Kelvin Etuhu and Adam El-Abd secure three points for ten man Bury
Adam El-Abd’s 90th minute goal completed a comeback for ten men Bury at the JD Stadium as they came from behind to beat Northampton 2-1.
Ricky Holmes put the away side ahead in the first half before Kelvin Etuhu equalised in the 66th minute, and that was followed up by El-Abd’s late goal to close the gap on the automatic promotion places.
David Flitcroft made one change to the starting eleven that beat York on Tuesday evening with Adam El-Abd returning from suspension to replace the injured Jimmy McNulty. There was also a change on the bench with Danny Nardiello also returning from injury.
It was the away side who were on the front foot early on as they took the lead in the 10th minute. Diego De Girolamo picked up the ball just outside the area and played a perfectly weighted reverse pass to send Ricky Holmes free of the Bury defence. The Northampton winger took a quick look up to see where Nick Pope was before placing the ball into the far corner to put the away side ahead.
The Shakers responded well to going behind and created a half chance nine minutes after the goal. Chris Hussey swung a corner kick to the back post and it looked like Tom Eaves would meet it on the six yard area but the ball was nicked away by the head of Ryan Cresswell and the danger was cleared.
The home side’s best chance of the first half came in the 31st minute when Tom Soares found himself in space in the Northampton area. Joe Riley played a cross to the back post and it was expertly brought down by Soares on his chest before seeing his effort cleared almost on the line by the Northampton defence.
David Flitcroft made a double change at the half time break with Ryan Lowe and Craig Jones coming on for Andrew Tutte and Nicky Adams, which saw Bury switch to a 4-4-2 formation.
The Shakers were reduced to ten men in the 48th minute when Joe Riley received a straight red card on his 12th appearance for the club. The former Bolton full back lunged into a challenge on Tom Newey and was given his marching orders by referee David Coote to leave the Shakers a man light with just over 40 minutes to play.
Despite Northampton having a man advantage, Bury dominated the majority of the second half and were level in the 66th minute. A corner wasn’t fully cleared and Kelvin Etuhu released a low shot from the edge of the area that flew into the bottom corner past the dive of Matt Duke to make it 1-1.
The home side continued to apply the pressure to the Northampton defence and nearly took the lead three minutes after equalising. Tom Soares found himself in plenty of space around 20 yards from goal before rifling a shot just past the Northampton post, much to the relief of Matt Duke.
Charlton loanee Nick Pope was called into the action in the 73rd minute to keep out Diego De Girolamo’s curling effort before substitute Chris Hackett miskicked from close range after the ball was cut back by Lawson D’Ath.
As the fourth official indicated five minutes added time at the end of the second half, Bury pushed for a winner and got their just rewards through Adam El-Abd. Chris Hussey’s near post corner was flicked on at the near post and the unmarked Egyptian centre back nodded home from close range to spark jubilant celebrations in the home end.
The Shakers saw out the final few minutes of the game comfortably to claim their seventh win in eight games, as well as closing the gap on the automatic promotion places to just one point ahead of Saturday’s game against Southend United at the JD Stadium.