VICTOR TISDALE BOOSTS BURY
PROMOTION-CHASING Bury found an unlikely ally in the shape of Exeter boss Paul Tisdale after their eightgame unbeaten run came to an end at St James’ Park.
Matt Grimes’ stunning 25-yard free-kick put the Grecians in front before Tom Soares fired an equaliser on the hour.
But Jimmy Keohane stepped off the bench to grab an 83rd-minute winner to make it three wins on the spin for a rejuvenated Exeter side.
The defeat saw Bury slip two places to third in the table but Tisdale was keen to talk up their promotion chances.
He said: “They are a terrific side and they look like a League One team to me.
“It is hard to get out of this division, but they have everything about them that points to League One football.
“They were the best team we have played this season by a considerable distance.
“They were well on top in the second half and I had some thinking to do to change it. They will leave thinking they were worthy of at least a point but I am delighted with a win.
“We are on a good run but I know we will be hard pushed to maintain this with so many players out each week.”
The opener was a textbook training ground free-kick as Grimes dispatched the ball into the top corner with a flash of his left-foot after Pablo Mills tripped Graham Cummins.
Bury always looked dangerous on the counter-attack and Danny Mayor slid the ball into the path of Nicky Adams but he completely missed the ball with the goal at his mercy. Daniel Nardiello, facing his former club, tested Exeter keeper Christy Pym at his near post after going past Jordan Moore-Taylor and firing in a fierce shot.
Another rapid Bury breakaway ended with Mayor slipping in Ryan Lowe but Pym came to the rescue with a terrific one-handed save.
When Bury did force the equaliser, it came courtesy of another great strike. Soares was afforded too much space 25 yards out and he took advantage by unleashing a crisp strike that beat Grimes at his near post.
Alex Nicholls almost regained the lead for Exeter when he let fly with a powerful drive that was parried by Rob Lainton and Cummins smashed the rebound wide.
Pym, sporting a head bandage after suffering a gash in the first half, pulled off a string of smart saves to deny Bury. And with the game on a knife-edge, Bury keeper Lainton spilled Jordan Moore-Taylor’s header and Keohane nipped in to tap home the winner.
Even then the visitors should have claimed a share of the spoils but substitute Danny Rose sent a free header over the bar.
Bury boss David Flitcroft said: “Their keeper was outstanding. I just wish they had put the bandage over his eyes.
“We have had enough chances to win two games of football but we rushed them.
“Their first goal was a fantastic strike but I don’t want to see want too many more goals like their second one. It was a bad one to give away.”
ALL SMILES: Exeter enjoy Matt Grimes’ opening goal STAR MAN
Y CHRIST PYM Exeter City