A HANDFUL of first-team players were given a runout on Monday as Bury Under-23s lost 3-2 at home to Wolves in their opening group game of the Premier League Cup, writes Josh Bunting.

Summer signing Jay O’Shea played the full 90 minutes as he stepped up his recovery from a knee injury picked up on the opening day of the season. And Andrew Tutte, Alex Whitmore and Eoghan O’Connell also came through the match unscathed as they stepped up their return to fitness.

But wide-man Craig Jones, who has been dogged by groin problems, only managed half an hour before he was withdrawn.

Bury opened the scoring on 18 minutes when Rob Harker planted a diving header past keeper Harry Beasley from Ryan Cooney’s cross.

O’Connell put in a telling block to keep out Cameron John’s shot as Wolves searched for an equaliser before Tsun Dai went close to increasing Bury’s advantage at the other end when he just failed to get a touch to Cooney’s low cross sliding in at the back post. The visitors made them pay for the miss before the break, when Daniel Armstrong turned in Sherwin Seedorf’s centre.

O’Shea helped Bury restore their lead at the start of the second half, setting up Jones’ replacement Douglas Nyaupembe to volley home. But two goals in the final 30 minutes handed Wolves victory in the Group C opener.

Donavan Wilson nutmegged Bury keeper Scott Maloney to hand the visitors a second equaliser. Maloney made amends with some fine saves to keep Bury in the game before Hakeem Odoffin rose highest to head in the winner from a corner.

Bury, who made the last 32 of the competition with a victory over Bristol Rovers in the qualifying stages, will also face Norwich and Bournemouth in Group C.

Bury (3-4-1-2): Maloney 9; Jones 5 (Nyaupembe 8, 33), Whitmore 6, Cooney 7; Shotton 6, O’Connell 6, Dai 6 (Styles 6, 60), Tutte 5; Harker 7; Sang 6 (Da Silva 5, 72 ), O’Shea 7. Not used: Hulme, Edwards-Williams.

Wolves (4-4-2): Beasley; Oskar-Burr, Rasmussen, Breslin, Goncalves; Odoffin, John, Armstrong, Watt (Yang-Yang 90); Xavier (Collins 68), Seedorf (Rainey 85).