The Shakers returned to winning ways under the lights at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane as they beat league leaders Shrewsbury Town.
Both sides went in goalless at the break thanks to Shaun Whalley’s missed penalty on the 42nd minute.
Greg Leigh scored the all-important goal after some fantastic build-up play to end the Shaker’s six game winless run.
In response to Saturday’s home defeat against Blackburn Rovers, Ryan Lowe made six positive changes to his starting eleven. Tom Aldred, Andrew Tutte, Callum Reilly, Neil Danns, Chris Humphrey and Nicky Ajose made way for Nathan Cameron, Josh Laurent, Rohan Ince, Jay O’Shea, Mihai Dobre and Michael Smith.
The first opportunity of the game came from the away side, as a chipped through ball aimed toward Stefan Payne threatened the Shakers backline, but the ball was cleared at the first time of asking from captain Nathan Cameron.
On 23 minutes, Bury had a brilliant chance to open the scoring from an O’Shea free kick down the left flank, his in-swinging cross was met by the head of Smith, but the Shakers striker was unable to direct the ball below the crossbar.
O’Shea followed up on his dangerous set piece with an audacious effort from 30 yards out, which came inches away from dipping under the crossbar.
Another chance went begging for the Shakers moments later. Smith was presented with a clear sight on goal after a mistake in the visitor’s defence, however, Smith was denied in the one-on-one situation by the right foot of Shrewsbury goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
The visitors were awarded a penalty on the 42nd minute and a real chance to take the lead after Leo Fasan brought down Carlton Morris inside the Shakers penalty area. Whalley accepted the responsibility from the penalty spot, but he fired the ball off the right-hand post and Payne blazed the rebound wide of the target.
Eleven minutes after the break, the Shakers broke the deadlock with an excellent team goal. Leigh started the move from just inside the visitor’s half, he worked the ball forward along with O’Shea and Smith, before Leigh received the ball again after continuing his attacking run, and his determination paid off with a tidy finish to complete a superb team goal.
Despite controlling the majority of the possession after scoring, Ryan Lowe’s side came close to conceding 20 minutes later. Jon Nolan was denied by the fast reactions of Fasan, and Payne could only smash the rebound against the left-hand post, before Cameron cleared the danger.
Former Shaker Lenell John-Lewis was brought on as a substitute for the away side, but it was his teammate Aristote Nsiala that added more pressure on the Bury goal. Although, Nsiala’s stab at the ball from inside the six yard box was well saved by the commanding Fasan.
On 87 minutes, Cameron was again on hand to pull off a last-ditch challenge to deny Nolan a sight on goal, a tackle that summed up the skipper’s evening with a performance worthy of the captain’s armband.
Next up for the Shakers, they travel to Northampton Town on Saturday as they go in search of back-to-back victories.
Attendance: 3,055 (455 travelling supporters)
Bury: Fasan, Edwards, O’Connell, Cameron, Leigh, Ince, Laurent, Bunn (Maguire 51), O’Shea, Dobre (Williams 78), Smith (Reilly 90+2)
Unused subs: Tutte, Ajose, Aldred, Moloney
Shrewsbury Town: Henderson, Riley, Nsiala, Beckles, Sadler, Godfrey, Whalley, Dodds (John-Lewis 66), Nolan, Payne, C. Morris (Gnahoua 80)
Unused subs: Bolton, MacGillivray, B. Morris, Adams, Shelis