Bury secure fourth successive league win with Coventry defeat

Leon Clarke came back to haunt his old club as he bagged a brace in Bury’s 2-1 home victory over Coventry City.

The former Sky Blues forward scored in the first half from a free kick straight from the training ground.

Clarke put the Shakers two goals up by winning and scoring a contentious penalty early in the second half.

Coventry pulled one back with Reda Johnson’s thumping header and although they pressed for an equaliser, hitting the crossbar late on, Bury secured a fourth successive league win.

Both teams had early chances to take the lead before Bury were awarded a free kick wide on the left of the area, which Chris Hussey fizzed in low to Clarke, unmarked just inside the box, to sidefoot home.

In the build up to the game Bury manager David Flitcroft had called on his side to make the most of Hussey’s range of deliveries, so would no doubt be pleased that a set piece routine came off.

However, opposing manager Tony Mowbray was in disbelief after the match that the Shaker’s number nine was given the freedom of the penalty area from a free kick.

“The naivety of the first goal is ridiculous. I’m really unhappy with that.

“It’s been 15 years since teams have been cutting it back from that position for somebody to sidefoot it in. How on earth they didn’t fill the space was beyond me.”

The home side could have doubled their lead from another set piece in the 38th minute, but captain Nathan Cameron headed Hussey’s corner onto the crossbar.

After the break Bury broke down the right and Clarke travelled into the area, with his shirt being pulled back by Johnson, the linesman flagged for a foul and the referee pointed to the spot.

Clarke stepped up to convert his penalty, but it appeared the foul started outside the box and then the Bury striker fell into the area.

In the 63rd minute Reda Johnson atoned for his earlier foul on Clarke and scored a thumping header as Bury failed to clear from a Coventry corner.

The goal seemed to give the Sky Blues confidence to equalise and they had chances to do so as goalkeeper Rob Lainton made a good save against League One’s top scorer Adam Armstrong inside the area.

Four minutes from time, Sam Ricketts cut in from the right to strike from 25 yards but his effort, which had beaten the home keeper, struck back off the crossbar as Bury held on for all three points.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, David Flitcroft reflected after the game: “We’re doing something at this football club that’s creating a new future and that’s what I’ve seen today.”

Image courtesy of Bury Football Club via YouTube, with thanks.

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