A 3-2 defeat to fellow strugglers Northampton Town confirmed relegation to League Two for the Shakers. Goals from Peter Clarke and Danny Mayor were not enough as a brace from Ash Taylor and a goal for substitute Sam Hoskins ensured Northampton returned to the Sixfields Stadium with all 3 points.
Ryan Lowe named two changes to his side that lost 1-0 away to Walsall last week, with Danny Mayor and George Miller coming in for Rohan Ince and Harry Bunn.
It took just over 5 minutes for Northampton to open the scoring at a sunny Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane. The skipper, Ash Taylor, got the slightest of touches on Matt Grimes’ corner, and it was just enough to see the ball past Joe Murphy between the sticks.
It only took 5 minutes for Ryan Lowe’s men to react, a brilliant Zeli Ismail cross was turned behind for a corner by Shay Facey. Richard O’Donnell couldn’t deal with the corner from Ismail, as his punched clearance spun to Peter Clarke in the box and the defender on loan from Oldham was on hand to put the ball away.
George Miller could have made it two for the Shakers, he worked his way inside the box, and his right-footed shot was turned around the post by O’Donnell.
The resulting corner was a short one, Danny Mayor forced his way into the box, his low cross was almost turned into the Northampton net by David Buchanan, but somehow, he managed to poke the ball over the bar.
Another Matt Grimes set-piece almost resulted in a second goal for Northampton, the free kick came in from the left-hand side of the box, the attempted cross almost found a way in over the top of Murphy at the back post, but the ball curled just over the bar.
Northampton managed to withstand a barrage of Bury pressure, and just after the half-hour mark, they had restored their lead. Substitute Sam Hoskins had been on the pitch for 2 minutes when he found himself one-on-one with Joe Murphy, thanks to a Matt Grimes ball, he raced away from the Bury defence, and beat Murphy with what must have been his first touch of the game. He found the bottom right-hand corner from about 18 yards out.
Callum Styles was next to go close for Bury, Ryan Cooney went past David Buchanan down the right, he picked Styles out on the edge of the area, his 20-yard strike was deflected and just looped wide of the Northampton goal.
Both sides struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the opening exchanges of the second period. However, Bury had the ball mainly inside the Northampton half.
Northampton capitalised as Neil Danns was dispossessed inside his own half, Powell was played in on the right-hand side of the box, he cut inside, but Adam Thompson did exceptionally well to block the ball.
The Shakers responded well, Danny Mayor got to the byline, he found Neil Danns but the Shakers’ skipper couldn’t steer his header towards goal, and Northampton were able to get the ball away to maintain their goal advantage.
17-year-old Joe Adams made his professional debut for the club, replacing Adam Thompson after 72 minutes, as Bury’s hunt for an equaliser continued.
The Shakers were level minutes later, Danny Mayor found space in the middle of the box, and he smashed the ball past O’Donnell in the top left-hand corner.
Matt Crooks forced Murphy into a terrific save from 12-yards out after he found himself free in the box, the follow-up effort was over the bar from Northampton’s second goalscorer Sam Hoskins as the scores remained level with 5 minutes to go.
Northampton took the lead for the third time, through another goal for visiting captain Ash Taylor. Powell’s cross found Taylor at the back post, and he was able to slot the ball past Joe Murphy from a tight angle.
Tsun Dai almost managed to get the Shakers level as stoppage time approached, he worked some space on the edge of the area to get a shot away, but he couldn’t find the goal, as his effort was just wide of O’Donnell’s post.
The visitors managed to hang on to a 3-2 win in the four minutes added on by the fourth official. Attendance: 3117 (437 Away)
Bury: Joe Murphy, Adam Thompson (Joe Adams 72’), Danny Mayor, Phil Edwards, Zeli Ismail (Tsun Dai 45+1’), George Miller, Callum Styles, Ryan Cooney, James Hanson (Harry Bunn 45’), Neil Danns ( C ), Peter Clarke
Unused Subs: Connor Ripley (GK), Andrew Tutte, Rohan Ince, Saul Shotton
Northampton Town: Richard O’Donnell, David Buchanan, Leon Barnett, Ash Taylor ( C ), Kevin Van Veen (Sam Hoskins 31’), Daniel Powell, Shaun McWilliams (Chris Long 81’), John-Joe O’Toole, Shay Facey, Matt Grimes, Jack Bridge (Matt Crooks 67’)
Unused Subs: David Cornell (GK), Sam Foley, Sean Whaler, Jordan Turnbull