Bury were left frustrated as they were unable to break down a Port Vale side who took all 3 points thanks to ex-Shaker Tom Pope. The forward directed an effort beyond Murphy 6 minutes into the second half with what was the only goal of the game.
Ryan Lowe was boosted this week, as in-form Nicky Maynard and Callum McFadzean signed extensions to their contracts, seeing them stay with the club until the end of the season.
The best move of the opening 10 minutes fell to the Shakers. Danny Mayor caused plenty of problems for the opposition yet again. Cutting inside, he fed the ball to Danns who slipped a brilliant reverse ball into Nicky Adams down the right. Adams played a dangerous ball across the face of goal, begging to be jabbed in. Unfortunately, Maynard and Dagnall couldn’t get anything on the ball.
Bury were starting to turn it on and O’Shea and Maynard linked up brilliantly to find Adams who laid the ball off to Maynard. The forward then turned in behind, but he couldn’t find an ink blue shirt in the middle.
Port Vale responded well with Ricky Miller looking to breach the backline. He was up against Stokes who did well, standing him up and blocking the eventual shot, leaving ‘keeper Joe Murphy with nothing to do.
A succession of chances for the Shakers should have seen them take the lead. First Dagnall linked the play up exceptionally well to find Maynard, who went alone, firing an effort towards goal. Brown was equal to the effort, palming it away.
Ryan Lowe’s side continued to push, with Adams cutting a ball across goal to Maynard who looked to find the bottom corner. Unfortunately for the visitors, the placed effort was just wide.
Jay O’Shea thought he had broken the deadlock late on in the first half. Charging forward with the ball, he released a venomous strike looking for the top corner. The effort was deflected into the side netting.
Skipper Neil Danns was inches away from putting his Bury side ahead. Adams and O’Shea linked up quickly with a short free-kick. Nicky Adams then bent a dangerous delivery in towards the back stick. Danns rose highest, but he just missed the ball, colliding with the post on his follow through. A relatively quiet opening 45 minutes came to a close moments later.
HALF-TIME: Port Vale 0-0 Bury
Former Shaker Tom Pope opened the scoring 6 minutes after the restart. Mitchell Clark’s dangerous delivery eventually fell to Tom Pope, whose arrowed finish was beyond Murphy in the bottom corner. Pope held his hand up to the visiting supporters, as he faced his former club for the first time.
A training ground routine almost had the Shakers level. O’Shea took a free kick from 25-yards out, playing the ball past the wall into Dom Telford, the substitute then slipped the ball wide to Maynard, but the ball was put out for a corner as he was ready to pull the trigger.
The Shakers continued to come forward looking for a way back into the game. It was the final ball letting them down, as they tried to fashion an opening.
The hosts felt they had won a penalty when Hannant’s shot was blocked by Jay O’Shea. The Vale players thought a hand was involved but ultimately, the referee disagreed, waving away the protests.
Danny Mayor almost had his side level in spectacular fashion. Following up his September Goal of the Month, the Bury number 10 looked to bend one into the top corner from 30 yards. The ball looked destined to hit the back of the net, but Scott Brown somehow got a strong hand to it, tipping it behind for a corner.
The resulting corner kick fell to Maynard, who looked to follow up his new contract with a goal, but Brown was on hand again with an incredible reflex save to keep his side a goal to the good.
Up the other end, the hosts should have been 2-0 ahead. Stokes was caught in possession on the halfway line, Whitfield was played in and had a one-on-one with Murphy. The Bury ‘keeper was quick off his line to close down the angle, forcing Whitfield to hit the side netting.
Despite applying plenty of late pressure, the Shakers couldn’t break down a resolute Port Vale defence, ending a 6-game unbeaten run for the Shakers.
FULL-TIME: Port Vale 1-0 Bury
Port Vale: Brown (GK), Joyce (Kay 82’), Legge, Pope (C), Ricky Miller (Whitfield 53’), Hannant, Rawlinson, Smith, Vassell, Conlon (Hardcastle 45’), Clark
Unused Subs: Hornby (GK), Gibbons, Kanu, Dodds
Bury: Murphy (GK), Stokes, Aimson, Thompson, Adams (Moore 54’), Mayor, Dagnall (Telford 54’), McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns (C) (Styles 70’), Maynard
Unused Subs: Hudson (GK), Tom Miller, Dawson, Barjonas
Attendance: 4,375 with 592 Shakers making the trip. Thanks once again for your tremendous support!