CLARKE’S BACK TO HAUNT CITY
BURY manager David Flitcroft was struggling to find fault with match-winner Leon Clarke after the striker reaped havoc against his former club Coventry City at Gigg Lane.
Clarke, who smashed 28 goals in 45 appearances for the Sky Blues, lined up against his former side for the first time since leaving for Wolves in January 2014 and bagged a stunning opener as well as penalty which he won and scored.
Reda Johnson pulled a goal back as the visitors rallied but Bury survived the onslaught to record their fourth straight league win, leaving Flitcroft lauding the impact of his striker, who now has seven for the season.
“The guy is class, no doubt about that,” said Flitcroft.“He’s got power and he runs as much as any other player and as much as any forward we’ve had at the club since I’ve been here.
“I’m delighted with his workrate and his commitment but the first finish is absolutely outstanding and he tucked the penalty away beautifully as well.
“He showed the confidence he’s got to take that and the composure he showed is a mark of the top player that he is.”
Against the run of play, Bury took the lead spectacularly in the 19th minute as Clarke – booed by the travelling fans throughout - silenced them in stunning fashion, unleashing a ferocious left-footed strike which flew into the top corner from the edge of the box after Chris Hussey, another exCoventry man, cut a free-kick back into his path.
Clarke continued to torment his former employers after the break and had his second five minutes after the restart. After a tussle with burly Coventry centre-back Johnson inside the box the linesman adjudged that Clarke had been impeded.
The man of the day picked himself up, struck the penalty right-footed and although Coventry goalkeeper Lee Burge got a hand to it, Clarke’s spot kick found the right-hand corner of the net.
Johnson atoned for giving away the penalty in the 62nd minute, powering a header past Rob Lainton after the home defence had failed to clear an Adam Armstrong corner.
Lainton denied substitute Marcus Tudgay and Sam Ricketts hit the bar as Coventry piled on the pressure in the closing stages but Bury held firm to claim their first league victory over the Sky Blues in 51 years.
City boss Tony Mowbray said: “There were plenty of good signs.
“To come here and create the chances we did. I’m pleased with the amount of chances we created we probably lacked the real quality to finish them off.
“The nature of the goals conceded is really disappointing but I can’t ask much more of them second half in terms of controlling and dominating the game, we have to take it on the chin unfortunately. “Ultimately we ran out of time, the only concern was that we didn’t put the ball in their net enough.”