BURY punished former boss Alan Knill’s team for missing a raft of first-half chances, storming back from a goal down to give their following of nearly 1,000 fans the perfect Christmas present.

Goals from Peter Sweeney, Andy Bishop and Efe Sodje gave the Shakers three coveted points against the side managed by the man who guided them to the brink of League Two promotion last season.

Michael O’Connor had put the home side ahead after five minutes in a dominant first half for the Iron.

Richie Barker’s men needed a half-time rollicking after a first 45 minutes in which it appeared the occasion was getting to some of his players.

“There were a few harsh words,” he said.

“We weren’t at it and I think some of them found it quite difficult to get their head around the situation. I told them to try to put it out of their minds, get their heads down and play football.

“In football it happens that you often end up playing against a former manager – one day some of my lads might be playing against me.”

There was certainly a cup-tie atmosphere in the early stages and the Shakers were second best in the first period, conceding to Michael O’Connor’s free kick with the first chance of the game after Efe Sodje had fouled United’s leading striker Bobby Grant on the edge of the penalty area.

Cameron Belford pulled off several great saves – notably when he turned Barcham’s first half shot on to the bar, after blocking Niall Canavan’s header on the line minutes earlier.

Scunthorpe hit the woodwork again when Eddie Nolan’s cross was deflected by Bury centre back Ashley Eastham on to the top of the bar before the break.

As much as the hosts were dominant in the first half, Bury deserved their win for their second-half display. Sweeney fired Bury level after Schumacher found him in space with a clever free kick five minutes after the restart.

The Shakers smelled blood and dominated the game, and Bishop returned to goal scoring form with his ninth of the campaign when he fired home after a fine burst down the left followed by a cross from Michael Jones.

Sodje then put the icing on a superb display with eight minutes remaining when he headed the ball over the line after Amoo’s initial shot came down off the bar.