A moment of quality from captain Luke Murphy two minutes from time finally unlocked the Bury defence to allow Brad Inman to nip in and score his second goal in two games to claim all three points for the Railwaymen. Inman’s ability to break into the opposition box undetected allowed Crewe Alexandra to snatch the game and take us to 11th in the league table.
Bury will certainly rue some missed chances, with Alan Martin tipping a header over and Tom Hopper wasting another far post header following a cross from Davis Worrall. Kevin Blackwell will be hugely disappointed that they didn’t pick up a point from their visit to Gresty Road with the chances they had. Without playing anything like we have this season it made for a great three points.
Crewe were without the injured Oliver Turton (thigh) and Abdul Osman (knee) for the visit our North West visitors Bury. Chuks Aneke returned to the starting line-up and Matt Tootle returned from his one-match suspension to operate as right wing-back.
On-loan forward Lauri Dalle Valle also returned from a foot injury to regain his place in preference to Byron Moore, who had to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench.
It was Kevin Blackwell’s side who conjured up the first real effort with Troy Hewitt volleying a cross from David Worrell just wide of the target. It was a decent effort that if had been on target would have asked a question of the Crewe goalkeeper Alan Martin.
Matt Tootle soon made inroads into the Bury half of the pitch but his eventual shot cleared the Bury crossbar. On another occasion the right wing-back shot rather than crossed into a crowded penalty area.
After 10 minutes, a lovely touch from Mathias Pogba presented a chance for Aneke to volley and his powerful effort was well saved by Trevor Carson.
It was fairly end-to-end stuff with both sides enjoying good spells of possession. Tom Hopper flicked header cleared Martin’s crossbar and he also headed straight at the Crewe goalkeeper.
Crewe’s best opportunity of the first half came just after the 20 minute mark with Aneke setting Brad Inman through. The on-loan Newcastle midfielder raced clear, but was denied his second goal for the club by the feet of Carson. In the follow-up, Pogba’s side-footed effort was blocked.
After that chance, the game went a bit scrappy. Passes became short and misplaced and it appeared difficult to mount passing moves. There was an untidy spell from the Railwaymen and we were wasteful and long with our passing at times.
Our former midfielder Steven Schumacher had a shot blocked by Harry Davis and through a cluster of bodies, Hopper couldn’t generate enough power to trouble Martin.
At the other end, an Aneke flick gave Dalla Valle a rare view of the Bury goal but from an acute angle he could only fire into the side netting.
A pretty uneventful first half ended with Martin adjusting his feet to tip over a cross-come-shot from Worrall.
Steve Davis introduced Byron Moore for Aneke as Crewe returned to 4-4-2 and pushed Harry Davis into midfield. Bury also introduced our former player Mark Carrington.
Moore was soon involved creating a chance for Pogba but his downward header was saved by a well-placed Carson. At the other end in the opening minutes of the second half, Sodje headed onto the top of the netting from a corner.
Luke Murphy tried to get the Alex into their stride and tried his luck with a well struck from 25 yards, but Carson watched it all the way to get his body behind it.
Another promising move from the Alex, then saw Murphy involved again and he spread possession out to Gregor Robertson and his excellent cross was header over by Pogba.
Bury continued to have their moments as well and arguably created the better of the chances. Martin was called into action to superbly tip over a header from Hewitt and then the Crewe goalkeeper did well again to hold onto a shot from Mark Hughes.
Murphy and Inman continued to try and inspire something in the final third, especially as Sodje had kept Dalla Valle reasonably quiet. He would make way for Max Clayton.
From another tight angle Moore couldn’t test Carson after a good delivery from Tootle before Bury had their best chance of the afternoon. Worrall was again the provider and his deep cross should have been headed on target by Hopper. He should have scored and it was a let off for Crewe.
Carrington then tripped Moore to present Crewe with a dangerous free-kick but Harry Davis could only fire into the top of the wall. Bury’s substitute Lenell John-Lewis, who had replaced Hewitt, was soon involved and he had an early shot blocked by Ellis.
In truth, Bury probably looked the more likely side to score and nick the points, but it was a moment of class from Murphy and another tidy finish from Inman in the 88thminute that proved the slight difference between the two sides.