Checkatrade Trophy Group C (North)
Bury 4-1 Morecambe Ismail 3 pen Mullin 43 Pope 49, 90+2 Kay 81
A young Morecambe side, captained by 23 year old Alex Kenyon, made a dismal start to the newly reformed Checkatrade Trophy (formerly Johnstone’s Paint Trophy) with a 4-1 defeat to League 1 side Bury.
Zeli Ismail opened the scoring with a third minute penalty for the hosts, before Paul Mullin scored a screamer just before half time for the visitors, followed by two goals from Tom Pope and one from Antony Kay in the second half to seal the win for Flitcroft’s side.
On a glorious Tuesday evening at Gigg Lane, it didn’t take long for the home side to break the deadlock. Bury were awarded a penalty after Anthony Dudley was brought down in the box by Ryan Edwards, and Zeli Ismail converted the penalty coolly with Morecambe keeper Nizic diving the other way.
The Shrimps almost cancelled out the lead immediately afterwards, with Kevin Ellison firing the ball over the bar.
Following this, there was a spell without any real chances to note until the 21st minute when Lee Molyneux had a shot blocked before Rhys Turner found himself in space, only for him to hit the ball over the bar for the away side.
Bury went up the other end and almost extended their lead just a minute later, with Danny Mayor cutting inside the box and shooting at Nizic who saved well from close range.
Over the next twenty minutes Roche’s understudy made a series of saves from Zeli Ismail, Tom Pope and Jacob Mellis, as the new signing from Burnley looked to impress manager Bentley on his Morecambe debut.
Despite Bury controlling the game, it was the Shrimps who equalised against the run of play in the 43rd minute. Paul Mullin found himself in space and hit an ambitious effort at goal from 30 yards, and it was enough to beat Ben Williams to his left in the Bury goal. It was 1-1 at half time.
Just like in the first half, Bury started really well and were back in front just four minutes into the second half. Morecambe midfielder Andy Fleming gave the ball away, and his mistake lead to powerhouse striker Tom Pope heading home from a good ball on the right hand side.
Ten minutes later Bury almost extended their lead through Tom Soares, who hit a powerful shot from long range, but Danijel Nizic was there to make yet another brilliant save to his right.
Tom Barkhuizen came on as a sub for Morecambe, and four minutes after coming on he was straight into the action. He made a good run along the right hand side, and gave the ball to Paul Mullin in plenty of space but the striker failed to score his second of the evening as he fired the ball over the bar in the 62nd minute.
Anthony Dudley later tested Nizic with strong attempts in the 75th and 77th minute respectively, but the shot stopper yet again showed his talent with some good saves.
Five minutes later Tom Soares went clean through on goal, with only Nizic to beat, but the 21 year old denied him with a great save to his right to put the ball out for a corner.
Bury got the goal they deserved when captain Antony Kay headed home from the corner to put the game to bed in the 81st minute.
Liverpool loanee Jack Dunn had two attempts within the space of three minutes, with Ben Williams making a stunning save from his goalbound free kick and the youngster also hitting the crossbar minutes later.
Tom Barkhuizen almost got a consolation for the Shrimps in the 88th minute, but his shot was saved by the legs of Williams. Instead Bury made the score line more embarrassing for the Shrimps, with Tom Pope scoring his second of the night in the second minute of injury time after being one on one with Nizic.
As a result Bury sit at the top of Group C with Morecambe at the bottom. The Shrimps are back in action on Saturday as they welcome Leyton Orient to the Globe Arena in Sky Bet League 2.
Bury: Williams, Jones (Maher 53), Barnett, Kay (c), Leigh, Ismail (Hope 63), Soares, Mellis, Dudley, Pope, Mayor (Obi 85).
Subs not used: Burgess, Rachubkha, Bedeau, Harker.
Morecambe: Nizic, Wakefield (Dunn 71), Whitmore, Edwards, McGowan, Molyneux, Fleming (Murphy 84), Kenyon (c), Ellison (Barkhuizen 59), Mullin, Turner.
Booked: Wakefield and Mullin
Subs not used: Roche, Rose, Stockton, Hedley,
Attendance: 1,154 (117 away)