The Shakers made it two late goals in as many games at home in the league, as they rescued a point against ten-man Forest Green Rovers thanks to the late heroics of centre-half Will Aimson.
The visitors had led for almost an hour thanks to the head of Christian Doidge. However, their task was made harder with 15 minutes left as their captain Gavin Gunning was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Thirteen minutes into the fixture, the Shakers should have had the lead. Neil Danns turned his man not once, but twice on the far by-line, he laid the ball off to Chris Stokes who picked Gold Omotayo out wonderfully in the middle.
Unfortunately, Omotayo couldn’t get his free header on target from 6 yards, as his downwards header bounced up and over Sanchez’s crossbar.
Forest Green applied plenty of pressure in the opening 20 minutes, the back three of Aimson, Thompson and O’Connell were on-hand to stop any attack before they turned into real chances for Forest Green Rovers to take the lead.
Ryan Lowe said mid-week he wanted more running from his forward line, given a chance again this afternoon, Telford and Omotayo didn’t disappoint their manager. Dom Telford was quick to chase a loose back-pass to Forest Green Rovers ‘keeper Robert Sanchez, Sanchez won the race, but his clearance was hit straight at Telford. Fortunately for the visitors, the ball didn’t bounce kindly for the Bury forward.
The visitors then went straight up the other end through Christian Doidge, his effort across goal was pushed towards goal by a sliding Aimson, the good news for the defender was that the ball just snuck past the right side of the post for a corner the bad news was he clattered into the post afterwards! Thankfully though, Will Aimson was able to continue without receiving treatment.
The deadlock was broken just before the half hour mark as Forest Green took the lead through Christian Doidge. The forward was found in the penalty area by Liam Shephard from the right-hand side, and Doidge was on-hand to nod the ball into the far corner, beyond the reach of Joe Murphy in the Bury goal.
Ryan Lowe’s side responded brilliantly to falling a goal behind, with Jay O’Shea looking to be the creative influence. First, he found himself in space outside the area, after some quality hold-up play from Omotayo, but his right-footed shot was well blocked by the Forest Green Rovers defence. He then looked to play a key ball beyond the defence for Nicky Adams down the right, unfortunately his pass was a little heavy, and Adams couldn’t deliver with a cross as the attack fizzled out.
As we approached first-half stoppage time, Chris Stokes was still causing problems with his deliveries from the left-hand side. This time he found himself in plenty of space, he then powered a ball into the danger area, the Forest Green Rovers ‘keeper missed the ball but unfortunately, Telford couldn’t get a telling touch on the ball.
The visitors managed to thwart all Bury attempts to break them down, as they took a 1-0 lead into the break.
HALF TIME: Bury 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
Ryan Lowe’s half-time team talk looked to spur on the home side as they fashioned 2 good chances in the opening 7 minutes of the second period. First, Danny Mayor got an effort away after a smart one-two with Stokes down the left. Mayor worked the ball inside, but his strike was blocked before causing any problems for Sanchez.
Quickly after the chance for Danny Mayor, O’Connell split the defence superbly as he released Telford in behind, leaving the defenders for dead with his pace, but he couldn’t get a clean connection on the ball as he scuffed a shot pretty much straight at Sanchez.
Bury were pushing hard to get themselves back on level terms in their second home game of the season. Chris Stokes was the main outlet down the left, as the link-up play between him and Danny Mayor was excellent. Unfortunately for Ryan Lowe’s side, some dangerous balls into the box came to nothing.
Even though Stokes was replaced after picking up a knock just after the hour mark, his counterpart, Callum McFadzean continued to be a threat, as the Shakers continued to push the Forest Green Rovers defenders down the left-hand side.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, the Shakers found themselves playing with a man advantage over their opposition for the third time in four games in all competitions, as Gavin Gunning was sent off by referee John Busby.
Gunning pulled Gold Omotayo down midway inside the attacking half, just as he had found himself in behind the Forest Green Rovers defence, with just the goalkeeper to beat. Busby had no other option than to give the Forest Green Rovers man his second yellow card of the afternoon.
The Shakers looked to use their man advantage as we entered the final ten minutes at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane, this time through Harry Bunn.
The Bury forward was released on the left-hand side of the Forest Green Rovers box. He looked to pick a teammate out in the middle, but the visitors managed to clear the ball, only as far as McFadzean, however the second-half substitute couldn’t pick out a white shirt in middle.
The game wasn’t going to get away from the Shakers without a fight, Eoghan O’Connell leading by example at the back, putting his body on the line to win the ball back for his side, not far from the halfway line.
Then came more late drama for the Shakers, this time though it goes in their favour as Will Aimson levelled the score on 90 minutes. Neil Danns thought he had his side level, but some excellent work from Sanchez kept the Bury skipper out, thankfully, Aimson was there on the follow-up to put the ball in the back of the net through a sea of bodies.
Despite continuing to push in added time, Ryan Lowe’s men had to settle for a point, as the 10 men of Forest Green Rovers just about managed to hold on to their point.
FULL TIME: Bury 1-1 Forest Green Rovers
Bury: Murphy, Stokes (McFadzean 61’), Aimson, Thompson, O’Connell, Adams, Mayor, Telford (Bunn 66’), O’Shea (Moore 76’), Omotayo, Danns (C)
Unused Subs: Hudson, Dawson, Styles, Barjonas
Forest Green Rovers: Sanchez, Shephard, James, Rawson, Winchester, Doidge, Brown (Digby 57’), Williams (Grubb 61’), Gunning (C), Mills, Reid (Campbell 75’)
Unused Subs: Montgomery, Collins, Archibald, Hollis
Attendance: 2853 with 116 from Forest Green Rovers