HARRY Bunn scored his first goal for Bury as they won 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The first meeting between the two clubs in 37 years was dominated from start to finish by the Shakers.

And after a goalless first half, Bunn netted the decisive strike 11 minutes from time to give Bury a good chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition, with a final group match against Stoke City Under-21s still to come.

Defender Eoghan O’Connell returned from a six-week lay-off with a knee injury to make his debut as Bury manager Lee Clark made six changes.

The Shakers went with experience rather than youth, which cost them a 4-0 defeat to Rochdale in the opening group match.

Clark stuck with the same 5-3-2 formation as he got important minutes into the legs of Joe Skarz and Callum Reilly, who have only recently returned from injury.

And the Shakers struck the ball around well in the early exchanges as the hosts were pinned in their own half.

The first chance of the game came in the 20th minute when Chris Maguire got to the touchline down the right and stood a ball up for Greg Leigh to attack at the back post, but the wing-back headed wide after out-jumping his marker.

Four minutes later O’Connell had to make a goal-saving tackle to deny Danny Graham who had burst through on goal.

Bury were taking their time in possession and waiting for the right moment to strike, but that almost proved costly as Blackburn tried to break on the counter and Skarz was forced to foul Harry Chapman 25 yards out.

Fortunately for the visitors, the left foot of Peter Whittingham fired the resulting free kick over the bar.

The first save of the night came three minutes before the break when Leo Fasan pushed Graham’s fierce shot over the bar.

And like buses, a second came soon after but this time at the other end as Andrew Fisher was rightly placed to catch Michael Smith’s header.

Two minutes after the restart Reilly committed a foul a couple of yards outside the penalty area and Craig Conway curled the resulting free kick narrowly past the post.

Rovers began to grow into the game and almost took the lead when Ben Gladwin’s cross nearly caught Fasan out of his goal, but the ex-Celtic keeper backtracked to tip the ball behind.

Right wing-back Williams, playing his first match in four games, grew into the game and began to look more threatening offensively.

After winning the ball back in the 63rd minute, the 17-year-old drove at the home defence and drew a foul just outside the box, which Maguire fired straight down Fisher’s throat.

Both sides began to create opportunities as they pushed for a winner, as Fasan denied Gladwin at one end and Fisher kept Bunn at bay at the other.

O’Connell, who thoroughly impressed all night, was withdrawn 20 minutes from time to a firm handshake from boss Clark.

Bury took the lead 11 minutes from time when Bunn slid home the rebound from his initial header to open his account for the club.

Midfielder Andrew Tutte made only his second appearance of the season off the bench late on and Leigh could have added breathing space in the dying minutes but Fisher restricted the score to just 1-0.


BURY (5-3-2)











HARRY BUNN.......7

Subs: Shotton 6 (for O’Connell 69), Humphrey 6 (for Williams 79), Tutte 6 (for Reilly 81).

Not used: Maloney, Dai, Ajose, Beckford.

Blackburn (4-2-3-1): Fisher; Travis, Nyambe, Platt, Hart; Harper, Whittingham; Chapman, Gladwin, Conway; Graham.

Subs: Nuttall (for Graham 56), Rankin-Costello (for Chapman 56), Mols (for Conway 63).

Not used: Raya, Thomson, Mansell, Hardcastle.

Referee: Scott Oldham (Lancashire).

Attendance: 2,025.