Bury suffered defeat at Fleetwood’s Highbury Stadium after a 93rd-minute penalty miss condemned the Shakers to a third straight defeat. With the home side racing into a two-goal lead inside 30 minutes, goals from Beckford and loanee Josh Laurent pegged the Cod Army back before half time. Ashley Hunter eventually won the game for Fleetwood before Beckford missed from the penalty spot with virtually the last kick of the game.
Lee Clark’s side began the game brightly and created the first half chance of the game within 30 seconds when Chris Maguire took the ball into the corner before whipping in a great cross, only for it to fly too deep for Michael Smith to connect with. Within two minutes, another half chance as Mihai Dobre showed his pace to take the ball forward, he found Maguire on the edge of the box but his first time shot flew harmlessly over the bar.
Jermaine Beckford almost surprised the home faithful when a cross cum shot on four minutes looked to have totally deceived the keeper, but they had a man on the back post who managed to scramble the ball away from the goal line.
Fleetwood’s first attacking run at the Bury defence though resulted in a challenge from Jordan Williams on Amari’i Bell that referee Darren England saw as illegal and immediately pointed to the spot for a penalty. The penalty, however, was simply awful with Jordy Hiwula firing the ball high and wide of the target, much to the relief, and amusement, of the travelling Shakers behind the goal.
Chris Maguire continued to fire balls into the Fleetwood box from all angles and one such ball on 20 minutes saw keeper Cairns just get to the ball before a rising Beckford. The chance quickly turned into agony for Bury though as the clearance from Cairns eventually found its way to wingback Coyle, and his ball into the box was rammed home via a stern side footed pass from Hiwula.
Fleetwood doubled their advantage on 27 minutes when a low ball fired into the box fell into a melee of players, but Hiwula managed to connect with the ball and seem to stumble across the goal line with the ball at his feet.
It took three to four minutes to settle following the quick double strike from Fleetwood, but when they did settle, showed some good touches with Michael Smith in particular impressing. One chance fell for the former Portsmouth striker on 29 minutes when he collected the ball from a Skarz cross, his first-time shot flew accurately at goal and stung the palms of keeper Cairns as he dived to push the ball out for a corner.
Maguire’s resulting corner was headed back across goal by Smith to find Jermaine Beckford, with his back to goal, and going through the motions for an overhead kick. To everyone’s surprise, or joy, the ball flew straight into the roof of the net as he recorded his fourth goal of the season.
The Shakers won another corner on 42 minutes following some excellent work from Jordan Williams. His clever touch saw Bell push the ball out of play for the dead ball. Maguire again delivered the ball with accuracy into the six-yard box, and with many players from both teams leaping to connect with the ball, it fell to Josh Laurent who somehow managed to loop the ball over everyone and into the opposite corner with a deft backwards header.
It took either side some six to seven minutes of the second period to create any chance of note, and when they did it fell to the Shakers. A short free kick from Maguire found Mihai Dobre just outside the area and his first time shot on goal saw the ball fly over the bar and away to safety.
Fleetwood could have gone in front moments later when a cross into the box saw Cole leap highest to loop the ball over the top towards goal. The ball floated over everyone and cannoned back into play off the upright before Tom Aldred put his laces through the ball to clear.
Devante Cole again should have put the home side into the lead as he charged through the middle with the ball. As he took the ball into the box he attempted to place the shot across Murphy, but the Shakers keeper got a hand to the ball but could only watch in shock as Hunter followed up the effort to ram the ball home from close range.
With the game dying out and deep into injury time, a challenge in the Fleetwood area on Smith saw Mr England again pointing to the penalty spot. Jermaine Beckford looked to be the coolest man in the stadium as he collected the ball to take the penalty, but that quickly changed as he smashed the ball over the bar.
It turned into the final kick of the game as referee Darren England brought the 90 minutes to a close.
Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Bolger, Cargill, Eastham, Dempsey, Coyle, O'Neill (Hunter 64), Bell, Sowerby (Glendon 54), Hiwula-Mayifuila (Burns 79), D Cole
Subs not used: Schwabl, Pond, Ekpolo, Neal
Bury: Murphy, Williams (Leigh 61), Aldred, Edwards, Skarz, Ince, Bunn (Laurent 32), Dobre (Cooney 63), Maguire, Smith, Beckford
Subs not used: Styles, Whitmore, Fasan, Lowe