After a two-week hiatus due to the cancellations of both the home game against Holker Old Boys and away fixture at Pilkington this week, the boys in white and blue returned to the Neuven Stadium to host AFC Darwen.
The 3-2 win against Steeton gave us our first competitive win and Andy Welsh was looking to build on that performance, so much so the same first starting XI were sent out to face a Darwen side who have won one and lost one from the opening two games.
Bury came out of the blocks fast, Tom Greaves with the first good chance on four minutes. His header at the back post from a Chippendale cross bounced under the jumping ‘keeper Holden but lacked the power and stopped on the line quite comfortably.
Darwen came into the game more as the game hit the 10-minute mark, a bouncing backpass to Wilczynski was partially blocked by the Darwen striker and with the ‘keeper out of his goal, the strike from far out was high, wide, and handsome as it went rolling towards the Pilkington Road.
On 20 minutes, the first name was in the book. Ben Langford was lucky to escape yellow for his first challenge on Williams but within seconds another challenge on Downing was enough for Mr. Hurn to stick the midfielder in his book.
After a lively start, Bury took a deserved lead albeit in fortunate circumstances. A corner was cleared to Aiden Chippendale in the right-wing position. Dropping his shoulder to cross left-footed from outside the box, the ball found its way over the stranded Holden and into the opposite top corner of the goal.
Within five minutes, it was two. After two goals in added time against Steeton, Greaves was at it again, this time bullying past his defender, like all good ‘Number 9’s’ do, before negotiating his way around the ‘keeper and coolly slipping the ball in off the far upright with the game only half an hour old.
After lengthy treatment, Matty Williams finally succumbed to the injury caused by the challenge a few minutes earlier. Tommy Lent entered the field as a like-for-like replacement at right-back.
Darwen were unlucky not to reduce the arrears heading into half-time, a header from a corner was heading for the bottom corner had it not been for captain, Scott Metcalfe, on the line. A combination of the left-back’s knee and a rebound off the post he was guarding, meant that that Bury headed for the changing rooms with the two-nil scoreline intact.
HT Bury AFC 2 AFC Darwen 0
The half-time brew obviously did the trick for a Bury side looking for more goals and within three minutes of the restart, they had their third. Aiden Chippendale latched onto the through ball in the centre of the pitch, 35 yards out. An on-rushing Holden was rounded on the edge of the box and with Darwen defenders scrambling, ‘Chippy’ slotted the ball into the empty net.
A long way back now for our Lancashire neighbours, but the fightback started straight away. Darwen began a spell of play that pushed Bury back in their own half and after a number of attempts to break the back-line, they got their rewards when Matthew Johnson popped up to flick his header into the bottom corner, leaving Wilczynski with little chance of the save and reduce the deficit to two and more than 30 minutes of the game remaining.
Liam MacDevitt entered the fray on 64’, replacing Lewis Gilboy. Gilboy making his way around the field to rapturous applause from the home fan faithful.
However, Darwen sensed blood and with 20’ to go they had their second. Leon Creech cut across the edge of the 18-yard box, sliding his left foot shot towards the near post and beating the dive from Wilczynski to give the team in red hope that a draw was in sight.
These fears from the men in ‘White & Blue’ were quickly dispelled as Tom Greaves popped up with his second moments later. Receiving the ball and instantly controlling with his first touch, the striker’s side-foot finish hit the back of the net low to the ‘keeper’s left, a two-goal lead restored.
With the Darwen fight-back halted, Bury turned the aggressors and look to end the game strong. Nevermore so evident than when Greaves scored again on 76’. A Liam MacDevitt strike was initially blocked on the edge of the box. The rebounding ball was claimed by Holt, driving wide to the left before crossing low into the six-yard box for anyone of Daniels, Downing or Greaves queuing up to tap the ball home. But typically, it was the former Ossett United man who got that last touch to score from a yard out, claiming Bury AFC’s first-ever hat-trick and history in the process!
New signing Kamar Moncrieffe entered for his debut with 12 minutes to go, replacing two-goal Aiden Chippendale, and was quickly booked for his part in blocking the goalkeeper’s quickly taken clearance upfront as Darwen tried to press again. Despite being down to 10-men with five minutes to go, as Bailey Sloane was struck down with a bout of cramp, Greaves had another gift to offer and send the Bury faithful home with an even bigger smile on their faces!
On his own up-front, his strength was evident again as he got himself between defender and the ball and on the march towards the goal. This time deciding on slamming the ball home from the edge of the box giving Holden no chance and sealing an emphatic win and making it two-from-two in the league.
Bury AFC 5
Chippendale (24′, 48), Greaves (30, 71, 76, 90+2)
AFC Darwen 2
Johnson (58′), Creech (69′)
Bury AFC STARTING XI: 1. Ed Wilczynski, 2. Matty Williams (Lent, 31), 3. Scott Metcalfe (c), 4. Tony Whitehead, 5. Jordan Downing, 6. Bailey Sloane, 7. Lewis Gilboy (MacDevitt, 55), 8. Kris Holt, 9. Tom Greaves, 10. Greg Daniels, 11. Aiden Chippendale (Moncrieffe, 78’).
SUBS: 12. Liam McDevitt, 14. Kamar Moncrieffe, 15. Tommy Lent, 16. Arthur Feudjio, 17. Joe Stanley.
AFC Darwen STARTING XI: 1. Stefan Holden, 2. Daniel Ashburner, 3. Matthew Johnson, 4. Luke Jarrod, 5. Jamie Gibson (Rosbotham, 84’), 6. Kiel Lonsdale (c), 7. Ben Langford, 8. Sam Knowles, 9. Leon Creech, 10. Rio Wilson-Heyes, 11. Jamie Edwards.
SUBS: 12. Mackenzie Rosbotham, 14. Lewis Cumpsty, 15. James Holden, 16. Alexander Mortimer.