Bury progress to the next round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, after taking a two-nil lead, but Accrington miss a penalty at the very end to equalise and send it to a penalty shootout.
Bury made the short journey on ‘deadline day’ to Accrington Stanley’s brilliantly named Wham Stadium for the opening round of the regionalised Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
John Coleman’s Stanley side were unbeaten in three games, despite only winning once so far this season and hinted at changes before the encounter, giving new keeper Ross Etheridge his debut. However, in the other early season cup competition, the Capital One Cup, they took a strong Hull City all the way to penalties, before losing out in the first round.
David Flitcroft named a familiar line-up to adhere to the competition’s rules of playing six first-team regulars and only having five changes to the starting team of the last fixture. The news of Christian Walton’s Bury contract being cancelled hours before kick-off, returning to parent club Brighton & Hove Albion for injury treatment, meant Rob Lainton became first choice, with young Jack Ruddy making the bench as cover.
With The Reds being regular opponents for The Shakers so far this season, after two behind-closed-doors friendlies, both being ‘eventful’ clashes according to the gaffers, this one didn’t disappoint either in the second-half.
The last time the two clubs met competitively was back on the 27th January 2015 when Bury took home the three points with a narrow 1-0 victory in League Two.
Bury got the game underway on a mild evening, despite a torrential downpour in the afternoon.
Accrington made their first bit of action a quick substitution, Seamus Conneely coming off for ex-Shaker Andy Procter in the opening 90-seconds to avoid punishment by the cup rules, a clever tactic and one of the quickest changes ever!
After a scrappy start, the first real chance of the game came on the 15th minute, after Danny Mayor found Andrew Tutte on the edge of the box from the left. His curling effort was well taken, but the Stanley keeper held onto it.
As both teams continued to cancel each other out, ‘Accy’ who were donning their red and white stripes had their first memorable chance on the 21st minute. Sean McConville hitting a free-kick from well outside of the area on the left, his effort being saved by Rob Lainton and pushed away from danger.
On the half-hour mark there was another chance like the other Bury games for a drinks break, as Accrington’s Procter received treatment.
Just before the interval, the home side had a chance to take the lead after Lainton failed to hold onto a corner from the left. The uneventful half, in terms of clear-cut chances came to a close after two minutes of additional time, Bury probably looking the more threatening when attacking down the flanks.
HALF-TIME: ACCRINGTON STANLEY 0-0 THE SHAKERS
The Shakers management made two changes from the first half, with Danny Pugh and Danny Mayor being replaced by Reece Brown and Tom Pope at half time, Brown playing just in front of the defence.
Bury took the lead within a minute of the restart, Hallam Hope getting the final touch after Pope did well to usher the ball to left, allowing it to be hit low in front of the great Shaker support.
Coleman, who is admired by Flitcroft, made his second change on 53 minutes. This was straight after McConville hit a shot well over; getting trapped in the process at the top of the stand, in-between the metalwork, resulting in a humorous laugh by the Crown Ground crowd.
Two minutes later and the exciting second-45-minutes continued with a powerful drive from Tutte, which was pushed away unconvincingly by the Stanley keeper.
As the game progressed in terms of chances and attacking play, Bury’s Pope and Accrington’s Pearson were involved in a heated exchange just after the hour mark, being resolved by common sense from the official on the pitch.
The hosts made their final change on the 67th minute, as they searched for the equaliser. But Bury had other ideas, Andrew Tutte slotting home superbly with 20-minutes on the clock left, a goal he thoroughly deserved.
The goal scorer, Tutte was brought off for the Shakers final change on the 75th minute, Tom Soares coming on to show the great strength-in-depth Flitcroft has at his disposal.
Accrington pulled a goal back to make it a nervy ending, as their South-American substitute, Gerardo Bruna calmly placed his effort across Lainton’s goal with 5-minutes left. A disappointment for The Shakers who looked like they were going to keep their first clean sheet since the opening game of pre-season.
Tom Soares nearly put the game to bed for Bury with a powerful header, after a cross from the right, but it was held, as Stanley went all-out attack.
Five minutes of added time were indicated, Stanley’s Sean McConville winning a penalty shortly after, but after doing so well to win it, he hit it high and wide with what looked like the outside of his boot. Another spot-kick missed by the Accrington man, after his chance against Hull in the shootout.
That was their perfect opportunity to complete the unlikely comeback, sending home The Reds supporters unhappy and Bury off with what is hopefully a good run of winning games.
FULL-TIME: ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1-2 THE SHAKERS
After a busy day generally, the gaffer was delighted with a professional performance and more than happy with Matty Foulds outstanding 95-minute contribution, for what has been a difficult month in terms of results for the club.
Next up for The Shakers is an away trip to top-of-the-league Walsall on Saturday (3pm KO), who have got off to a great start so far this season, as Flitcroft’s men still search for their first SkyBet League One win.
STARTING LINEUP: 26. R. Lainton (GK), 2. J. Riley, 3. C. Hussey, 4. A. Tutte (ON 75’), 7. H. Hope, 8. J. Mellis, 10. D. Mayor (OFF HT), 14. C. Jones, 22. D. Pugh (OFF HT), 27. N. Cameron (Capt.), 35. M. Foulds.
BENCH: 34. J. Ruddy (GK), 11. T. Pope (ON HT), 15. R. Lowe, 19. T. Soares (ON 75’), 40. R. Brown (ON HT).
BURY BOOKINGS: None.
REFEREE: Mr. T. Harrington
ATTENDANCE: 1,344 (488 Shakers).
Report by Michael Brown