Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Bury Player Ratings: McFadzean stars

Ryan Lowe – www.theleaguepaper.com

Nicky Maynard scored at Gresty Road, where he began his senior career but Bury had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra, despite a largely dominant display. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

Crewe Alexandra

Ben Garratt – the long-serving stopper, now in his eighth season at Gresty Road, made some good saves including a great stop from Maynard late on. However, his distribution was poor; he looked for long balls despite not being able to generate the necessary power to reach Porter accurately. 7

Nicky Hunt – the Liverpool loanee Corey Whelan away with Ireland U21s, Hunt stepped in. The former Birmingham man has plenty of experience and that showed when he had the nous to show Mayor onto his left foot; he also delivered a deep cross that led to the opener. Otherwise though the right-back lacked quality and belief in possession. 5
Perry Ng – the versatile defender has been arguably Crewe’s best player so far this season and he was among the man-of-the-match contenders here. Given that he started his career as a right-back, it’s impressive that the transition to centre-back has been seamless. 7
George Ray – the centre-back might only be 24, but he has already played 106 games across eight seasons for Crewe. He was handed the man-of-the-match award here and deserved it for some brave, last-ditch defending. 7
Harry Pickering – the youngster found himself pinned back by Adams for much of the contest. It was unfortunate, in some ways, that the attacking talents of a player very highly rated within the club never came to the fore due to the nature of the contest. 4

Ryan Wintle – the academy graduate worked hard enough but he is, perhaps not the most physical of players. That is not a problem if he offered something valuable in possession but in fact, Wintle was guilty of giving the ball away cheaply. 4
James Jones – it is great from a neutral perspective to see Jones getting regular games, having been sidelined with a long-term injury last year. While it cannot be argued that he didn’t stick to the task, his first movement upon receiving the ball was often a backward one which made it difficult for Crewe to generate momentum upon the turnover. 4

Callum Ainley – the versatile attacking player is one of the brightest talents Crewe’s academy has produced over the last three years. We saw flashes of what he can do in the first half with one or two bright runs, but it was difficult for him to remain a prominent influence due to the shortage of forward runners around him. 6
Charlie Kirk – the attacking midfielder, who like Ainley came through the academy, likes to drift from the left channel into central areas and he did that to good effect on one or two occasions, showing shrewd movement to score a well-taken opener. Getting him and Ainley more involved could be the key to Crewe’s season. 6

Jordan Bowery – the former Oxford man has a presence about him and works hard; his persistence down the right channel certainly contributed to Crewe’s goal. He’s not the quickest though and must have grown very frustrated in the second period, when none of his teammates were near him. 5
Chris Porter – the ex-Colchester striker can offer a physical dimension to Crewe’s play, but here the service to him was from deep and lacked accuracy, which at times made his task a thankless one. 4

Shaun Miller (on 62) – the striker’s arrival coincided with a briefly improved spell from Crewe; they started to keep it on the deck more with Porter off the field – but ultimately he spent the last 20 minutes doing more defensive work than he would have liked. 6

Bury

Joe Murphy – the seasoned Shakers stopper was hoping to atone for his gaffe against Mansfield last week, but he looked a tad slow to react to Kirk’s effort which rolled into the far corner. It might not be too long before calls ensue for young, Preston loanee Mathew Hudson to start between the sticks. 5

Will Aimson – the defender divides opinion among Shakers fans and might not have done himself too many favours by switching off in the first half to allow Kirk to score. Although, he didn’t do too much else wrong. 6
Adam Thompson – the centre-back has played well in the division above with Southend and showed his pedigree here with a commanding display. 7
Chris Stokes – ironically, Stokes looks more at home as a wide centre-back in a back-three with Bury, than he did as a standard left-back at Coventry. This current role rewards positional intelligence and accuracy in possession and forgives a lack of pace, so it is very much tailored to his skillset. 8

Nicky Adams – after a prolonged spell on the sidelines, it is great to see the charismatic wide man back to full fitness. Understandably not especially quick at 31, Adams is at his most effective when he has one or two teammates close to him to initiate swift, incisive combination play – that’s when it becomes clear that he’s mentally a split-second ahead of most other League Two players. The quality of his deliveries belong at a higher level, too. 8
Jay O’Shea – a member of Chesterfield’s 2013-14 League Two title win, O’Shea has often played as an attacking midfielder and that was evident here when, from a slightly deeper role, he always looked keen to make direct forward runs into the final third. 7
Neil Danns – the midfielder, who has won promotion from this level with Blackpool, offers plenty of experience and broke up attacks very well, sometimes even in the opposing half. No frills in possession yet played the simple balls quickly and effectively. 8
Callum McFadzean – not every follower of Guiseley reckoned McFadzean was EFL-bound but, based on this performance, that seems very surprising. After impressing on a trial with the Shakers, the left-back has adapted to this level with unerring ease. Not only does he offer pace and width, he also has the flexibility to make inverted runs which bamboozle defences, as we saw in the lead-up to the equalizer. Lowe, Rob Kelly and the coaching staff deserve immense credit for how they have developed this lad. 9

Danny Mayor – the attacking midfielder dazzled when Bury visited Gresty Road in August 2015 and he put in another excellent performance here. Some of his footwork was a joy to watch at times and the attacking midfielder, who roamed between the left and central channels, dovetailed brilliantly with McFadzean. Mayor won League Two Player of the Year when Bury last won promotion from this level in 2014-15 and could hold the key to their chances once again. 8

Chris Dagnall – the experienced striker, who plied his trade at Crewe last season, put in a very strong shift for Bury and hassled the defence aggressively, not unlike David Nugent in the Championship. A fine professional – although he was probably taken off at the correct time. 7
Nicky Maynard – the forward, who has played in the Championship for five different clubs, returned to the ground at which he began his senior career and worked very hard down the channels. He tapped home the equalizer shortly after the interval and could have scored a fourth goal in his second start for the club but for Garratt’s late heroics. 8

Dominic Telford (on 61) – the young striker offered the same tenacity as Dagnall, the man he replaced, but offered perhaps an extra dimension in terms of pace in behind, which might be partly why Crewe’s defence dropped so deep late on. 8
Callum Styles (on 76) – the academy graduate has struggled for gametime since joining back on loan from Barnsley but, at a time at which Bury’s performance level dropped slightly, he offered a touch of class in possession to put them back in the ascendency. 8