A dominant Shakers were left frustrated by Crewe Alexandra, as Nicky Maynard’s third goal in 2 games was cancelled out by a Charlie Kirk opener.
Ryan Lowe named the same starting eleven that rescued a late point when they hosted Mansfield Town last weekend, as they looked to continue their impressive recent away form at Gresty Road.
The hosts almost took an early lead through skipper George Ray. Ray rose the highest in the area following a corner, but he couldn’t direct his effort on target, leaving Murphy with nothing to do.
The Shakers responded well. First, fresh from his brace last time out, Nicky Maynard worked some space and drove into the Crewe area, however the ball was nicked away from him before he could pull the trigger.
Danny Mayor then tried his luck from 20 yards. He was found after some smart play between O’Shea and Nicky Adams, but unfortunately, his effort didn’t cause any threat to Garratt’s goal.
Crewe responded through Callum Ainley, he turned smartly, and struck the ball from distance, but his audacious effort was comfortably past Murphy’s left-hand post.
A clever ball was bounced through to Danny Mayor in the middle of the pitch. The Bury number 10 charged forward with the ball, finding Dagnall on the edge of the area. However, Dagnall could only drag his effort wide of the mark.
Bury continued to press the Alex backline. Will Aimson found O’Shea down the right with a superb ball, the latter then played the ball off to Adams, who cut inside. The vice-captain couldn’t find the target from 20 yards, not testing the ‘keeper in Crewe’s goal, Ben Garratt.
Dagnall was proving to be a real handful for his former employers. First, he had two efforts from inside the area blocked. He then found himself on the end of an Adams cross. Adams was played in by Danns, who dispossessed Ryan Wintle in the centre of the pitch. Unfortunately, Adams’ cross was just in front of Dagnall, whose first touch knocked the ball behind for a goal kick.
Crewe took the lead 8 minutes from half-time. Thompson stood Jordan Bowery up well. The ball was played back to Nicky Hunt, whose delivery found Charlie Kirk unmarked at the back stick. Kirk was able to slot the ball first time beyond Murphy to give the hosts the lead.
Despite a spell of Bury free kicks in dangerous areas, the hosts managed to see the half out, taking a one goal lead into the break.
HALF-TIME: Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Bury
Ryan Lowe’s side came out after the break looking sharp. Some more brilliant play from Dagnall led to him finding O’Shea. O’Shea then threaded a good ball through for Maynard to chase. However, the Alex shot-stopper was quick off his line to get to the ball first.
Dagnall’s link-up play was still causing real problems for the home defence. This time a swift bit of play with Maynard almost let the latter in beyond the defence, however, Maynard was dispossessed, ending the attack.
The Shakers found themselves level 9 minutes into the second period, thanks to former Crewe Alexandra forward Nicky Maynard. Danny Mayor carried the ball forward with ease from distance. He slipped McFadzean in down the left, who battled his way into the middle fantastically. He found Maynard in the middle, who made no mistake in slotting the ball beyond Ben Garratt, deciding not to celebrate against the club he broke through at.
The Shakers were really beginning to control the game, creating chance after chance. First, Stokes, Adams and Danns all went close from the same passage of play. Followed up by substitute Dom Telford racing away from the back line, unfortunately, Telford’s effort was straight at Garratt, who relied on his face to keep the ball out.
Garratt was turning into the Alex hero, this time keeping Thompson out in incredible acrobatic fashion. Adams’ free kick was beyond everyone, but skipper Neil Danns was there to collect, he put the ball back into the mixer, finding Thompson towards the back stick. Thompson looked destined to head the Shakers ahead, but Garratt intervened, keeping his side in the game.
The hosts responded well to the Bury pressure. However, brilliant defending from Thompson and Stokes kept the scores level as we entered the last 20 minutes.
The Shakers should have been ahead on 75 minutes. Danns dictated the move, as Mayor was found midway in the attacking half. Mayor slipped the ball to McFadzean. The wing-back whipped a dangerous low ball across the box, both Telford and Maynard were steaming into the box, but the ball was just beyond both the Bury forwards.
Nicky Maynard came close to back-to-back braces as he was found in space on the edge of the box, following some good play down the left. His effort looked to be finding the top corner, but Garratt somehow did enough to tip the ball over the bar, as the Shakers still applied the pressure in an effort to take the lead.
Dom Telford was again stretching for a delivery, this time from Stokes, but unfortunately, Telford just couldn’t get there to steer the ball beyond Garratt in the Crewe goal.
Despite continuing to push the Crewe back line, the Shakers were unable to capitalise on a handful of home mistakes, as they had to settle for a point after a frustrating afternoon at a windy Gresty Road.
FULT-TIME: Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Bury
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt (GK), Ng, Pickering, Ray (C), Porter (Miller 62’), Jones, Bowery, Ainley, Wintle, Kirk, Hunt
Unused Subs: Richards (GK), Raynes, Nicholls, Lowery, Finney, O’Connor
Bury: Murphy (GK), Stokes, Aimson, Thompson, Adams, Mayor, Dagnall (Telford 60’), McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns (C)(Styles 76’), Maynard
Unused Subs: Hudson (GK), Miller, Cooney, Barjonas, Nyaupembe
Attendance: 3777, with 731 Shakers making the trip. Supporting the club in fine voice yet again!!