Nicky Maynard’s fourteenth goal of the season in the eighty-third minute was not enough to snatch all three points for his side, as Ollie Palmer’s smart finish from a tight angle with sixty seconds remaining ensured that Gabrielle Cioffi’s Crawley didn’t leave empty handed. The draw saw the Shakers extend their unbeaten run to nine in all competitions.
Ryan Lowe handed a full debut to defender Scott Wharton who has been brought in on loan until the end of the season from Championship side Blackburn Rovers. Deadline Day signing Jordan Rossiter was named on the bench after his loan switch from Rangers, and he made his debut after coming on at the interval.
Crawley worked the ball central from the right-hand-side; Morais managed to get on the end of the ball, firing a low effort goal wards. Bury number six Eoghan O’Connell was able to close the visiting Skipper down quick enough to make a vital block.
The first real chance for the Shakers fell to Nicky Maynard. The forward was on the receiving end of a dangerous dead ball from Nicky Adams, however he didn’t make enough contact with the header, glancing it wide of the post.
Former Red Devil Nicky Adams came close to firing his side into the lead with Bury’s first shot on target. A smart one-two saw the club Vice-Captain in space 20 yards out. He unleashed a venomous strike on goal, but Morris got two strong hands to the ball low to his left to keep Adams out.
Dom Telford was inches away from opening the scoring. Jay O’Shea slipped a brilliant ball in behind the Crawley defence for Adams, who saw a low cross just out of the reach of Telford.
Scott Wharton made an impressive start to his Bury debut, charging forward with the ball and starting attacks off.
There was a first half substitution, but not for Bury, or Crawley. It was a change of officials as Helen Byrne couldn’t carry on after an earlier fall, so David Benton came on to run the line for the remaining hour.
Despite seeing an increased amount of possession, the visitors were still restricted to long range efforts on Murphy’s goal. After winning the ball high up the field, the ball was played into Ollie Palmer who drilled a low effort on goal, but it was pretty central, and the Bury ‘keeper could collect easily.
It took forty-two minutes for Neil Hair to produce the first card of the afternoon. Tom Dallison was on the receiving end after a cynical foul on Nicky Maynard over on the right-hand-side after it appeared the forward was away.
HALF-TIME: Bury 0-0 Crawley Town
It was almost a perfect start to the second period for the Shakers. Nicky Maynard danced past a handful of Crawley defenders before hitting the ball from 16-yards, narrowly missing the target.
Patient build-up play from Ryan Lowe’s side was proving prosperous. Jay O’Shea looked certain to put his side ahead after being slipped in behind, however a brilliant last-ditch challenge was just in time to prevent the midfielder getting a shot away.
Fifteen minutes into his debut, Rossiter had an attempt at bagging himself a debut goal. The ball was worked to him via McFadzean and O’Shea on the left, but the midfielder didn’t connect with the 25-yard effort how he’d have liked, allowing Morris to move across and catch the ball.
Prolific midfielder O’Shea was proving to be a real handful for the Crawley defence. He found space on the left to get on the end of a deep cross, smashing an effort on the half-volley just over the bar.
Bury were certainly in the ascendency, this time another dangerous McFadzean cross was met by Nicky Maynard who dug the ball out to scoop it towards goal, unfortunately it was just over the bar and Morris was not tested on that occasion.
With just ten minutes remaining on the clock, the deadlock was almost broken. Nicky Maynard flashed an effort across goal, forcing Morris to parry the ball away. The resulting loose ball was being charged down by Adams who saw his 20-yard effort over the bar.
It didn’t take long for the Shakers to fashion another chance. Jordan Rossiter dinked a superb cross into the middle, allowing Aimson the chance to nod across goal for an assist as Nicky Maynard powered an effort beyond Morris! The visiting ‘keeper got his body behind the ball, but it wasn’t enough to stop Maynard from scoring yet another goal.
Knowing the dangers of a one goal lead, the Shakers came forward again from the restart, O’Shea again got the chance to test Morris from the edge of the area. His low effort was too central, and the goalkeeper had the ball in his hands.
The one goal lead did prove to be dangerous for Bury, as with minutes remaining the visitors levelled the scores. Substitute Ashley Nathaniel-George found Ollie Palmer, who slotted the ball underneath Murphy from a very tight angle.
Despite pressing for a winner, the Shakers had to settle for a point as they avoided defeat for the first time ever against Crawley Town.
FULL-TIME: Bury 1-1 Crawley Town
Bury: Murphy (GK), Aimson, Thompson, O’Connell (45’ Rossiter), Nicky Adams, Telford (82’ Lavery), Wharton, McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns (C) (63’ Moore), Maynard
Unused Subs: Moloney (GK), Stokes, Cooney, Omotayo
Crawley Town: Morris (GK), Young, Payne (67’ Bulman), McNerney, Palmer, Gambin (89’ Poleon), Francomb, Dallison, Sesay, Morais (C) (85’ Nathaniel-George), Camara
Unused Subs: Mersin (GK), Maguire, Willock
Attendance: 3625 with 96 from Crawley. Thanks for your brilliant support again this afternoon!