The Shakers booked their place in the knockout stages of the 2018/19 Checkatrade Trophy after defeating Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town 3-1 in their final group game. Ryan Lowe’s side will join Rochdale who topped Northern Group B.
Mathew Hudson was recalled to the starting line-up as he made it three appearances from three in the Checkatrade Trophy. Nicky Adams also started the game after sitting on the bench for Saturday’s 5-0 FA Cup win against Dover Athletic.
The Shakers had the brighter start of the two sides. Dagnall was released down the left, finding plenty of space in the Fleetwood box. He cut his ball back across goal, but just couldn’t find a white shirt, allowing the visitors to get the ball away.
A Nicky Adams free-kick brought about the second chance for the home side with still less than 5 minutes played. He whipped the ball in from the right-hand-side of the box, the ball just needed a touch from a Bury head to beat Paul Jones in the Fleetwood goal. Unfortunately, the ball was just wide of the far post.
The visitors took the lead in the 14th minute against the run of play. A long ball forward from ‘keeper Paul Jones was chested down into the path of Kyle Dempsey who drove at the Bury defence, creating some space on the right. He fired an effort in low to Hudson’s right, beating the Bury goalkeeper.
In the 21st minute, Bury skipper Neil Danns skinned Gerard Garner in the box, and was subsequently dragged down by the Fleetwood man. Dom Telford stepped up and sent Paul Jones the wrong way, slotting the ball into the right-hand-side of the goal to level the scores.
Dom Telford thought he had won what would have been the second penalty of the game for his side. Cooney, Dagnall and Adams linked up superbly down the right, and the latter was able to pull the ball back into Telford, who spun with the ball, and went down under a challenge. Referee Anthony Backhouse felt there wasn’t enough contact to award the spot-kick.
Ryan Lowe’s men weren’t far away from a second of the game. Adams put a beautiful out-swinging corner into the mixer, finding Phil Edwards who was first to the ball. Unfortunately, the experienced defender just couldn’t direct the header on target.
In the 32nd minute, Dagnall poked the Shakers ahead! Chris Stokes played a brilliant through ball into Dagnall and Telford, Dagnall peeled off the back of Telford for the 1st time pass, he received it and just jabbed the ball into the far corner beyond Paul Jones between the Fleetwood sticks.
A swift attack saw the hosts grab a third of the game. Danns switched the ball out to Stokes, who played Cooney in down the left. The youngster found Dagnall inside the box, who created some space to get a shot away. Dagnall’s effort did incredibly well to bend around the defender in the way, but Jones was equal to the effort. He could only parry the ball wide into the path of Nicky Adams. The vice-captain fired the ball into the roof of the net to give his side a 2-goal cushion.
Fleetwood goal scorer Dempsey found Biggins inside the Bury box. The latter crossed the ball into Garner, but the visiting number 34 was unable to find the back of the net, pushing his effort wide of the post.
HALF-TIME: Bury 3-1 Fleetwood Town
Joey Barton, not happy with how the first half panned out, made a double substitution at the break. He introduced Conor McAleny and former Burnley midfielder Dean Marney, with Gethin Jones and Chris Long making way.
Fleetwood were looking to get themselves back in the game. McAleny dinked an intricate ball in behind the Shakers’ defence. His ball was towards Biggins who couldn’t steer his effort on target, knocking the ball behind for a Shakers goal kick.
Dagnall came close to adding his second for the evening following a brilliant passage of play. Phil Edwards played a lovely ball into Rangers loanee Jamie Barjonas, who laid the ball off to Adams with one touch. Nicky Adams’ cross was brought down by Dagnall on his chest. However, the defence closed in quickly on the attacker, blocking his effort at goal.
Hudson, who’d had a relatively quiet evening, was called into action in the 63rd minute. Ryan Taylor put a corner into the near post, finding Biggins in red in the box. His header looked destined to halve the deficit to just one, but the Bury shot-stopper managed to claw the ball away, reaching up at full stretch.
Bury were looking solid in defence, limiting the visitors to half chances and audacious efforts. This time Ryan Taylor looked to get the better of Hudson from 35 yards, firing a free-kick wide of the upright, giving the Preston North End loanee nothing to do.
Again, Fleetwood were looking to beat Hudson from distance. After the ball was deflected wide, it was laid off to Marney, who looked to bend one across Hudson in the Bury goal. Unfortunately for the Fleetwood man, his effort was always curling beyond Hudson’s post.
Neil Danns was again proving his class this evening. This time creating space down the right excellently, dinking the ball into the middle looking for Telford. The cross was beyond the Bury forward, but Nicky Adams was there on the follow-up. Unfortunately, Adams couldn’t trouble Paul Jones, seeing his effort blocked in the box.
It didn’t take long for pacey attacker Byron Moore to get involved in the action. The ball was played into him on the edge of the area. He went looking to beat Jones low to his left, curling an effort low. The Fleetwood ‘keeper managed to get strong hands on the ball, parrying it away.
Ryan Lowe’s side controlled the game well in the closing stages, controlling the ball and not letting Fleetwood threaten the back line.
FULL-TIME: Bury 3-1 Fleetwood Town
Bury: Hudson (GK), Miller, Stokes (65’ Thompson), Adams, Dagnall (74’ Moore), Styles, Edwards, Cooney, Telford, Barjonas (90’ Hulme), Danns (C)
Unused Subs: Moloney (GK), Omotayo, Shotton, Brown
Fleetwood Town: Paul Jones (GK), Clarke (45’ Baines), Dempsey, Bolger (C), Long (46’ Marney), Taylor, Gethin Jones (46’ McAleny), Biggins, Sheron, Garner, Wallace
Unused Subs: Cairns (GK), Holt, Hunter, Holgate
Attendance: 554, with 51 visiting supporters. Thanks for your brilliant support this evening!!