Shakers suffer defeat and go down to ten men
Bury lost for the first time in five games after a 1-0 defeat against Oxford United at the JD Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Shakers were reduced to ten men midway through the second half after Adam El-Abd was sent off and saw Nick Pope save a penalty before a late Callum O’Dowda goal sealed the points for the U’s.
David Flitcroft made one change to the starting eleven that beat Luton Town on Tuesday night with Danny Rose coming in for Danny Nardiello, who sat out the game as a precaution.
There was an early yellow card for Bury’s Adam El-Abd as he was booked in the 5th minute by referee Kevin Johnson after fouling Danny Hylton midway into the Shakers’ half.
A second yellow card, this time for an Oxford player, followed in quick succession as Alex MacDonald found himself in the referee’s notebook after bringing down Joe Riley on the counter attack.
The Shakers were looking to get a foothold on the game and came close to opening the scoring in the 13th minute but Chris Hussey’s long range free kick landed on the roof of Ryan Clarke’s net.
The biggest talking point of the first half came fourteen minutes later when the already booked Alex MacDonald lunged in at Joe Riley. Kevin Johnson awarded Bury a free kick and gave MacDonald a warning, much to the dismay of the Bury bench.
The away bench were then up in arms at referee Johnson shortly before half time when former Shakers defender Joe Skarz went down in the area but the penalty appeals were waved away and the two sides headed into the interval at 0-0.
Oxford made one change at half time with Alex MacDonald being replaced by Callum O’Dowda but it was the home side who had the first chance of the second half. A long range shot from Andrew Tutte was blocked by an Oxford defender and the ball fell kindly to Danny Rose, who stretched for the ball and put it just over the bar.
The U’s goalkeeper Ryan Clarke was called into action in the 50th minute as he pulled off an impressive save to deny Kelvin Etuhu. Nicky Adams crossed for Rose, who knocked it down for Etuhu but Clarke spread himself well to deny the former Manchester City midfielder from close range.
21 year old Rose then had a chance of his own denied by Clarke eleven minutes later. Danny Mayor swung a cross into the six yard area and Rose flicked it towards the top corner, only to see Clarke acrobatically tip it over the bar.
The Shakers were reduced to ten men in the 64th minute as Adam El-Abd received his marching orders from referee Kevin Johnson. The Bristol City loanee tripped Kemar Roofe and was shown a second yellow card to leave Oxford with a man advantage with just over twenty-five minutes to play.
Jim McNulty was brought on in place of Danny Rose to move into centre back alongside Nathan Cameron and he was involved in the action straight away. Referee Johnson adjudged him to have fouled Danny Hylton in the area and the away side were awarded a penalty. The former Bury loanee brushed himself off to take on the penalty duties himself and aimed for the bottom left hand corner but saw his effort palmed away by Nick Pope to keep the score at 0-0.
The Charlton loanee produced another good save in the 78th minute to deny Oxford striker Patrick Hoban from the edge of the area but couldn’t do anything about the away side’s goal seven minutes later.
Hylton sent substitute Callum O’Dowda clear of the Bury defence and he rounded Pope before slotting into an empty net to secure the three points for Oxford.
Five minutes of added time were signalled at the end of the second half and the Shakers had one final chance to equalise but Nathan Cameron headed narrowly over from Craig Jones’ lofted cross.
The final whistle sounded shortly after and it brought Bury’s six game unbeaten run to an end ahead of next weekend’s game away at Mansfield Town.