NARDIELLO REACHES TON TO INSPIRE THE SHAKERS
Bury leapfrog Plymouth with win
DAVID Flitcroft revealed how a pre-match pep talk with Daniel Nardiello inspired the striker to score his 100th league goal as Bury won the battle of the promotion hopefuls.
The former Manchester United trainee had scored just once away from home ahead of yesterday’s Home Park showdown, prompting Flitcroft to intervene with some wise words.
And the chat paid off as Nardiello headed a 62nd-minute opener before Danny Rose came off the bench to seal the win in the 90th minute.
Bury’s third straight win saw them leapfrog Plymouth into fifth place and they are now just five points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
And Flitcroft warned this latest win is a statement of intent.
The Shakers chief beamed: “We signed Daniel last season and his goals kept us in the league.
“He loves scoring at home but had only scored one away from home this season. That is something we touched on before the game and I had a chat with him. It seems to have paid off.
“Nicky’s cross was pitch perfect and Nards did what Nards does. It was like watching in slow motion as he climbed to meet the ball and there was only one place it was going to go.
“We saw the steel and resolve of us here. We penetrated them twice and not many teams will do that down
here. We have got 24 points from 12 games and we are in fantastic form.
“Our away form has gone through the roof and I am one very proud manager at the moment.”
Nardiello wasted a glorious early chance after Carl McHugh failed to cut out Nicky Adams’ pass and the 32-year-old lifted the ball over the top from six yards.
Bury goalkeeper Nick Pope produced comfortable saves to deny Drew Talbot and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, but it was the visitors who carried the greater threat.
Danny Mayor showed some nifty footwork to set up Adams for a shot that sailed past the far post. Moments later, Adams almost cashed in on some sloppy play from Peter Hartley but ‘keeper Luke McCormick was equal to his effort. Set-pieces looked Plymouth’s best bet and Bobby Reid let fly with a fierce free-kick that was well gathered by Pope.
Adam El-Abd was presented with a chance to break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time but he headed Chris Hussey’s corner wide.
Lewis Alessandra did have the ball in the net on 55 minutes but the Plymouth striker had strayed offside. The home side continued to press and Curtis Nelson’s header rattled the crossbar after the defender rose highest to meet Reid’s corner.
But Bury soaked up the pressure and grabbed the opener with a peach of a cross from Adams and a decisive header from Nardiello for his 13th of the season.
Hussey came close to doubling the Shakers’ advantage with a wicked curling free-kick that brought a finger-tip save out of McCormick.
Yet the visitors were not to be denied as Rose escaped down the right and threaded the ball through McCormick’s legs.
Plymouth boss John Sheridan admits the loss of 17-goal striker Reuben Reid with a foot injury was a major setback and played its part in this defeat.
“Reuben is a big player for us and it would have given the opposition a lift when they noticed his name was not on the scorsheet,” he said. “We didn’t really get going and we looked slow and lethargic. Possession-wise Bury were the better side in the first half but I was pleased with the way we came out in the second half.
“There was no lack of effort but the goals knocked us back.
“We have been on a brilliant run that has got us back in the mix.
“If we are going to get out of this division we will lose games.
“We have to take this result on the chin and bounce back.”
UNDER PRESSURE: Ryan Brunt challenges Bury goalkeeper Nick Pope for the ball
CENTURY: Daniel Nardiello wheels away after giving Bury the lead
STAR MAN NICKY ADAMS