidding off the wet surface and out of reach. Nathan Cameron was employed as an emergency striker, as Hussey’s late shot fell straight into the keeper’s arms, with the Bury captain getting a late booking. But, it was too little, too late for Bury, as Fleetwood Town took the points for their first victory of the season.
FULL-TIME: THE SHAKERS 3-4 FLEETWOOD TOWN
Next up for The Shakers is an away trip to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday, another opportunity for the fans to get behind the team as they look for that first victory.
STARTING LINEUP: 1. C. Walton (GK), 2. J. Riley, 3. C. Hussey, 4. A. Tutte, 5. P. Clarke, 6. K. Etuhu, 9. L. Clarke, 10. D. Mayor, 11. T. Pope (OFF 80’), 19. T. Soares (OFF 72’), 27. N. Cameron (C).
BENCH: 26. R. Lainton (GK), 7. H. Hope, 8. J. Mellis (ON 72’), 12. C. Sedgwick, 22. D. Pugh, 32. D. Rose (ON 80’), 40. R. Brown.
BURY BOOKINGS: Clarke (46’), Etuhu (74’), Cameron (90+).
BURY MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Mayor
REFEREE: Mr. J. Adcock
ATTENDANCE: 2,992 (270 Away Fans).
Report by Michael Brown