A valiant effort from the Shakers saw them exit the FA Cup in the second round. Nathan Jones’ Luton Town side were 1-0 victors at The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane, thanks to a late first-half strike from Harry Cornick.
Eoghan O’Connell made his first start for Bury since the end of September, replacing Will Aimson in the starting line-up. Ryan Lowe also named scholar Scott Moloney on the bench as Mathew Hudson missed out.
It was almost the perfect start for the Shakers! Nicky Maynard won the ball back in the attacking half, he set his sights on goal with a dangerous effort but it just dipped over the crossbar in the opening 60 seconds.
James Shea pulled off a terrific stop to deny Maynard the opening goal. A cross in from the right was deflected into the path of Moore who pulled the ball back to Maynard, whose first-time effort was low. Unfortunately, Shea was down quick to keep the scores level.
The visitors were under constant Bury pressure. Chris Stokes dinked a ball in behind for Neil Danns, almost identical to O’Shea’s from Tuesday night! Danns took the ball down and turned his defender, all with his first touch. He was one-on-one with the ‘keeper, but he couldn’t find the bottom corner as his 12-yard effort was agonisingly wide for the Bury faithful.
Nicky Maynard, fresh from a midweek brace, was full of confidence. He was given the ball just outside the area, he turned and looked to bend one into the top corner, Danny Mayor style! However, his effort was just too high, as the search to break the deadlock continued.
The visitors were coming forward themselves, but they were struggling to find a way to get past Eoghan O’Connell in the Bury backline who was timing every tackle to perfection to thwart any attack.
Jack Stacey went close for the visitors with a rare shot on Murphy’s goal. He got the better of McFadzean down the right before looking to beat the Bury shot-stopper at his near post. The effort was tame, and Murphy was able to gather the ball comfortably.
The League One side took the lead in the 42nd minute, totally against the run of play. James Collins whipped a ball in from the right, beating everyone, allowing Cornick to poke the ball into an empty net.
The goal gave the visitors confidence before the break. Cornick looked to double his tally as he raced in behind. However, he fired an effort high over the bar as the half drew to a close.
HALF-TIME: Bury 0-1 Luton Town
Cornick was the main attacking outlet for the visitors as he came close to a second of the afternoon. A hooked ball into the box found the Luton number 14 in the area. He headed goalwards, but Murphy was there to deny the attacker.
The Shakers were fighting hard to get back on level terms. Jay O’Shea looked to score yet another goal from the edge of the area after Mayor found him. The Luton defenders closed down the strike quickly, allowing them to get a block in and preserve their goal advantage.
Ryan Lowe’s men continued to have joy down the wings. A ball into the middle looked to have put the ball on a plate for Dom Telford. However, an interception from Matty Pearson denied Telford the chance to level the scores.
Nicky Adams was looking dangerous, slipping skipper Neil Danns in down the right with a superb reverse ball. Danns then looked for Stokes at the back stick, but he just wasn’t able to make it as the ball flew out for a throw in on the opposite side.
More brilliant play out wide fashioned another chance for the Shakers. Adams fed the ball into Maynard, who found Telford in the middle. The substitute pulled the trigger but couldn’t find the target as his effort was over the bar.
It took a brilliant stop from Murphy to keep the hosts in it. A ball across goal from Stacey looked destined to put Luton 2 goals to the good. The resulting effort from Stacey’s cross saw Murphy somehow prevent a powerful effort crossing the line as his outstretched leg got the ball away.
The woodwork was on hand to deny Bury. McFadzean was found by Lavery on the overlap, after working his way central, he saw a low effort cannon back off the post.
Despite late pressure from the Shakers, they couldn’t break down a resolute Luton Town defence who defended the 1-0 scoreline to knock Bury out of the Emirates FA Cup.
FULL-TIME: Bury 0-1 Luton Town
Bury: Murphy (GK), Stokes (83’ Miller), Thompson, O’Connell, Adams, Mayor, Moore (57’ Telford), McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns (C) (74’ Lavery), Maynard
Unused Subs: Moloney (GK), Aimson, Dawson, Dagnall
Luton Town: Shea (GK), Justin, Bradley, Pearson, Stacey, Lee (83’ Potts), Shinnie, Cornick (86’ Hylton), Rea (C), Ruddock-Mpanzu, Collins
Unused Subs: Stech (GK), LuaLua, Jarvis, Jones, Sheehan
Attendance: 2977, with 549 travelling to support Luton. Thanks for your remarkable support this afternoon, Shakers!