Shakers claim another three points and go five games without defeat
The Shakers escape from the relegation zone continued with the unbeaten run now extended to five games following goals from James Vaughan and Tom Pope. The Shakers victory added to Coventry City’s woes to leave them 14 points adrift of safety as they remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
With skipper Antony Kay suspended, following his tenth Yellow card of the season at Charlton on Saturday, returning striker James Vaughan donned the captain’s armband whilst youngster Tom Beadling, who signed on deadline day on loan from Sunderland, made his Football League debut at the back sandwiched in-between Cameron Burgess and Leon Barnett.
The Shakers began the game brightly with the front duo of Vaughan and Tom Pope causing the visitors no end of problems but it was Taylor Moore who crafted the first chance on goal after being clattered to the ground in the second minute. The on-loan Bristol City defender had cleverly collected the ball at pace, before he attempted to cut across his man to deliver the ball into the box, however, a robust challenge saw Moore sent crashing to the floor.
Jacob Mellis curled the free kick to the far post where Tom Beadling cleverly flicked the ball back into the six-yard area with an overhead kick. Coventry thought that had managed to clear the ball via Nathan Clarke but the ball dropped to Paul Caddis, making his Gigg Lane debut, on the edge of the box. Caddis struck a venomous shot on the volley that flew straight at Sky Blues ‘keeper Lee Burge.
Moments later and, after a superb passing move from Bury involving no less than eight first time touches from six players, the ball was fed to Taylor Moore in the Coventry corner and his cross, into the box, was met with a crisp header from Vaughan and although he, again, found the target, Burge was well positioned to catch the effort.
The opening goal was coming, with the possession and passing causing no end of problems for the visitors and, when it did come, in the 16th minute, it followed another well worked sequence of passing. Callum Styles, showing maturity far beyond his tender years, slipped the ball wide to Taylor Moore, his clever turn on the ball saw him stab the ball into the middle for Caddis and, with his first touch, the former Birmingham City man slipped in Vaughan who, with two defenders wrong footed, managed to spin on the ball before side footing it into the bottom right hand corner of the Sky Blues goal to give the Shakers a well-deserved lead and Vaughan’s 19th goal of the season.
GOAL: Bury 1 Coventry City 0 (Vaughan 16)
It took a further three minutes for the visitors to work their first chance on goal. Callum Reilly took advantage of some good fortune as he somehow rode several challenges, on the ball, from the Shakers midfield and defence. As he stole into the box he laid the ball into the path of Charles Vernham whose powerful shot, from an acute angle, flew straight at Joe Murphy who saved well.
Coventry had another half chance, six minutes later, following a Bury counter attack. Taylor Moore, again, worked the ball down the right using his pace and craft on the ball before his cross into the box was quickly cleared by former Shakers loanee Nathan Clarke and City quickly the ball worked forward. Stuart Beavon delivered the ball across the box for Kwame Thomas, however, with the pass slightly off target, Shakers ‘keeper Murphy was quickly off his line to smother the ball at the feet of Thomas.
Bury doubled their lead five minutes before half time. Callum Styles, who was becoming increasingly influential in midfield, collected the ball on the edge of the centre circle with a superb first touch and, following a quick turn on the ball, he delivered the pass of the night, which was later described as ‘exquisite’ by manager Lee Clark. The ball was perfectly weighted and arrowed into the feet of Tom Pope, as he slipped in-between the static Sky Blues defence, who, from around the penalty spot, struck the ball into the same bottom right hand corner as Vaughan to give the Shakers a commanding half time lead.
GOAL: Bury 2 Coventry City (Tom Pope 40)
Half time: Bury 2 Coventry City 0
Coventry manager Russell Slade made two changes at the interval as he attempted to get back into the game, but it was the Shakers who had the first chance of the second half. Callum Styles again with another pass found James Vaughan at an acute angle to the box. Vaughan’s first touch was to deliver the ball to the feet of Pope, standing on the six yard line, he quickly turned and smashed the ball at goal, only to see ‘keeper Burge somehow get a touch on the ball to send it spinning wide of the target.
Coventry got themselves back into the game on 65 minutes. Substitute Haynes took the ball to the Shakers bye-line, after a well worked move in the middle of the park, before he managed to deliver a looping ball into the box where former Wycombe Wanderers striker Beavon managed to get his head to the ball to divert it beyond a diving Joe Murphy and into the back of the net.
GOAL: Bury 2 Coventry City 1 (Stuart Beavon 65)
The visitors could have been level some ten minutes later when a stunning, long range, drive from Kevin Foley saw the ball dip into the box, but Murphy reacted with a superb diving save to tip the ball away from goal and keep the Shakers ahead in the game. A series of Coventry corners followed with the Shakers defence dealing with the first two deliveries into the box. The third corner, however, was delivered out to Callum Reilly, on the edge of the box. His first touch was to drive the ball at goal but, again, Murphy was more than equal to the shot and dived smartly to push the ball away from goal.
With neither side creating any further notable chances, the game eventually came to an end on a damp Gigg Lane night and the Shakers increased their unbeaten run extended to five.
Final Score: Bury 2 Coventry City 1
Bury: Murphy, C Burgess, Beadling, Barnett, Leigh, Styles (Maher 89), Mellis, Caddis, Moore, Vaughan (Hope 74), Pope (Miller 59)
Subs not used: Mayor, Lowe, Pennant, Lainton
Coventry City: Burge, Clarke, Willis, Turnbull, Rawson (Haynes 46), Vernham (Jones 82), Thomas (D Kelly-Evans), Reilly, Foley, Thomas, Beavon
Subs not used: Rose, Reid, Charles-Cook, Tudgay
Attendance: 2,611 (206)