Jermaine Pennant started his first game for the Shakers whilst Head coach Chris Brass elected for a Reece Brown and Kelvin Etuhu combination in the middle of the park following the recent departure of Tom Soares to AFC Wimbledon.
The first half chance of the game came with barely 90 seconds on the clock. A long ball from the back, from Mat Sadler, saw the ball drop onto the head of Shakers skipper Antony Kay on the edge of his own area. Kay got his head to the ball but looked on in horror as Shrewsbury’s Tyler Roberts latched onto the loose ball. Roberts put his laces through the ball on the half volley from just outside the Shakers box though, thankfully, his effort flew onto the knee of Cameron Burgess and out for an early corner to the home side.
After five minutes, a Shrewsbury throw was lobbed forward to Junior Brown and his quick ball, into the Bury box, looked to be causing no problems to anyone as Brown’s team mates had not anticipated such an early cross, however, a backwards header from Kay onto Cameron Burgess saw the ball hurriedly cleared away for another corner to Shrewsbury when, perhaps, a little more realisation and familiarity of the opposition surroundings should have brought a calmer reaction to the cross.
Former Shaker Joe Riley delivered the corner to the far side of the six yard area where the imposing form of Aristote Nsiala rose above everyone to get his head to the ball but, thankfully for Bury, his effort lacked direction and the ball sailed wide of the post and out for a Bury goal kick.
Bury got the ball forward, on 16 minutes, with Hallam Hope turning his man inside the area but, unable to get the cross to the numerous Black shirts in and around the area, he was forced to lay the ball off to a Taylor Moore, who was charging on the flank, on the overlap. The on-loan Bristol City right back cleverly took the ball to the bye-line before delivering a deep cross into the Salop box where he found the head of Pennant but his dinked header, back into the middle, failed to find a Bury player and the home side quickly broke the move down and charged forward with the ball.
From that clearance, Shaun Whalley raced the length of the pitch before cutting into the Bury box with the ball where a combination of Kelvin Etuhu and Cameron Burgess did just enough to force a mistake and, with Whalley on all fours inside the Bury box, the ball somehow fell to Nsiala and despite several attempted shots on goal, Shrewsbury could not get the ball beyond the Shakers defence and Bury eventually got the ball clear and up the field.
The next attack came for the Shakers with Taylor Moore finding Hallam Hope from a throw-in. Hope played a quick one-two with Tom Pope before cutting into the Shrewsbury box where his ball, across the area, found Reece Brown but, after scoring his first career goal last weekend, he was unable to wrap his foot around the ball and fired high above the crossbar.
Shrewsbury claimed the next half chance with Joe Riley, who proved to be a thorn in the Shakers collective side, all afternoon, with his constant raids down the wing, delivering a short pass to Rodman on the edge of the area, his quick touch into the box saw Roberts get a toe to the ball, doing just enough to poke the ball at goal and away from the challenge from Antony Kay but, with no pace on the ball, the chance was easily smothered by Rob Lainton.
Whalley had the next chance for Shrewsbury when, again, he collected the ball from Riley and played two one-two touches with team mates in and around the Bury box. As he charged past Burgess he unleashed a ferocious drive from an acute angle that Lainton did well to smother and stop by getting down quickly at his near post.
A Shrewsbury corner, moments later, brought another Riley delivery, though, this time, Kay rose high to head clear, but only as far as Whalley on the edge of the area. Whalley opted to go for the spectacular finish and smashed the ball, on the volley, but, once again, Lainton was equal to the effort and collected the ball easily.
Lainton was on hand, once more, shortly before the break when another ball into the Shakers box found Roberts inside the six-yard area but this time he powered the shot at goal, only for the Shakers ‘keeper to race off his line and force the ball out for a corner from very close range.
Half time: Shrewsbury Town 0 Bury 0
The second period was barely two minutes old when the home side took the lead. A quick turn and spin, on the ball, by Junior Brown, which left a slipping Taylor Moore on his backside, saw the Shrewsbury left-back heading for the corner with the ball. Brown then had the simplest of tasks of picking out Roberts, standing just inside the box, who calmly slotted the ball home with a side-footed shot, and although Lainton got a touch on the ball, he was unable to prevent the ball from hitting the back of his goal.
GOAL: Shrewsbury Town 1 Bury 0 (Roberts 47)
Bury looked to get back into the game some ten minutes later. Greg Leigh fed the ball down the wing to find James Vaughan. Both Vaughan and Pope had been closely watched by the Shrews back four all afternoon but, this time, Vaughan managed to get the ball across the Shrewsbury box to Hallam Hope who managed to stretch just enough to touch the ball towards Pope but, again, on the stretch he was unable to find the target allowing the home side to clear.
Hallam Hope then tested home ‘keeper Jayson Leutwiler, on the hour, when he collected a Taylor Moore touch on the corner of the box. With a quick turn and shot, his effort stung the palms of the Salop ‘keeper before smothering the loose ball at the second attempt.
Shrewsbury increased their lead, on 77 minutes, when Roberts, who had been Shrewsbury’s most dangerous player all afternoon, collected the ball half-way inside the Bury half. With a forceful run towards the Bury box, he shot on goal from the edge of the area but Lainton could do nothing as Ladapo latched onto the loose ball, which ricocheted back to him, off the unfortunate Cameron Burgess, to drive it home from close range to double the Shrewsbury advantage.
GOAL: Shrewsbury Town 2 Bury 0 (Ladapo 77)
Bury did get a goal back, but it would turn into just a consolation goal when an 87th minute Jack Mackreth cross brought a diving save from Leutwiler but when the big stopper was unable to hold on to the ball it brought a snapshot from George Miller which, when it was blocked by the home defence, fell kindly to Mellis who had the easiest job of driving it across Leutwiler for Bury’s only goal of the game.
GOAL and Full time: Shrewsbury Town 2 Bury 1 (Mellis 87)
Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler, Nsiala, Sadler, Riley, Brown, Whalley, Ogogo, Deegan, Rodman (Humphrys 65), Payne (Ladapo 12), Roberts (Morris, 83)
Subs not used: Yates, Halstead, El-Abd, Dodds
Bury: Lainton, Leigh, Kay, Moore, C Burgess, Pennant (Miller 66), Brown, Etuhu (Mellis 71), Hope (Mackreth 58), Vaughan, Pope
Subs not used: S Burgess, Deslandes, Murphy, Barnett
Gate: 5,365 (448 Bury Fans)