Town beaten on the road by The Shakers
Town: Dean Henderson, Joe Riley, Ben Godfrey, Mat Sadler ©, Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley, Carlton Morris (Arthur Gnahoua 79), Louis Dodds (Lenell John-Lewis 66), Jon Nolan, Aristote Nsiala, Stefan Payne
Subs: Craig MacGillivray, Arthur Gnahoua, James Bolton, Lenell John-Lewis, Bryn Morris, Ebou Adams, Christos Shelis
Bury: Leonardo Fasan, Greg Leigh, Eoghan O’Connell, Phil Edwards, Josh Laurent, Mihai Dobre, Jay O’Shea, Nathan Cameron ©, Michael Smith (Callum Reilly 92), Rohan Ince, Harry Bunn (Chris Maguire 51)
Subs: Scott Moloney, Andrew Tutte, Chris Maguire, Nicky Ajose, Jordan Williams, Callum Reilly, Tom Aldred
Referee: Seb Stockbridge
Assistants: Lee Freeman and David Benton
Fourth Official: Barry Cropp
Attendance: 3055 (455)
Shrewsbury Town were made to rue Shaun Whalley’s missed penalty as they were beaten 1-0 by Bury. Whalley had a great chance to open the lead five minutes before the interval when Carlton Morris was brought down by the Bury goalkeeper, but Whalley’s penalty hit the post. Bury took full advantage as five minutes after half-time they produced a brilliantly worked team goal that was started and finished by Greg Leigh. Town pushed for an equaliser in the final 20 minutes, but Leonardo Fasan made a couple of good saves to keep Town at bay.
Paul Hurst makes two changes from the side which beat Rotherham on Saturday and it leads to a change of formation. One change is enforced with Abu Ogogo picking up a red card last time out, Louis Dodds replaces him and moves into the number 10 position. Carlton Morris comes in for Alex Rodman, who doesn’t even make the 18, and that means that Stefan Payne moves out to the left with Morris leading the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Within the opening three minutes Town almost had their first sight of goal as Nolan, Riley, Morris and Whalley all got involved. Whalley played a neat one-two with Morris, but sadly Shaun’s touch let him down and the ball went behind for a goal kick.
Town looked at their best when they moved the ball quickly and some good link-up play between Whalley and Stefan Payne almost presented Town’s top scorer with a chance, but he went down under the tackle of Nathan Cameron inside the box and Referee Stockbridge waved away the Town appeals.
At the other end Bury looked dangerous on the break with two pacey wingers and 6ft 5inch Michael Smith to aim at upfront. A decent passage of play saw Greg Leigh deliver a wicked looking ball from the left-hand-side, which looked destined for the head of Smith, but Omar Beckles did enough to put him off and the ball ran away for a throw-in.
Smith was the obvious target with his height and he went close to opening the scoring midway through the first period when he got his head to an in swinging free kick, but it never looked like testing Dean Henderson’s goal.
It was a relatively even contest, but the home side were having more attempts at goal and Jay O’Shea almost opened the scoring when he let fly with a curling a dipping effort from 25 yards. Luckily for Town the ball didn’t dip enough and it went inches over the bar.
Town almost created their own downfall a minute later as Joe Riley gave the ball away in the right-back position and Michael Smith bore down on the Shrewsbury goal. He was one on one with Dean Henderson, but Henderson stood tall and threw out a right leg to divert Smith’s shot away from goal.
Shrewsbury hadn’t been at the best in the first-half, but they were presented with the perfect opportunity to take the lead five minutes before the interval when Carlton Morris latched onto Shaun Whalley’s through ball and he pushed the ball past Bury ‘keeper Leonardo Fason who brought Morris down. Whalley, Town’s regular penalty taker this season, took it, but his effort hit the post and Stefan Payne could only volley into the side netting on the rebound.
Half Time: 0-0
Bury had probably had the better of the first-half and they were the side that started brighter in the second 45 minutes. Romanian Winger Mihai Dobre was causing a few problems for Mat Sadler and he teed up Rohan Ince who shot well over from the edge of the box.
However, Bury would take the lead 10 minutes into the second half with a wonderfully well worked team goal. Greg Leigh picked the ball up in his own half and it was moved quickly by three or four players before finding its way back to Leigh who had ran the length of the pitch to get onto the final ball and he side footed his shot past the onrushing Dean Henderson.
Bury were now well and truly on top and they probably should have doubled their lead when Rohan Ince’s cute pass found Jay O’Shea in behind the Town defence, but O’Shea’s shot was straight at Henderson and Town were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Paul Hurst’s pre-match changes hadn’t really worked and with 65 minutes gone Louis Dodds, who had struggled to get into the game, made way for former Bury favourite Lenell John-Lewis.
John-Lewis brought some added presence to the Town frontline and he played his part in Town’s best chance of the game as he cushioned a Mat Sadler cross into the path of Jon Nolan who unleashed a powerful right-footed shot, but Leonardo Fasan got down brilliantly to his right to keep out the shot and Stefan Payne was in an offside position when the ball rebounded to him.
Town were now the side pressing and Toto Nsiala came close to finding an equaliser when he brought down a Shaun Whalley free-kick away. He managed to get a shot away but Fasan was in the right place at the near post to turn it behind.
Shrewsbury continued to huff and puff in search of an equaliser and brought on Arthur Gnahoua with 10 minutes remaining in that pursuit, but it wasn’t to be as Bury saw the game out well.