Ajose in from the cold in fine style

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP - By Michael Beard­more

HE was frozen out by pre­vi­ous Bury man­ager Lee Clark, but Nicky Ajose fired a brace to edge the Shak­ers closer to Wem­b­ley and jus­tify new man­ager Chris Luck­etti’s faith.

Charlton loa­nee Ajose has barely fig­ured this sea­son for the strug­gling Shak­ers but his dou­ble – a 20-yard rocket and a poacher’s header – sent Bury into the Check­a­trade Tro­phy third round.

His strikes en­sured a first win for Luck­etti, who said: “The two goals Nicky got were dif­fer­ent class. You will do well to see a bet­ter goal than his first one this week­end.

“Strik­ers thrive on goals and he could have had four if not for a great save and an off­side flag.

“It’s great to get that win, that feel­good fac­tor, that con­fi­dence that re­sults give you.

“But the one thing I was re­ally pleased with was how hard the boys worked for each other. The at­ti­tude I’ve seen in my first week in charge has been su­perb.”

Bury led af­ter seven min­utes as Ajose ri­fled a first-time screamer past Wal­sall keeper Liam Roberts from 20 yards.

It was al­most 2-0 on 27 min­utes but Roberts in­stinc­tively stuck out a leg to su­perbly thwart Ajose who had the free­dom of the Wal­sall box ten yards out.

Bury keeper Leo Fasan pro­duced a smart save with his legs to foil Kieron Mor­ris’s neat turn and shot from an acute an­gle.

But Fasan was beaten in first-half stop­page time as Tyler Roberts’ clever re­verse pass found Erhun Oz­tumer in space and he rolled past the keeper from ten yards.

Bury re­gained the lead on 65 min­utes from a swift counter-at­tack as An­drew Tutte stood up a far-post cross for the un­marked Ajose to head home from close range.

Ajose was de­nied a hat-trick by the off­side flag af­ter Roberts tipped a Michael Smith strike onto the post but Wal­sall never threat­ened an equaliser and are now out of all three cup com­pe­ti­tions.

Boss Jon Whit­ney said: “One-all was a fair score­line at half-time. But then we got hit with a sucker punch for their sec­ond goal. We will have to look at the de­ci­sion-mak­ing, but that is what hap­pens with a young team.

“Per­for­mance-wise we were okay and in the last five games, we’ve had good per­for­mances. We need to make sure we keep that level but turn more of those losses into wins.”

PICTURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

GOOD BAT­TLE: Fylde’s Jonny Smith tus­sles with Wi­gan’s Nathan Byrne as, inset, Will Grigg scores for Wi­gan and Fylde cel­e­brate their equaliser STAR MAN SAM FINLEY Fylde


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