BURY were dumped out of the Carabao Cup first round after a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Sunderland.

To make matters worse, Shakers skipper Stephen Dawson was forced off on a stretcher with a serious knee injury early on and looks set for an extended period on the sidelines.

Bury matched their visitors for the majority of the game but George Honeyman’s second-half strike proved the difference live in front of the Sky Sports TV cameras.

Shakers boss Lee Clark handed new signing Harry Bunn his debut from the start, while 18-year-old Hong Kong-born midfielder Tsun Dai made his full debut for the club.

Young defender Alex Whitmore was also trusted with his first start as Bury shifted to a more cautious 5-3-2 formation.

Sunderland dictated the tempo in the early stages and could have taken a second-minute lead had Lewis Grabban’s header landed the other side of the post.

Winger Aiden McGeady then cut in from the left before forcing a smart save out of Joe Murphy.

Dai had Bury’s first shot of the game but he blazed it well over the bar.

Then, in the 10th minute, Dawson was dealt an unfortunate blow when he was forced off the pitch.

The 31-year-old looked in serious pain as he was stretchered off with what appeared to be another knee injury.

The game lost its intensity after that and only a couple of half-chances followed – Whabi Khazri whacked a long-range effort wide at one end while Craig Jones fired over at the other.

Returning striker James Vaughan came on at the break to a welcoming reception from both sets of supporters.

Five minutes after the restart Tom Aldred slipped in possession, but Khazri also lost his footing at the vital moment after rounding goalkeeper Murphy.

Both sides struggled to get their foothold on the game so Clark gambled to grab the winner, bringing on winger Zeli Ismail for defender Adam Thompson and switching to a 4-4-2 formation.

But it was the Black Cats who struck the deadly blow as Honeyman found space in the box before dinking the ball over Murphy from close range to take the lead in the 68th minute.

Shakers striker Jermaine Beckford was then introduced and came close with a couple of chances which landed wide as Sunderland held out to progress to the second round.

Bury (5-3-2): Joe Murphy 6, Craig Jones 6, Adam Thompson 6, Tom Aldred 6, Alex Whitmore 6.5, Greg Leigh 6, Stephen Dawson 6, Callum Reilly 6, Tsun Dai 6, Nicky Ajose 6, Harry Bunn 7.

Subs: Andrew Tutte 6 (for Stephen Dawson 17), Zeli Ismail 6 (for Adam Thompson 59), Jermaine Beckford 6 (for Tsun Dai 71).

Not used: Fasan, Cameron, Humphrey, Lowe.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Steele; Matthews, Browning, O’Shea, Galloway; Honeyman, N’Dong, Gibson, McGeady; Khazri, Grabban.

Subs: Vaughan (for Grabban 45), Asoro (for McGeady 59), Gooch (for Khazri 77).

Not used: Ruiter, Kone, Love, Rodwell.

Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside).

Attendance: 3,470 (934 visiting).