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VERDICT: Cambridge United 2 Bury 1
LUKE Berry’s last-gasp winner knocked Bury out of the FA Cup and denied the Shakers a £100,000 windfall.
Conference leaders Cambridge had the better of Tuesday night’s first-round replay at the Abbey Stadium and took a deserved lead through Berry on 61 minutes.
Bury equalised within two minutes through Shaun Harrad, who only started because loan signing Danny Nardiello was ineligible. The Shakers then had chances to go in front as they got on top.
Yet Berry pounced from an 87th-minute corner to send Cambridge through to the second round and secure a lucrative televised clash at home to Sheffield United on Sunday.
Cheered on by a bumper home crowd, it was easy to see why Cambridge had racked up 10 wins out of 10 at home this season as they immediately pressed the Shakers back.
With Nathan Cameron shifting across to cover for injured right-back Shaun Beeley (ankle) and Richard Hinds coming in at centre-half, the Bury defence repeatedly looked vulnerable during the early stages.
Cameron had to clear for the game’s first corner, which was turned over by Liam Hughes from eight yards, while Danny Hylton saw a shot blocked at the other end.
William Edjenguele and Andy Procter then had to head Cambridge free-kicks clear from inside Bury’s six-yard box, before Adam Cunnington and Harrad sent looping headers off target at each end.
The Shakers were grateful for Kwesi Appiah's profligacy in the first game and he spurned another great chance as he got in behind left-back Dean Howell, only to blaze over when through on goal.
Berry’s shot was easily saved by Jensen while Dunk volleyed wide from the edge of the box but Bury began to get a foothold in the game after the half-hour mark and Hylton directed a header wide from Cameron’s cross.
Hughes then saw a free-kick deflected wide before home keeper Chris Maxwell misjudged a Sedgwick cross and there was a defender covering to clear Craig Jones’s effort off the line.
Tempers flared during a scrappy start to the second half, with Tom Soares lucky not to be shown a second yellow card after committing two fouls in quick succession.
And with the Shakers still to regroup, some fine footwork by Dunk bamboozled the Bury defence. First he dinked the ball into Berry inside the box then took the return pass. And Dunk looked up again to square for Berry, who had time to take a touch before beating Jensen from close range.
The Shakers hit straight back as Procter crossed from the right byline and Harrad got in front of his man to flash a header in at the near post for his first goal in 15 matches.
Jones should have also headed home after some decent Bury pressure resulted in Procter chipping the ball towards the far post, where Jones glanced it wide unchallenged.
The winger almost made amends as he got to the left byline before cutting it back for Hylton, who headed against the inside of the near post.
To add further frustration, it looked as though the ball may well have crossed the line before being clawed away by Maxwell but the referee waved play on.
But the hosts then pushed for a winner and although Jensen tipped over an Ian Miller header, he could do little to stop Berry’s close-range header flashing past him from the resulting corner.
BURY: Jensen 7, Cameron 6, Hinds 7 (Mayor 89), Edjenguele 7, Howell 6, Jones 7, Procter 7, Soares 7 (Holden 90), Sedgwick 7, Harrad 7, Hylton 7. Not used: Forrester, Navas, Reindorf, Walker, Lainton.
CAMBRIDGE UNITED: Maxwell, Tait, Taylor, Champion, Miller, Coulson, Hughes, Berry, Appiah, Cunnington, Dunk. Not used: Roberts, Bonner, Norris, Austin, Sam-Yorke, Spillane, Arnold.
Goals: Cambridge 2 (Berry 61 & 87) Bury 1 (Harrad 63)
Yellow cards: Bury – Procter 83, Hinds 38, Soares 52.
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire)
Attendance: 3,342 (105)
Star man: Shaun Harrad – Ronnie Jepson has given the former Burton Albion striker every chance since his promotion to caretaker boss, but up to Tuesday night he had not delivered. Nobody has ever questioned the 28-year-old’s workrate, it was his strike-rate that has let him down. But Harrad finally got his goal against Cambridge – only his second of the season and fourth since arriving at Bury in August, 2011. It is just a shame that it did not inspire a Bury victory.
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