A six-goal thriller ended with Lincoln City going home with a point, despite being penned into their half for large spells of the fixture. The Shakers were forced to come from behind three times to ensure that they have still only been beaten at home once all season.
After coming off the bench in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy Quarter-Final victory, Nicky Adams was restored to the starting line-up as captain, with Neil Danns having to settle for a place on the bench. New signing Scott Wharton was also included in his first Shakers matchday squad, taking position alongside the likes of Danns, Moore and Lavery on the bench.
The league leaders took the lead inside the opening ten minutes. A ball forward was killed on a very damp pitch, subsequently seeing the ball under Stokes’ foot. Danny Rowe took full advantage of the mis-hap, racing away before slotting the ball in the bottom corner from the edge of the area, giving Murphy little chance of keeping the cool effort out.
Lincoln were hungry to double their lead. Akinde slipped the ball out to the right to Anderson, the City man hit a powerful strike at goal, but Murphy got his body behind the ball to keep the visitors’ number twenty-six at bay.
It only took the Shakers six minutes to hit back! O’Connell played a firm, crisp pass into the feet of Danny Mayor, who turned with the ball, laying it off to O’Shea. The midfielder took the ball in his stride, drilling a low effort beyond Smith from 25-yards.
The goal saw a swing in momentum, with the hosts throwing plenty of attacks at Lincoln. A corner was worked to O’Shea, who whipped a superb cross into the middle. Will Aimson was ready to nod home from 6-yards unmarked, but Jason Shackell was able to intercept, heading behind for a corner which didn’t end up testing the Lincoln defence.
Bury were certainly in the ascendancy, a dinked ball forward from Stokes saw Telford bring the ball under control brilliantly. The forward found Danny Mayor who then picked out McFadzean on the overlap, his dangerous looking low cross was dealt with at the near post by Lincoln.
Totally against the run of play, Lincoln re-took the lead midway through the first half. Cian Bolger powered the ball beyond Murphy following a Toffolo free-kick. Murphy got something on the ball, but the sheer power saw the ball into the roof of the net.
Sky Bet League Two’s best home team came straight back, O’Connell split the defence with a brilliant ball for Maynard, who opened up and struck a snapshot on goal, but Smith was behind it, collecting comfortably.
A swift counter-attack from Bury almost had them level. Jay O’Shea took the ball past numerous defenders before finding Maynard free inside the area. The forward tried to bend one into the top corner first-time, but unfortunately, he couldn’t curl his strike on target.
This evening’s captain Nicky Adams levelled the scores three minutes from the interval. Danny Mayor and Dom Telford played a smart one-two down the right, before the former dinked a ball into the middle. Steaming in from the right-hand-side, Adams volleyed the ball home in emphatic fashion.
HALF-TIME: Bury 2-2 Lincoln City
The first chance of the second period fell to the visitors. Akinde and Rowe linked up well on the right-hand-side, with the game’s opening scorer firing an effort into the side netting.
Another low ball was drilled into the middle from the Shakers, however Shackell was on hand yet again to clear the lines, preventing what looked to be an almost guaranteed goal.
Just after the hour mark, the Shakers fell behind for the third time of the evening. McFadzean tripped Rowe inside the area after he burst beyond the defence. John Akinde stepped up, calmly sending Murphy the wrong way for a 3-2 lead.
The Shakers almost hit back immediately again. Telford held the ball up well, finding Mayor who played a one-two with McFadzean before curling an effort on goal. Unfortunately for Ryan Lowe’s side, the effort was pretty central, and Smith was able to catch the ball to keep his side a goal to the good.
Another chance fell the way of club joint top scorer Nicky Maynard. The ball was powered into Thompson on the edge of the area, who controlled the ball brilliantly. He then slid the ball to Maynard who mis-hit his effort, looping the ball over Smith’s bar.
The visiting defence was standing very strong. They were throwing their bodies on the line to block everything the Shakers had to offer with just minutes remaining.
This wasn’t the case for the remainder of the game, with Dean Whitestone’s final whistle still not sounding around a sodden Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane. A corner from the right saw Will Aimson fight his way through the crowd to meet the ball, bulleting a header beyond a helpless Grant Smith.
Bury were never going to settle for a point, continuing to bombard the Imps defence after the equaliser. First Shackell had to clear one off the line, before Skipper Neil Danns, fresh from the bench, almost arrowed a strike into the bottom corner of Smith’s near post.
FULL-TIME: Bury 3-3 Lincoln City
Bury: Murphy (GK), Stokes (67’ Moore), Aimson, Thompson, O’Connell (82’ Danns), Nicky Adams (C), Mayor, Telford (76’ Lavery), McFadzean, O’Shea, Maynard
Unused Subs: Moloney (GK), Miller, Cooney, Wharton
Lincoln City: Smith (GK), Shackell, Pett (76’ O’Hara), Frecklington (C), Toffolo, Bostwick, Rowe (70’ Roberts), Eardley, Bolger (45’ O’Connor), Anderson, Akinde
Unused Subs: Vickers (GK), Rhead, McCartan, Brown
Attendance: 5,169 with 917 from Lincoln. Thanks for your tremendous support on a damp evening!!