James Vaughan struck another two goals to add to his ever-increasing goal tally, with a double strike at Vale Park, to claim a point for the Shakers as they twice came from behind against a resilient Port Vale side.
Chris Brass was forced into making one change following last Saturday’s demolition of Peterborough United with Taylor Moore missing the game. His place was taken by Tom Soares who returned from suspension to stake a claim at the heart of the Shakers midfield with Reece Brown reverting to the right back position.
On a bitterly cold night in the Potteries, it took six minutes for the game to come to life and it was the home side with the first half chance on goal. JJ Hooper collected the ball on the corner of the Bury box following a long run on the ball from Ryan Taylor and, with a quick spin on the ball, Hooper made enough space for a shot on goal from the edge of the area, though his right footed effort flew harmlessly wide of the upright without testing Rob Lainton.
Tyler Walker, making his debut for Vale after joining on loan from Nottingham Forest earlier in the week, was next to test the Shakers back four but, again, the long-range effort from the far corner of the Shakers box flew just wide of the target.
From the resulting goal-kick, Lainton fed the ball forward to Hallam Hope and his quick layoff to Brown saw the ball dinked further forward to Tom Pope. With the former Vale striker under pressure from his former defence, he somehow got a touch onto the ball that saw it deflect into the box where ‘keeper Ryan Boot, also making his Valiant’s debut, raced off his line to chase the ball. James Vaughan though was having none of it and just got a toe to the ball to take it away from Boot’s boot and, with the ball now at a very acute angle, Vaughan went for goal but was unable to find the correct angle and drove the ball into the stand behind the goal.
Bury should have taken the lead on 14 minutes when Tom Soares delivered an incisive, 30-yard, pass that dropped perfectly for Vaughan. With ‘keeper Boot again racing off his line to the edge of the box, the Shakers striker again won the race and tapped the ball over Boot and into space. Vaughan then sent the ball towards goal, with pace but, with the ‘keeper beaten, there looked likely to be only one outcome – however, centre-half, Nathan Smith managed to race to the line before stretching and somehow smashing the ball clear, just inches from the goal line, leaving Vaughan glaring at the goal with his head in his hands.
Port Vale eventually took the lead when Vale’s debutant, Tyler Walker, helped break down a Bury attack on the half way line. After collecting the ball just inside the Bury half, he raced at goal with the ball before driving a delightful, curling, effort into the top left hand corner of Rob Lainton’s goal.
GOAL: Port Vale 1 Bury 0 (Walker 20)
The Shakers hit back some 20 minute later when an under hit back pass from Walker was seized upon by Hallam Hope. With some strength shown he managed to take the ball away from defender Kjell Knops and surged towards the right hand side of the Port Vale box. As he approached the edge of the area, he delivered a teasing cross that dropped perfectly for James Vaughan and the Shakers striker simply arched his foot to drive the ball beyond Boot to claim his fifth goal in two games.
GOAL: Port Vale 1 Bury 1 (Vaughan 40)
Shakers Head Coach Chris Brass was forced into changing his half time team talk on the last kick of the first half. With Vale’s most influential player, Ryan Walker, raiding into the Shakers box again, Cameron Burgess made a challenge to stab the ball away to safety, however, the referee’s assistant – standing no more than ten yards away from the tackle – deemed it an unfair challenge, which resulted in referee Oliver Langford pointing at the penalty spot and Taylor, himself, duly sent Lainton the wrong way to give the advantage to the home side on half time.
GOAL and Half time: Port Vale 2 Bury 1 (Taylor 45 + 4)
Chris Brass was forced into making a change at the break with Reece Brown picking up a knock to the knee. Kelvin Etuhu replaced him, with Tom Soares dropping to right back, and Etuhu stepping into the middle of the Shakers midfield.
A 53rd minute free kick for Port Vale saw Taylor drive the ball at goal from around 30 yards. His curling shot took a slight deflection on the way through though, handing a corner to the home side. The corner, when delivered, though was headed clear at the near post by James Vaughan. His clearance found Jacob Mellis, via two deft touches from Hope and Etuhu.
Mellis turned and raced for the opposite end of the field with the home defence giving chase. James Vaughan, meanwhile, went into sprint mode and stayed with Mellis for the entire length of the field, after initially heading the ball on the near post.
As Mellis approached the Port Vale box, he carefully slid an inch perfect pass into the path of a now unmarked James Vaughan. Vaughan took one touch to control the ball and his second touch drove the ball low and hard underneath a diving Ryan Boot, to find the back of the net. It was counter-attacking football at its best and the goal brought much delight to the 405 travelling Shakers fans, though the, by now, customary demolition of the corner flag brought another cheer as Vaughan pointed his intentions to the Shakers faithful as the Shakers striker claimed goal number six of a very productive week.
GOAL: Port Vale 2 Bury 2 (Vaughan 55)
Another Bury attack, on 74 minutes, saw Port Vale break down the move and charging forward on their own counter attack. With Danny Mayor, back in the Shakers side as a second half substitute, following injury, breaking down the left hand flank his layoff, into the corner, brought an inviting cross from Greg Leigh. The home defence though were quick to clear and forced the ball up the park where another wicked cross fell invitingly to Walker just inside the Bury box but his looping header, at goal, lacked both pace and direction and dropped harmlessly out of play to the left of Lainton’s goal.
George Miller was introduced into the game with ten minutes remaining and he almost got his name on the score sheet soon after. Bury broke down another Port Vale attack with the ball being fed forward quickly. Miller chased the ball forward from Mellis and won the race to collect the ball on the edge of the box and, after turning his man, he found himself some space to get the shot away but his effort went straight at Ryan Boot.
Final Score: Port Vale 2 Bury 2
Port Vale: Boot, Smith, Streete, Knops, Purkiss, Grant, Guy, Taylor, Thomas (Eagles 69), Hooper (Forrester 70), Walker (Cicilia 89)
Subs not used: Pickering, Amoros, Kelly, de Freitas
Bury: Lainton, C Burgess, Soares, Kay, Leigh, S Burgess (Mayor 70), Hope, Brown (Etuhu 45), Mellis, Vaughan, Pope (Miller 80)
Subs not used: Bedeau, Mackreth, Styles, Williams
Gate: 4,338 (405 Bury fans)