Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Bury Six Things: Shakers impress

Ryan Lowe –

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.

Bury’s flexibility

Apart from strikers Maynard and Chris Dagnall, who pressed superbly, there were not too many players in that Bury side with pre-ordained positions. In and out of possession, players looked comfortable in different areas and that is a credit to Ryan Lowe’s coaching. Despite this, the Shakers perhaps didn’t test opposing goalkeeper Ben Garratt as much as they might have liked – Danny Mayor’s shot lacked power before Dagnall saw a close-range effort blocked during a strong spell just before the quarter-hour mark.

Long ball Crewe

Goalkeeper Ben Garratt very often looked for the long ball to Chris Porter but, because he lacked the power in his kicks to get it that far up the pitch, possession was often surrendered. It couldn’t be said that the likes of James Jones and Ryan Wintle didn’t stick to their tasks defensively, but because their first touch was so often a backward one, the Alex rarely found momentum upon the turnover.

Kirk spirit

Against the run of play, Bury found themselves behind on 37 minutes. Thanks to Jordan Bowery’s persistence, Nicky Hunt had the chance to swing in a deep-flighted cross to the back-post, where Kirk managed to evade Will Aimson’s attentions and steer the ball past Garratt. Crewe had not at all threatened in open play until that point and theirĀ  lead was scarcely deserved.

Mayor and McFadzean magic

One of the main positive’s of Bury’s performance was the left-sided combination of Danny Mayor and Callum McFadzean. The former was a number 10 on paper but his remit was to float between the left and central channels; while the latter was listed as a wing-back, he also had the versatility to make inverted runs while his ‘partner’ stayed on the touchline, such was the duo’s unpredictability. It was unsurprising therefore when they combined for the 54th-minute equalizer, as McFadzean squared for Maynard to tap home.

Subs impress

Dominic Telford gave Bury a different dimension when he came on. He shared the industrious Chris Dagnall’s persistence, but also offered an extra yard of pace in behind which enabled him to occupy centre-backs George Ray and Perry Ng, who defended well in difficult circumstances. After a brief spell of Crewe pressure, Callum Styles later came on and influenced proceedings with his usual class in possession and the Shakers could have nicked it, but McFadzean hit the post before Maynard was brilliantly denied by Garratt.

Even on result, miles apart on performance

Crewe Alexandra used to be admired across the land for their commitment to playing good football with exciting, young players. While they are still producing talent, the style of play at Gresty Road now does not appear to be in line with the club’s philosophy and what will worry supporters is how desperate their side looked to only draw on their own soil. Major questions should be asked of the leadership of a club that appears to be content with mediocrity in a division in which they should have one of the better sides. By contrast, Bury can take great confidence from Saturday’s clash; replicate that performance level consistently and they have a very, very strong chance of making the top seven.