Bury began their pre-season exploits with a trip up to the Fylde coast to take part in a triangular tournament with both Blackburn Rovers and hosts Morecambe...
Match 1: Bury v Blackburn Rovers
Manager, David Flitcroft selected the following eleven to start the first game of the afternoon against Blackburn Rovers:
Ben Williams, Craig Jones, Niall Maher, Michael Demetriou, Greg Leigh, Kelvin Etuhu, Jacob Mellis, Neil Danns, Hallam Hope, Nicky Clark, Leon Clarke.
The Shakers XI, who took to the field wearing black training shirts with no numbers, began brightly and won an early corner which was taken by triallist Neil Danns but the former Leicester City and Crystal Palace man’s cross was headed clear by the Rovers defence and shortly afterwards Leon Clarke stung the hands of Jason Steele in the Blackburn goal with a crisp shot from distance following good work down the right by Hallam Hope.
It was then Rovers turn to go on the offensive and, from a free kick, debutant Ben Williams in the Bury goal was forced to tip the ball over the crossbar from a corner and from the resulting set piece Rovers took the lead from a Danny Graham header which went back across the goal despite a couple of defenders on the line.
GOAL: Bury FC 0 – 1 Blackburn Rovers (Danny Graham)
The Shakers went back on the attack straight from the restart. This time it was another debutant, Nicky Clark got on the end of a good cross from Leon Clarke but the former Glasgow Rangers man saw his shot well blocked.
Bury continued to press for the equaliser but it was Rovers who almost doubled their lead on nineteen minutes when former Shakers loanee John O’Sullivan headed a corner against the far post and then blazed his follow-up high over the bar from deep inside the six yard box.
Kelvin Etuhu then found Greg Leigh, another player making his first start for the Shakers, with a fine ball out on the left hand side and the former Bradford left back’s ball found Hallam Hope on the edge of the area but his first time shot flew just right of the upright.
Rovers continued to threaten and another ex-Shaker, Elliott Bennett, fired narrowly wide following good work down the Rovers right wing.
As the first half ebbed and flowed it was Leon Clarke’s turn, once again, to have a crack at goal, this time from a free kick thirty yards out following a foul on Jacob Mellis, but his shot flew over the Rovers crossbar.
Just before half time the impressive Neil Danns then earned the Shakers a corner following a great run down the left flank but Hallam Hope’s effort was well watched by Jason Steele and the Rover’s ‘keeper saved at his right hand post.
Half Time: Bury FC 0 – 1 Blackburn Rovers
The second half started as it had ended with Bury on the offensive. Nicky Clark intercepting a wayward pass and finding Leon Clarke on the right but his cross was just too high for Hallam Hope who had made a good run into the area.
The Shakers next attempt was a Neil Danns free kick which almost curled over the head of Steele but the Rovers ‘keeper stretched back and just caught the ball under his crossbar.
Rovers looked dangerous on the break and Mahoney almost caught the Shakers defence out when he found space down the right hand side to cross into the box but Graham miscued and the ball ended up going behind for a Bury goal kick.
Bury’s next effort came from a corner in the 57th minute but Craig Jones’ header was straight at Steele.
Another Shaker making his debut, Niall Maher, prevented Rovers from doubling their lead when his timely interception stopped Elliott Ward from scampering through on goal following a lovely through ball from Bennett.
Blackburn sub: O’Sullivan off. El Bakhtaoui on.
More Bury pressure followed and triallist Michael Demetriou tried his luck from distance but the former Kidderminster and Shrewsbury defender’s effort was well stopped by Steele.
At the other end Danny Graham almost notched his second for Rovers but his shot cannoned back off Williams right hand post but the ball broke kindly for Bury and they broke, at pace, down the right with Hallam Hope’s effort being diverted out for a corner but the resulting set piece saw Nicky Clark force a good save from Steele.
The Shakers continued to press for a leveller and both Leon Clarke and Hope saw efforts saved by the Blackburn ‘keeper.
The final whistle brought the hour long game to an end and it has to be said there was little or nothing between the two sides with Danns impressive in midfield for the Shakers and Rovers Danny Graham showing his Premiership quality and experience in finding the only goal of the game.
Final Score: Bury 0 – 1 Blackburn Rovers
Match 2: Morecambe v Bury
It was all change for Bury’s second game of the afternoon as a youthful looking Shakers side took to the field against their hosts Morecambe with the following eleven:
Bury FC: Jack Ruddy, Rob Bourne, Sam Levell (Triallist), Chris Sedgwick, Keiran Best, Scott Burgess, Richard Chaplow (Triallist), Tom Soares, George Miller, Tom Pope, Dion Johnstone
Sub: Will Osgathorpe
Looking resplendent in their limited edition Royal Blue shirts, which the Shakers squad will sign and auction off for charity at the end of pre-season, the Shakers were under pressure almost from kick off with Kevin Ellison, once more, pulling the strings for the Shrimps.
It was Bury, however, who had the first real effort on goal with Scott Burgess, back from his summer footballing exploits in Norway, almost find the net following a terrific through ball from Tom Soares but Morecambe’s triallist ‘keeper was quickly off his line to smother the ball.
It was then the turn of another Shakers triallist, Richard Chaplow, to try his luck from fully thirty yards but the former Burnley, West Bromwich and Preston North End man scuffed his shot somewhat and the ball went wide.
Bury did get the ball in the Morecambe goal after George Miller’s shot rebounded to Burgess but the Shakers young midfield was adjudged to be offside by the linesman on the far side.
Bury continued to press with Chaplow, Miller and Pope all having efforts saved but it was that man Ellison, so often the bane of the Shakers defence in days gone bye who gave the Shrimps the lead, against the run of play it has to be said, when he was allowed to turn and fire home from inside the Bury box after the ball had been missed by a couple of defenders.
Goal: Morecambe 1 – 0 Bury FC (Ellison)
Morecambe, who had held Blackburn to a goalless draw in the intervening game, came close again in the 24th minute when Turner shot from close range only to see Ruddy make a good save at his near post at the expense of a corner. The corner was cleared by the Shakers defence but when the ball was played back in to the Shakers far post a Morecambe triallist found the net with a neat header.
Goal: Morecambe 2 – 0 Bury FC (Triallist)
The half came to an end with a Morecambe free kick being well held by Jack Ruddy in the Bury goal and after a bright start the Shakers went into the break two goals behind.
Half time: Morecambe 2 – 0 Bury FC
Morecambe started the second half in the same way they ended it and Ellison again caused problems for the Shakers youthful full-back Johnstone but Turner fired well over the Bury bar.
Bury sub: Dion Johnstone off. Will Osgathorpe on.
It was the Shakers who had the next attempt on goal following a corner, won after good work by Chaplow resulted in Soares shot being turned around the post, when Tom Pope’s header flashed over the crossbar.
Morecambe hit back when one of their triallists shot high over Ruddy’s bar following more good work by Ellison down the right.
Bury were then awarded a free kick ten yards or so outside the Morecambe box after Burgess was fouled but Tom Soares effort, cleverly placed under Morecambe’s wall, lacked pace and it was easily saved by the Shrimp’s ‘keeper.
Morecambe then extended their lead to three goals when their cross wasn’t totally cleared and as the ball was delivered in from the left it was met by the head of a triallist and it flew past a helpless Ruddy in the Bury goal.
Goal: Morecambe 3 – 0 Bury FC (Triallist)
Richard Chaplow then had another attempt for Bury which was well saved by the Morecambe ‘keeper, following a Bury corner won by Tom Pope.
Morecambe sub: Turner off. Triallist on.
The Shrimps rounded off the scoring and secured the tournament title on goal difference when their newly introduced triallist skipped past a couple of tiring Bury players and played in Tom Barkhuizen who curled a neat shot into the corner past Ruddy – who was faultless for any of the Morecambe goals.
Goal: Morecambe 4 – 0 Bury FC (Barkhuizen)
Tom Pope had the last effort of the game but his weak shot was easily saved before the referee blew for full time.
The Shakers were missing several key players such as Peter Clarke, Andrew Tutte, Nathan Cameron, Anthony Kay, Zeli Ismail and Chris Kirkland and Morecambe were able to take advantage, but we did see some positives in the performances of Scott Burgess, Rob Bourne and Richard Chaplow.
Final Score: Morecambe 4 - 0 Bury