Shakers suffer Checkatrade defeat at Valley Parade
Tom Walker’s first goal as a Shaker wasn’t enough as two first half strikes, within the space of four minutes, saw Bradford City qualify for the next stage of the Checkatrade Trophy at Valley Parade.
Dave Flitcroft made four changes ahead of the game with Bradford City at the Northern Commercials Stadium at Valley Parade in game two of the Checkatrade Trophy Group C with key players rested ahead of the weekend’s televised fixture at Peterborough United.
Bradford City made a change to their starting line-up within three minutes of the game starting as they replaced ‘keeper Colin Doyle with backup ‘keeper Rouven Sattelmaier as a way of getting around the ‘five first team players’ rule.
The game started at a fast and furious pace with some crisp passing on display but it was the Shakers who soon began to dominate possession. Passing across the back-line, through the middle and down the flanks, Bury displayed the signs of a confident passing team and were soon stroking the ball around the pitch, with confidence, throughout the opening stages of the game.
Tom Walker, making his first start since arriving on loan from Bolton, soon began to show his pedigree with some excellent raids down the flanks and one such raid came on six minutes. After some excellent interplay between himself, Soares and Mellis, he delivered the ball into the box only for Tom Soares to head the cross over the bar.
Greg Leigh, on the opposite side, was having plenty of success with his raids up the left flank against his former club, and he showed his class on 19 minutes by drifting a quality ball across the Bradford defence, to find Tom Soares bursting into the box from the opposite corner. His quick touch fell to Walker but he could only fire his effort just wide of the upright.
Bury were now increasing the pressure and, moments later, it was Leigh again who delivered the ball into the Bantams box. It was a delivery that saw the home defence gleefully smash it out for a Bury corner. Walker’s delivery, from the set piece, brought a touch from Hope that saw the ball fall for Mellis but he just could not get the right touch on the ball and volleyed the effort well wide of the target.
The home side eventually calmed the Bury pressure and took the lead on the half hour with Jordy Hiwula laying the ball off to the feet of Haris Vuckic, who drove forward, to the edge of the box, before firing a crisp drive across Shakers ‘keeper, and another former Bantam, Ben Williams – who was making his 500th career start - and into the opposite corner.
GOAL: Bradford City 1 – 0 Bury FC (Vuckic 31 mins)
Bradford doubled their lead just four minutes later with Vuckic and Hiwula again, combining, though this time the roles were reversed. Vuckic played the ball into the box with a good pass looking for Hiwula and despite Ben Williams quickly closing the gap, Hiwula just got enough on the ball to roll it under the Shakers ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
GOAL: Bradford City 2 – 0 Bury FC (Hiwula 35 mins)
Just before the break, Bury created another half chance and it was Walker, again, creating. His run down the wing forced a gap in the Bradford defence and his ball into the middle found Hallam Hope, but he was unable to divert the ball with any pace through the shot and his effort looped over the bar.
Within a minute of the second half starting, Bradford created a chance that could have further extended their lead. Vuckic and Hiwula were, again, causing problems for the Shakers defence though this time is was Hiwula was took the final shot but he only found the Shakers side netting from a close angle.
Bury did eventually get back into the game through Tom Walker. He collected the ball on the left hand edge of the Bradford area and forced his way through, past one defender, then a second with a delightful touch before driving a low, crisp, shot across Sattelmaier to get the Shakers back into the game.
GOAL: Bradford City 2 – 1 Bury FC (Walker 68 mins)
With the Shakers now in search of an equaliser, the next chance fell to Hallam Hope on the edge of the box, only to see his effort drift harmlessly across the face of the goal. A Bury free kick moments later saw a similar result with the ball out of play.
A Bradford free kick on 81 minutes brought a good save from ben Williams and he quickly released the ball back into play with a long punt up the field. Hope was alert to the quick release and brought down the ball before taking a shot that flew wide of the target.
With a minute of normal time remaining, another product of the Shakers academy system, was given his introduction to first team football as Rob Harker replaced Hallam Hope.
With time running out, and despite some good half chances from Hope, Pope and Walker, the home side would hold on for the three points and will now advance to the next stage of the Checkatrade Trophy. Bury, on the other hand, must better Morecambe’s result against Bradford in the third and final game of this stage of the competition.
Bury: Williams, Leigh, Etuhu, Tutte, Dudley, Bryan, Mellis, Soares ©, Maher, Walker, Hope
Subs: Rachubka, Pope, Burgess, Bedeau, Harker
Bradford City: Doyle, Darby ©, Clarke, Dieng, Hiwula, Rabiega, Vuckic, Morais, McCardle, Devine, Kilgallon
Subs: Sattelmaier, Boateng, Windle