NEW Bury boss Chris Lucketti feels his players are already showing the qualities he demands as a manager.

The former Shakers centre-half had his second game in charge at Walsall on Saturday and guided the side to a 2-1 victory over their League One rivals to reach the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Striker Nicky Ajose was recalled for the second-round tie and gave Bury a seventh-minute lead at the Banks's Stadium.

Erhun Oztumer then equalised in first-half stoppage time but Ajose struck again on 65 minutes to claim the winner.

“It was a great performance and a great result,” said Lucketti. “The one thing I was really pleased with was how hard the boys worked for each other.

“They put a shift-and-a-half in. It was the kind of performance and effort that's needed to represent themselves, myself and the club.

“That's what this club's about. The fans want to see effort and, in that department, they were superb.

“Unfortunately, I didn't have much talent,” he joked. “I had a career where I had to work hard day in, day out, to get where I wanted to be.

“There's a lot of talented players at this club but if they don't work hard then that talent will never shine through.

“From day one I've emphasised that, I'm going to demand that, and I want them to demand that from themselves. Today they showed the level of commitment I'm wanting.”

Lucketti had challenged his players to show him what they could do and Ajose – who was brought into the side along with Andrew Tutte – took little time to make an impression.

Callum Reilly's diagonal ball was brought down by striker Michael Smith and, just as he did in Bury's last Checkatrade Trophy match against Stoke, Ajose opened the scoring with a superb strike, this time hitting a half-volley from 20 yards that flew past keeper Liam Roberts.

Ajose then missed a much easier chance when Jay O'Shea's shot was deflected into his path and, despite having time to pick his spot, the Bury-born striker's shot from 10 yards was too close to Roberts.

Walsall gradually wrestled back control of the game, with Bury stopper Leo Fasan denying Kieron Morris before neat passes by Maz Kouhyar and Tyler Roberts played in Oztumer, who tucked the equaliser inside the far post.

But the hosts posed the Shakers few more problems and Nathan Cameron headed wide from an O'Shea corner before Ajose claimed his second goal.

Reilly led a Bury break before releasing Tutte down the right and he crossed for Ajose to score with a far-post header.

Ajose thought he'd claimed a hat-trick five minutes later when he bundled in the rebound after Roberts turned Smith's low strike on to the far post.

And although the diminutive striker was flagged offside, his earlier efforts proved enough to book Bury's place in the third round.

Match ratings

Bury (4-4-2): Fasan 7; Edwards 7, Cameron 8, O'Connell 8, Leigh 6 (Williams 6, 46); Tutte 7, Ince 8, O'Shea 7, Reilly 8; Ajose 9 (Humphrey 5, 90), Smith 8. Subs: (for Ajose). Not used: Aldred, Dobre, Maguire, Styles, Maloney.

Walsall (4-4-1-1): L Roberts; Kinsella, K Roberts, Guthrie, Leahy; Morris, Chambers, Flanagan (Agyei 72), Kouhyar (Bakayoko 69); Oztumer; T Roberts. Not used: Devlin, Donnellan, Jackson, Shorrock, Gillespie.

Referee: Michael Salisbury (Lancashire).

Attendance: 1,065.