‘HEROES’ RIGHT LANE WRONGS
DAVID Flitcroft saluted his team of ‘heroes’ after the Shakers shook off their Bramall Lane hoodoo.
The victory was Bury’s first at the home of Sheffield United in 90 years.
Tom Pope broke the deadlock shortly after the hour for Bury, before Nigel Adkins’ side restored parity when Billy Sharp netted from the penalty spot.
However, it was the visitors who stole the points thanks to a stunning strike from Joe Riley late on before Leon Clarke put the icing on the cake with a glorious lob.
“This wasn’t just a team performance, it was a squad full of heroes,” said Bury chief Flitcroft.
“It’s a great day and I’m very proud.
“They’ve got players that will test you and we’ve had to withstand pressure which I expect at Bramall Lane.
“But what I’ve witnessed here is three fanatstic goals all from open play. Joe’s strike was absolutely outstanding.
“We’re full of quality and looked defensively solid.
“We’ve played with no fear and our fans deserve to be dancing in the aisles because of our performance.
“It’s a long time since we won at this place .”
The first half was a non-event as a spectacle, with Bury’s Rob Lainton denying Conor Sammon with a fine save.
Tensions threatened to boil over when Blades captain Jay McEveley put in a scything challenge on Craig Jones, for which the home skipper was booked – one of nine yellows dished out in a feisty encounter.
United starter the brighter in the second half, with a Sammon shot smothered by Lainton, but despite United’s good start, it was the visitors who took the lead.
Substitute Pope slotted home after the Blades made a meal of clearing their lines.
United drew level on 73 minutes when Sharp netted from the spot after Kieran Wallace was felled in the box by Reece Brown.
Then, just when the hosts were looking to turn the screw Riley popped up with a scorching effort which flew past Mark Howard.
Shortly after there was a melee which ended with Leon Clarke and Sharp both being cautioned but it failed to deter Clarke, who made it 3-1 late on.
Clarke produced a delicious lob over the stranded Howard to seal a satisfying trip over the Pennines for Bury.
Blades boss Adkins reflected on referee David Webb’s performance.
“The referee’s had a very interesting afternoon,” said Adkins.
“The crowd showed their frustration with the referee and I’m sure the officials will reflect on what has happened.
“We got ourselves back into it and with ten minutes to go I was thinking ‘Let’s win the game’.
“I chucked on another striker Marc McNulty to try and win it. “But their lad has gone and scored the second goal from a long way out, so that made it an uphill challenge for us from there on in.”