The Shakers moved up to second in Sky Bet League Two after Nicky Maynard’s fifteenth goal of the campaign was enough to ensure that Bury secured maximum points, completing a league double over Matt Taylor’s promotion-chasing side this season.
Ryan Lowe named the same starting eleven that were victorious at Morecambe last time out, with just one change to the bench as Caolan Lavery replaced Gold Omotayo.
It was a tasty affair in the opening exchanges, with both sides getting stuck in, from Jordan Rossiter in the middle to Nicky Maynard up top, the Shakers were battling for every ball.
A defensive mishap almost led to the club’s second top-scorer taking the lead. A pass back to ‘keeper Pym almost allowed Maynard in on goal with an open net, Pym was just able to get an outstretched foot to the ball to keep the Shakers out.
The hosts had the chance to test Murphy from 25 yards. Scott Wharton’s interception fell kindly into the path of Nicky Law who fired a long-range effort into the roof of the stand.
Nicky Maynard almost turned his side into the lead. A well worked move saw McFadzean racing away down the left. He drilled a trademark low ball into the middle, Maynard got on the end of the cross but couldn’t keep his effort down.
Tricky feet from Danny Mayor won Bury a free-kick just outside the area on the left. O’Shea and Adams stood over the ball, with the former seeing an effort dip over the wall, but not enough to test Christy Pym.
Exeter’s next chance fell to Nicky Law again, a wonderful delivery from the right saw the Exeter number eight glance a header comfortably wide, despite being relatively unchallenged in the box.
Bury’s number one Joe Murphy exhibited his cat-like reflexes just after the half hour mark. Lee Holmes whipped a delivery into the middle, Bowman met it with force, but the ‘keeper was on hand to claw the ball away from the goal.
Blackburn loanee Scott Wharton came close to opening his Shakers account. Byron Moore won a free-kick after his pace was too much for the hosts. Adams whipped a superb ball in, finding Wharton whose towering header was just wide of the mark.
HALF-TIME: Exeter City 0-0 Bury
The opening fifteen minutes of the second half saw neither side give the opposition ‘keeper anything to do in what was becoming a very tight game all over the pitch.
A long-range strike from Jordan Rossiter was blocked, but the resulting deflection almost fell nicely for Byron Moore to test the ‘keeper, but the Grecians defence managed to clear the ball.
Not long after the hour mark, the deadlock was broken. Terrific work from January’s Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month, Jay O’Shea, saw him take the ball past a couple of defenders before slipping the ball to Nicky Adams down the right. Today’s skipper arced a low ball into the middle, and perfectly into the path of Nicky Maynard, who got the ball in the back of the net to draw level with Jay O’Shea in the Bury FC goal scorer charts.
Danny Mayor and his magic feet caused problems for the home backline yet again. He laid the ball off to Moore who in turn squared the ball to O’Shea, who saw his low effort kept out as Pym got behind the ball well.
A smart quick corner presented Nicky Adams with the chance to put a good ball into the middle. It was met with a Bury head in the crowd of players, but no serious contact on the ball saw it over to the other side of the pitch for an Exeter throw-in.
Jay O’Shea was proving to be incredibly instrumental in the Bury midfield on yet another occasion. He dinked a perfect ball over the defence for Byron Moore, who powered an effort low and on target. Christy Pym got a strong leg behind the ball to deny the Bury forward his ninth goal of the campaign.
Donovan Wilson came close to levelling the scores with two minutes remaining. He turned his man brilliantly, hitting a fantastic reverse shot on goal. Thankfully for the Shakers faithful, it was wide of Murphy’s post.
FULL-TIME: Exeter City 0-1 Bury
Exeter City: Pym (GK), Sweeney, Woodman (81’ Donovan Wilson), Dara O’Shea, Law, Holmes (74’ Kane Wilson), Williams, Bowman, Moxey, Taylor (C), Collins
Unused Subs: Hamon (GK), Martin, Jay, Brown, Dean
Bury: Murphy (GK), Aimson, Thompson, Adams (C), Mayor, Rossiter (83’ O’Connell), Moore, Wharton (45’ Stokes), McFadzean, Jay O’Shea, Maynard (74’ Telford)
Unused Subs: Moloney (GK), Cooney, Danns, Lavery
Attendance: 4,607 with 281 travelling Shakers, thanks for your brilliant support again this afternoon!