Bury were left frustrated on a drizzly evening in Cheltenham. Scott Wharton’s second goal for the Shakers opened the scoring before Billy Waters' strike on thirty-two minutes ensured the points were shared.
Ryan Lowe named two changes to his side that were 3-0 victors at home to Macclesfield on Saturday, as Nicky Maynard and Caolan Lavery missed out with Byron Moore and Dom Telford starting on the Shakers' front line.
After just five minutes the Shakers were almost in front. Eoghan O’Connell’s sweeping pass out to the left found McFadzean. He slipped the ball to Mayor who dinked a cross out to O’Shea. The midfielder raced onto the ball, striking powerfully beyond Flinders. Thankfully, for Cheltenham, their Skipper Ben Tozer managed to clear the ball on the line.
Cheltenham had a three-on-one on a swift counter-attack, Dawson drove towards the Bury goal before laying the ball off to Billy Waters who stumbled and allowed Rossiter, the last man, to get the ball clear.
Eoghan O’Connell was showing his superb passing range from the off, this time he picked Byron Moore out with a brilliant lobbed through ball. The forward raced onto the ball, side-footing a volley into the side netting, almost giving his side the lead.
The Skipper for tonight Nicky Adams, bombed down the right wing, drilling a low ball into the path of Telford who saw a strong strike just kept out by Flinders. Bury won a corner from Telford’s effort, and after Adams played it short to Mayor, his delivery found the head of Scott Wharton who powered a header beyond a helpless Flinders to make it two in as many games for the centre-half.
After scoring their ninety-second goal of the season, the Shakers looked hungry for more. McFadzean beat his man before finding Moore, whose curled effort was just wide of Flinders’ post from the left.
Adams’ deliveries were causing problem after problem for the Robins. This time he looked for Moore at the back post, however, Flinders just managed to get fingertips to the ball to divert it away from the head of Byron Moore.
The hosts looked to get back into the game. They were causing problems with long throw-ins, but after hitting the bar, the Shakers managed to scramble the ball away, before having to scramble it away again after the second throw.
Murphy was called into action in the twenty-fifth minute as Billy Waters struck a low effort from twenty-yards, forcing Murphy to parry the ball away low to his left with two strong hands.
Against the run of play, the hosts drew level just after the half-hour mark. Chris Clements’ free-kick into the box wasn’t cleared properly, and after a muddle in the box, Waters was on hand to bundle the ball into the back of the net.
Ryan Lowe’s men responded brilliantly. Some smart play from O’Shea found Adams down the right, he looked to place an effort to the side of Flinders with power, but the ‘keeper was equal to the effort.
Jordan Tillson tried his luck just before the end of the half, striking an effort on goal from distance, but it was straight at Murphy who was able to catch the ball with ease.
The very last action of the half almost saw the Shakers retake the lead. Another superb diagonal ball from O’Connell found McFadzean, who headed the ball into the path of Mayor first time. The dangerous winger cut inside, almost curling an effort into the top corner, but Flinders was able to catch the ball.
HALF-TIME: Cheltenham Town 1-1 Bury
Billy Waters was on hand to test Murphy early on in the second period. He cut inside, looking to beat the Bury ‘keeper low to his right, but a smart stop from Murphy kept the scores level.
A corner routine straight from the training ground almost gave the Shakers the lead. Adams took it short to Mayor, who found O’Shea on the edge of the area. He struck the ball sweetly, but it was just beyond the upright.
An entertaining tie continued, with Jordan Rossiter putting in another brilliant shift in midfield, winning the ball back on multiple occasions with challenges and interceptions, while also getting an important block or two in to save Joe Murphy a job.
The hosts continued to utilise the aerial threat of Tyrone Barnett. Despite winning a few flick-ons, nothing too dangerous was created, with the ball ending up in Murphy’s arms more often than not.
Nicky Adams was proving to be a real creative outlet on the right for the Shakers yet again. Jay O’Shea avoided two challenges before finding the wing-back, who saw a low cross into the path of Maynard. It was ever so slightly behind the striker, who couldn’t quite get a good connection on the ball.
The Shakers had the ball in the back of the net with ten minutes remaining. An Adams free-kick was knocked into the path of Maynard who powered the ball home, only to be denied by the flag, as the Assistant Referee saw an offside.
The hosts looked to frustrate the Shakers, sitting in deep to soak up all that Bury could throw at them.
A brilliant move from Bury almost found them the winner. Quick, smart passing saw Mayor in down the left; he drove into the box before a dangerous low cross was knocked behind by Raglan with Lavery lurking behind him.
Bury weren’t going to give up on the three points without a fight. Adam Thompson held the ball up on the edge of the area following a corner, slipping the ball to Mayor who saw a strike on goal caught by Flinders.
FULL-TIME: Cheltenham Town 1-1 Bury
Cheltenham Town: Flinders (GK), Tozer (C), Dawson (85’ Maddox), Broom, Boyle, Waters, Raglan, Tillson, Clements (76’ Thomas), Pring, Barnett (76’ Varney)
Unused Subs: Lovett (GK), Long, Forster, Bingham
Bury: Murphy (GK), Thompson, O’Connell, Adams (C) (85’ Cooney), Mayor, Rossiter, Moore (76’ Lavery), Telford (66’ Maynard), Wharton, McFadzean, O’Shea
Unused Subs: Moloney (GK), Aimson, Omotayo, Danns
Attendance: 2409, with 317 Bury fans. Thank you for your brilliant support once again!!