A heavy defeat for the second time in four days for the Shakers
A fourth game in 33 days against AFC Wimbledon, a change in manager and a surprising return to action for Tom Pope, though as event unfolded on a cold afternoon in Kingston, the result would bring a heavy defeat as the injury ravaged Shakers suffered a second similar outcome in their second visit to the Cherry Red Records Stadium within four days.
It was the Shakers though that began the game the brighter of the two sides with Danny Mayor setting off on one of his usual raids down the flank, and within seconds of the game starting. Mayor effortlessly skipped past Paul Robinson to send an excellent cross into the box. James Vaughan got the slightest of touches onto the ball but keeper James Shea was perfectly placed to get his body behind the ball.
Another Bury attack came to nothing on three minutes with Hallam Hope raiding down the opposite flank, his ball across the box found Danny Mayor who took one touch before laying the ball off to Vaughan. The shot from the Shakers striker though was off target and with Vaughan leaning away from the effort, it was no surprise to see the ball fly harmlessly away to the right of the six-yard area.
A Chris Whelpdale free kick, following a foul on Tom Elliott on six minutes, saw the ball delivered into the area and seemed to be hitting the target, until Ben Williams threw his body at the ball and pushed the effort wide of the goal, Wimbledon attempted to get the ball into the opposite post but the Shakers quickly broke down the effort and charged away from their own area with the ball with Hallam Hope. After some quick passing between Hope, Mellis and Soares, the cross from Hope into the box took a heavy deflection and landed on the roof of the Wimbledon goal and away for a Bury corner.
Niall Maher produced a telling run on 25 minutes when he collected the ball on the edge of his own area, with quick feet clearly on view, Maher turned one man, nutmegged the next and seemed to be on a one-man mission to get into the Wimbledon box. He did exactly that but was pegged back as he charged into the Wombles box, with the result coming as a yellow card for simulation and a home free kick.
From the resulting free kick, the ball was fed back to Robinson and he look a long look up the field and played the ball over the top for former Shaker Tom Elliott to chase into the corner. His initial cross flew across the box and was chased to the corner of the area by another former Shaker, Dominic Poleon. The former Leeds man than then drove a low cross into the box where Whelpdale connected with the ball and drove it beyond Williams for the opening goal. Absolutely nobody in the ground expected what came next.
Goal: AFC Wimbledon 1 Bury 0 (Whelpdale 26)
From the restart the ball was played through the middle for Mayor to chase, Wimbledon cleared with the ball fed back up the field with a high ball. Leon Barnett managed to get his head to the ball but could only divert the ball into the path of Poleon, he strode towards the edge of the box and rifled a ferocious shot, unto the underside of the cross bar and into the back of the net for two goals in a minute.
Goal: AFC Wimbledon 2 Bury 0 (Poleon 27)
Following a second restart in as many minutes, the ball was pushed out for a Bury throw and pushed back to Jacob Mellis. With little options available to him he fed the ball back and to his horror saw the ball collected by Poleon. As with his goal, he took one touch and squared the ball to Tom Elliott on the penalty spot and the unmarked striker had the simplest of tasks to drive it low past Ben Williams for a third goal in as many minutes.
Goal: AFC Wimbledon 3 Bury 0 (Elliott 28)
The Shakers won a free kick on the edge of the Wimbledon box some five minutes later following a challenge on Mellis. Danny Mayor took the resulting free kick but drove his effort high over the wall and out of the Stadium.
It got worse for the Shakers a minute later when a challenge from Niall Maher, in the corner of the Bury box, was ruled to have been an illegal challenge and referee Dean Whitestone pointed to the spot. Francomb took the penalty and drove a low shot into the bottom right hand corner, sending Williams the wrong way for a fourth goal.
Goal: AFC Wimbledon 4 Bury 0 (Francomb Pen 36)
Bury did get a goal back before half time. A twisting and turning run from Danny Mayor brought a quick interchange with the ball with Mellis, Mayor then curled a delightful ball into the box where James Vaughan got enough on the cross to divert it into the back of the net to claim his seventh goal of the season.
Goal: AFC Wimbledon 4 Bury 1 (Vaughan 40)
Within minutes of getting on the scoresheet, Bury attacked again down the flank via Danny Mayor, his turns on the ball deceived his covering defender but pressure from the Wimbledon defence saw him tap the ball behind him to Greg Leigh. His cross into the box though saw Shea quickly off his line to collect the ball under pressure from Vaughan.
Half Time: AFC Wimbledon 4 Bury 1
Neither side made any changes at the break and with the home side becoming more wary of Danny Mayor, it seemed that every time he collected the ball then at least two defenders would be on him within seconds. Evidence of this came within three minutes of the restart as Mayor collected the ball halfway inside the Wimbledon half and immediately he was pressured from two angles, with the result being the ball moving down the opposite end of the field.
A 50th minutes foul on James Vaughan, following a heavy push in the back, brought a chance for the Shakers to get the ball into the box. Taken by Jacob Mellis, his delivery was quickly pushed out for a Bury corner. Mellis again took the corner kick and the ball fell to Hallam Hope inside the six-yard area. He seemed to take the ball on the chest and was attempting to turn and shoot, when an appeal for hand ball came from the Wimbledon defence and was quickly given by the officials.
Wimbledon claimed a fifth goal three minutes’ shy of the hour. A long clearance from Shea fell to Elliott on the flank. He controlled the ball and lopped a cross into the Bury area. Francomb had the time to bring the ball down before firing a shot across the challenge from Maher and into the bottom corner to claim the Wombles tenth goal in four days against the Shakers.
Goal: AFC Wimbledon 5 Bury 1 (Francomb 57)
Niall Maher produced another telling run into the box on 68 minutes, this time getting the ball deep into the area before firing across the face of goal. A defender managed to get enough on the cross to stab it out for a Bury corner though. Before the corner was taken though Bury brought on Neil Danns and a surprise return for Tom Pope following his three broken ribs and Punctured lung injury. Pope charged into the box before the corner was taken and was inches away from connecting with the corner from Mellis.
The next chance came to the Shakers. Following a great run into the corner from Pope, the Wimbledon defence managed to get it away for a Bury corner. The delivery came in perfectly and found the head of young George Miller, who had replaced James Vaughan, but his header flew straight at keeper James Shea allowing him to collect the ball.
Moments Later Tom Elliott broke through and charged at goal, with a sixth goal on the cards, Antony Kay produced the challenge of the game to get the ball away from Elliott and away to safety.
The full-time whistle eventually came and with the home supporters clearly enjoying their games with the Shakers, it was left to the caretaker manager team of Chris Brass and Ryan Kidd to fully understand the problems they have to contend with, as was later admitted by Chris Brass by saying ‘We have a lot of work to do’.
Final Score: AFC Wimbledon 5 Bury 1
AFC Wimbledon: J Shea, B Fuller, P Robinson (W Nightingale, 71), S Owens, C Robertson, J Reeves, D Parrett yellow card, G Francomb, C Whelpdale, T Elliott (L Taylor, 75), D Poleon (T Barnett, 75)
Subs not used: A Egan, D Bulman, J McDonnell, T Beere
Bury: B Williams, G Leigh, L Barnett yellow card, N Maher yellow card, A Kay, J Mellis, T Soares, A Tutte (T Pope, 67), D Mayor, J Vaughan (G Miller, 69), H Hope (N Danns, 67)
Subs not used: P Rachubka, J Bedeau, S Burgess, K Etuhu
Attendance: 4,141 (276 Bury Fans)