Bury were unable to overcome a well set-up Southend United outfit at Roots Hall making the long journey back to Bury with a 4-1 defeat.
The Shakers were unable to hold back an on-fire Noe Hunt who made his first start for the Shrimpers since the end of September scoring a brace in the first half.
minute with a well-executed finish, which gave the Shakers a lift going into the second half. rdLeon Clarke gave Bury a lifeline on the 43
However, Southend took control of the game again and were soon 4-1 up via a David Mooney penalty as well as a great strike by Jack Payne.
David Flitcroft was able to call back Leon Clarke and Chris Hussey who were both unavailable for last Saturday’s game against Chesterfield due to illness. The duo came in to the starting line-up with Tom Pope and Joe Dodoo moving onto the bench. The return of Hussey also forced Danny Pugh back into a central midfield role.
The game started as an end-to-end affair with chances for both sides, the best being a header for Danny Rose from a Tom Soares cross which went agonisingly close.
minute as he saw his shot from the right hand side hit the crossbar.thEx-Bury winger David Worrall looked dangerous during these early proceeding, dictating the game, and he went very close to an opener for the home side on the 9
Southend soon took hold of the game probing the Shakers at every chance they could get, and this lead to the first goal of the game with Noel Hunt acrobatically finishing off a goal mouth scramble with an over-head kick to make it 1-0 to the Shrimpers.
The Shakers soon saw a bit more possession passing the ball around well, however they struggled to penetrate a sturdy Southend defence and were unable to make an impact in the final third.
minute as Daniel Bachmann was unable to latch onto a lively ball in the box after a David Worrall cross, Noel Hunt was behind the big Austrian to sweep up the loose ball to make it two.stThe Shrimpers soon made it 2-0 on the 31
David Flitcroft opted for a tactical change just after bringing on lively winger Craig Jones to replace Danny Pugh, this allowed Tom Soares to move back into a more central role.
This change gave the Shakers more bite, which soon showed with Leon Clarke latching onto a defence breaking pass and rampaging forward slotting the ball calmly past Dan Bentley to give the Shakers a lifeline and keep them in the game going into half-time.
HALF-TIME – Southend United 2 – 1 Bury
David Flitcroft made his second substitution of the game at half-time with Jacob Mellis - making his return to the first team after a month out with a leg injury – replacing Tom Soares.
The Shakers came out with a high tempo in the second half looking to get on an equal footing with the home side, however they struggled to make an impact on the Southend goal with very few clear cut chances being created.
David Flitcroft soon made his final change of the half with Tom Pope coming on for Danny Rose.
minute with a low drive from a short free-kick flying past the crowd in the box looking like it may sneak in, however Dan Bentley made a fantastic reaction save to deny him.stLeon Clarke had a great chance to get his second on the 61
minute.rdThe Shakers kept probing to create some half chances, but nothing noteworthy, looking to try and get back into the game which, however, soon became a harder task when Southend were awarded a penalty on the 73
Jack Payne raced past a number of Bury defenders to get into the box, Nathan Cameron pulled down the lively midfielder to force the referee into pointing to the penalty spot. David Mooney stepped up and calmly sent Daniel Bachmann the wrong way to make it 3-1.
Things got worse for the Shakers 4 minutes later when Jack Payne scored a fantastic goal from 20 yards out which flew past Daniel Bachmann straight into the top corner, giving the visitors a mountain to climb with only 10 minutes to go.
The Shakers were unable to get back into the game after the Shrimpers’ fourth goal and the final whistle soon blew sending the Shakers back to Greater Manchester disappointed with a 4-1 defeat.
FULL-TIME – Southend 4 – 1 Bury
Next-up for the Shakers is a Boxing Day tie against David Flitcroft’s old side Barnsley at Gigg Lane in Sky Bet League One, 3pm kick-off.
Starting XI: Daniel Bachmann, Joe Riley, Chris Hussey, Peter Clarke, Kelvin Etuhu, Leon Clarke, Danny Mayor, Tom Soares (OFF – 45), Danny Pugh (OFF - 34), Nathan Cameron (capt), Danny Rose (OFF – 53)
Substitutes: Rob Lainton, Reece Brown, Jacob Mellis (ON – 45), Tom Pope (ON – 53), Anthony Dudley, Craig Jones (ON – 34), Joe Dodoo
Attendance: 6,127 (177 Shakers)