Shakers bow out of the EFL Cup after extra time at Burton
The Shakers fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat in extra time against Championship new boys Burton Albion in the EFL Cup first round.
Callum Reilly sent the hosts into a 1-0 lead at half time from 20 yards out, but it was not long into the second half before Tom Pope expertly tucked away the equaliser.
The game progressed into extra time before Stuart Beavon and Calum Butcher both found the back of the net for the Brewers, whilst Niall Maher grabbed a late goal from a free kick with little time remaining on the clock.
Three changes were made to David Flitcroft’s side following their impressive victory on the opening day of the season against Charlton Athletic. Danny Mayor, Kelvin Etuhu and Zeli Ismail, came into the starting line-up, replacing Nicky Clark, Jacob Mellis and Neil Danns.
Former Burton loanee Zeli Ismail looked dangerous down the right flank in the opening stages, delivering threatening crosses in on his right foot but both were not met by a white shirt, and subsequently cleared by the Burton defence.
On 23 minutes Ismail delivered another testing cross into the home defence’s penalty box but nothing came of it, until the home side flew up the other end through Butcher, the ball was caught under the midfielder’s feet before he laid it off to Reilly, who could only fire over.
Burton continued to attack Ben Williams’ goal four minutes later. Marcus Harness cut inside from the right, shifted the ball onto his left foot and curled the ball inches over the crossbar.
Bury’s first corner of the game was taken short on 33 minutes to Mayor, the Bury winger picked out Pope waiting at the back post - but his header cleared the Burton goal.
However it was Burton that opened the scoring on 36 minutes. Reilly made up for his earlier error, this time dribbling forward into the final third of the field and taking aim from 20 yards out as the ball soared past the helpless Williams.
Ismail aimed to replicate Reilly just three minutes later as he cut inside from the right and onto his left foot, his curling effort beat the Burton defence but it was equalled by Jon McLaughlin in the Burton goal.
Hallam Hope and Pope combined on the edge of the yellow’s penalty area on 42 minutes. Hope held the ball up before teeing off Pope, but his shot rolled agonisingly wide before the half time whistle.
The Shakers continued to look positive and attacked the Burton goal in numbers in the second half. As a result, the twisting and turning Mayor squared his pass to the feet of Pope, the Shakers’ target man finished in style past the stranded McLaughlin to bring the game back to deadlock.
Again, Ismail sprinted down the right flank, this time skipping past Damien McCrory and he was unlucky to fire the ball against the bar after deciding to shoot at goal.
Craig Jones was next up to hit the heart of the Brewers’ defence, his right footed cross floated into the penalty area but cleared the head of the oncoming Etuhu.
The Championship side were unable to find a normal time winner as Butcher’s curling goal bound shot could not sneak a way past Williams, as the Bury goalkeeper did well to dive down to his left.
Another chance came late on for the team in yellow, substitute Matty Palmer drilled his shot towards goal but the Shakers’ demanding centre back Nathan Cameron blocked the shot, quashing any chance of a last minute goal.
Bury were then denied a late winner themselves as Mellis broke through one-on-one with just McLaughlin to beat, but the man between the sticks came out on top, denying Mellis down low with just one minute into additional time.
The game, still equal after 90 minutes, went to extra time with all three substitutes made for both sides.
A slow start to extra time finally came to life when Craig Jones darted down the right wing before falling under the challenge from Tom Flanagan just outside the home side’s penalty box, the officials waved away any claims for a free-kick.
However, on 105 minutes Burton were soon back in the lead again, Beavon pushed the ball onto his right foot and opened up the space on the edge of the Bury penalty area before unleashing a powerful shot past Williams.
Butcher soon after added another goal for the Brewers just seven minutes later. His shot from the edge of the penalty area took a wicked deflection on the way through, before nestling into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Lucas Akins almost heaped more misery on the away following as he cut inside from the left and fired narrowly wide of the post.
The Shakers faithful still had something to cheer about as Mellis was brought down on the edge of the penalty box, referee Mark Heywood awarded the free kick, and Niall Maher stepped up to slot in his debut goal for the Shakers from the set piece, but it was nothing more than a consolation goal.
Burton Albion starting line-up: McLaughlin, McFadzean (Flanagan 80), Beavon, Butcher, McCroy, Naylor, Reilly (Akins 84), Choudhury, Edwards, Harness, Irvine (Palmer 73)
Unused subs: Bywater, Dyer, Fox, Delaney
Bury starting line-up: Williams, Jones, Leigh, Kay (c), Cameron, Mayor (Clark 80), Ismail (Maher 61), Etuhu, Soares, Hope (Mellis 56), Pope
Unused subs: Dudley, Danns, Rachubka, Bedeau