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Match Reports

Report: Bury 2 Bristol Rovers 3

The Shakers fell to defeat at the hands of Bristol Rovers on a difficult day at the Energy Check Stadium.

19 August 2017

Two second half headed goals played a pivotal role in the outcome of the game. Rovers captain Tom Lockyer and Billy Bodin found the back of the net on the 53rd and 73rd minute respectively.

Bodin added to the scoreline late on, before the Shakers pulled two goals back in added time through Jermaine Beckford and Nicky Ajose, but it was too late for a comeback.

Lee Clark made three changes to the starting line-up since last Sunday’s defeat against Wigan Athletic, with Ajose, Alex Whitmore and Callum Styles replacing Zeli Ismail, Adam Thompson and Chris Maguire. The Shakers began with a 5-2-1-2 formation with the emphasis on Craig Jones and Greg Leigh playing as attacking wing backs.

An open start to the game set the scene for an afternoon of attacking football. There were early chances inside the Bury penalty area for Liam Sercombe and Ollie Clarke, as they both came close to grabbing the lead for Rovers, but the solid presence of Joe Murphy between the sticks denied them the dream start.

A clever one-two between Beckford and Ajose allowed a good chance for Harry Bunn, but his first-time shot lacked enough power to trouble goalkeeper Sam Slocombe.

On 25 minutes, good build-up play from the away side, right to left, gave Ellis Harrison an opportunity in front of goal, he shifted the ball onto his right foot, dummying Jones in the process, although his shot was easily saved by Murphy.

Two minutes later, the ball was at the other end with Bunn finding himself on the end of a cross from the right wing, but his powerful shot was well saved by Slocombe at his near post.

The visitors’ counter attack on the 40th minute almost resulted in a goal for Chris Lines, after the ball was pulled back to him on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot was deflected a whisker away from the crossbar.

Clark reacted to a goalless first half with two substitutes for the second: Chris Humphrey and Tsun Dai replaced Craig Jones and Callum Styles.

On 55 minutes, the visitors received a dubious corner kick and, as a result, the deadlock was broken. Lockyer rose highest to meet a Lee Brown corner with his head, and the ball bounced off the post and into the back of the net.

Rovers doubled their lead with another headed goal, Bodin this time jumped above substitute Humphrey and gave Murphy no chance of stopping the goal-bound header.

Murphy was on hand again moments later, his fast reactions and strong hand denying Tom Nichols from close range to prevent further damage to the scoreline. 

The away side found their third goal of the game nine minutes later, Bodin again finding the goal as he beat Tom Aldred and placed the ball past Murphy.

Beckford then scored a consolation goal as the fourth official raised the board for additional time. His header nestled into the right-hand side of the goal from a Bunn corner.

Three minutes later and the Shakers came close to an extraordinary comeback. Ajose this time finding the back of the net as he passed the ball past Slocombe from inside the area, following a Greg Leigh cross.

Next up for the Shakers is a trip to local rivals Rochdale in seven days’ time as they attempt to return to winning ways.

Attendance: 3,402 (542 travelling supporters)

Bury starting line-up: Murphy, Jones (Humphrey 45), Whitmore, Bruce (Ismail 59), Aldred, Leigh, Reilly, Styles (Dai 45), Bunn, Ajose, Beckford

Unused subs: Thompson, Edwards, Fasan, Lowe

Bristol Rovers starting line-up: Slocombe, Partington, Lockyer, Sweeney, Brown, Sercombe, Sercombe, Lines (Sinclair 71), Bodin, Harrison (Gaffney 71), Nichols (Telford 82 

Unused subs: Burn, Broom, Bola, Andre

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