Bury overcame a stern test at Bramall Lane on Saturday to preserve a 15-match unbeaten away run as they triumphed against Sheffield United.
A wonder-strike from fullback Joe Riley and a sublime chip by Leon Clarke secured the Shakers a second consecutive away victory against one of the giants of League One.
Sheffield United perhaps looked the more likely to open the scoring in the first half, forcing a good saving from the away keeper Rob Painton, but the two teams went in level at the break.
Tom Pope scored in the 63rd minute as the Blades failed to deal adequately with a cross from the right. The lead lasted just ten minutes as Billy Sharp converted a penalty after Kieran Wallace was tripped around the edge of the area.
In the 83rd minute, defender Joe Riley picked up the ball near the half way line and moved forward unchallenged before launching a shot across the goalkeeper into the far corner.
Victory was confirmed when Leon Clarke outmuscled the Sheffield defence from a lofted pass, and lifted the ball into the net over a helpless Howard.
Bury manager David Flitcroft expressed delight at the workmanlike performance his team put in against a heavyweight of the division.
“You look at Sheffield and you look at the history: I said to the players ‘this team on paper are fantastic and the manager is an outstanding manager’.
“The club here is one of massive history and tradition – and to come here and represent and be as professional as we can be and be committed as we can be.
“This wasn’t us coming here as a fluke, there was a game plan behind it and there was a committed performance in everything we did and we fully deserve three points.
“They’ve battered every team they’ve played [this season] – they’ve had an outstanding start but they’ve come up against a team of committed players, a committed management team and a committed group of staff.”
Image courtesy of Bury Football Club via YouTube, with thanks.