The Shakers suffered a harsh 1-0 defeat at the hands of one of the favourites for promotion, MK Dons, as a late Ousseynou Cissé goal was the difference in an even and entertaining game.
Ryan Lowe named an unchanged starting eleven, with Jay O’Shea returning to the matchday squad on the bench.
Five minutes into the encounter, the hosts should have been ahead. It took some incredible work from Joe Murphy to keep the scores level; a cross was pulled back to Joe Walsh, whose volley was palmed onto the crossbar by the Bury ‘keeper, Kieran Agard then had a follow-up deflected behind.
Dylan Asonganyi was the next to go close for MK Dons as Agard shrugged off a challenge from O’Connell down the right, his whipped delivery found Asonganyi in the area, but he couldn’t direct his header towards the Bury goal.
The Shakers had an opportunity to take the lead after some brilliant play from Danny Mayor. The winger cut inside from the left and played a dangerous ball into Nicky Adams down the right-hand side of the MK Dons box. Adams couldn’t get the ball across to an ink blue shirt. The clearance was only as far as Danns, but he couldn’t test Lee Nicholls as his strike was blocked.
Jordan Moore-Taylor was on hand for the hosts to keep the scores level midway through the first half. Danny Mayor knocked the ball to his right inside the MK Dons area, his effort looked destined for the back of the net, but the head of Moore-Taylor denied the winger his opening goal of the campaign.
Danny Mayor continued to cause problems for the MK Dons defence as he cut inside onto his right again, running at the back line. He slotted the ball across to Neil Danns, but the skipper’s effort was again thwarted by a defensive block.
Nicky Adams looked to take advantage of the Shakers’ first-half dominance, as he was found on the edge of the area. Adams couldn’t muster enough dip on the ball as his strike was over Nicholls’ bar.
The Shakers almost took the lead with what was practically the last kick of the opening period. Nicky Adams stood over the ball after Mayor had won a free kick twenty yards from goal. Adams got the ball up and over the wall, but his effort struck the wrong side of the post as the search to break the deadlock continued for both sides.
HALF TIME: MK Dons 0-0 Bury
The second-half got off to a cagey start, as both teams struggled to create any serious chances, with both defences playing exceptionally well to cancel each other out.
It took thirteen minutes for the first real chance of the second-half as Ryan Watson’s free kick was deflected, wrong footing Murphy in the Bury goal. The Irishman did exceptionally well to get down to the ball and claw it behind for a corner in what was pretty much Watson’s last contribution before being replaced.
The hosts continued to apply the pressure on the Bury back line as Callum Brittain whipped a dangerous ball in from the left-hand side, thankfully for the Shakers, a white shirt couldn’t get on the end of the delivery as the game remained goalless.
Gold Omotayo looked to make it two from two in a Bury shirt after some excellent build-up play. Danny Mayor swivelled well with the ball to find Styles who carried the ball forward. He found Nicky Adams down the right, who then drifted a ball towards the back post. Omotayo leapt the highest, but he couldn’t get enough power behind the ball and Nicholls collected comfortably.
With just over ten minutes remaining, Jay O’Shea came on for an outstanding Danny Mayor. It was to be O’Shea’s first involvement since picking up an injury during pre-season.
The deadlock was broken by Ousseynou Cissé, just as the Fourth Official raised his board, signalling three additional minutes. The MK Dons midfielder was found from the right-hand side and was able to slide the ball into the bottom corner, leaving Murphy stranded in the middle of the Bury goal.
A tough result to take after an excellent performance for Ryan Lowe’s men, as his side were unlucky not to leave Milton Keynes with at least a point. Unfortunately, a very late goal was the difference as both sets of defenders did very well to keep the scores goalless for as long as they did.
FULL TIME: MK Dons 1-0 Bury
ATTENDANCE: 6867 including 349 travelling Shakers, thank you for your support this afternoon!
MK Dons: Nicholls (GK), Brittain (Harley 79), Williams, Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Lewington (C), Houghton, Watson (Cisse 61), Gilbey, Asonganyi (Simpson 67), Agard.
Unused subs: Sietsma (GK), Hancox, Cargill, Jackson.
Bury: Murphy (GK), Miller (Omotayo 41’), Stokes, Aimson, Thompson, O’Connell, Adams, Mayor (O’Shea 76’) , Dagnall (Telford 61’), Styles, Danns (C).
Unused Subs: Hudson (GK), Dawson, McFadzean, Bunn.