An unlucky own goal from left back Jerome Binnom-Williams ensured that Burton Albion's disappointing record continued at Gigg Lane as Bury won by the only goal of the game. With five minutes to go to half time Leicester City loanee Joe Dodoo capped a lively debut for the Shakers with a low cross shot that hit Albion's own loanee and dropped agonisingly over the head of keeper Jon McLaughlin who could do nothing about it.
Stuart Beavon and Nasser El Khayati both went close to giving Albion the lead prior to that deflected effort and despite bossing large periods of the second half an equaliser just would not come.
After a fortnight of inactivity due to international call-ups resulting in the postponement of last weekend's scheduled fixture at home to Millwall the Brewers headed into the first of two tricky trips to the North West showing five changes to the side that dropped out of the FA Cup to Peterborough. Jon McLaughlin, as expected, returned in goal at the expense of Remi Matthews. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff returned at the heart of defence after injury to replace Tom Flanagan. Callum Reilly showed enough in his cameo appearance as a substitute against Posh to earn his first League start of the season against the Shakers, Calum Butcher dropping to the bench and he was joined in a new look central partnership by Tom Naylor, now free of suspension whilst Stuart Beavon returned to the starting line-up in place of Timmy Thiele.
With less than thirty seconds on the clock McLaughlin was having to drop low to his left to prevent the hosts getting off to a flying start. Tom Soares picked up the ball twenty five yards out and although his low shot was somewhat scuffed it took a wicked deflection off skipper John Mousinho in the middle forcing the Brewers keeper to react smartly.
It took Albion a while to get into the game as Bury dominated the early exchanges but Nasser El Khayati showed his trickery on the right to force a hastily headed clearance and when Mark Duffy was chopped down 30 yards out it gave the Birmingham winger a chance to chip in a free kick that Mousinho, arriving from deep, volleyed just over the bar.
Most of Bury's best work was coming down their right with new loan signing Jo Dodoo from Leicester City posing a constant threat. Half way through the first period his pace and power took him beyond Jerome Binnom-Williams with a cheeky nutmeg before McLaughlin slammed the door shut with a solid save low down.
Albion should rteally have grabbed the lead on 25 minutes after some superb play by Beavon. Mark Duffy played the ball into him and a sublime turn took him clear of a square Bury back line. Beavon's second touch was, however, a touch heavy giving Shakers keeper Dan Bachmann chance to come out and force the Albion frontman to poke a shot wide of the target.
An even clearer chance for Albion went begging on the half hour mark. Bury switched off as Callum Reilly took a free kick short to Binnom-Williams. The Crystal Palace loanee picked out Cansdell-Sherriff with his cross and when the ball went beyond the far post Mousinho was on hand to deliver a low cross where El Khayati, for once, failed to find the composed finish that was needed, firing over the bar from eight yards out.
Burton needed no reminding of the threat posed by Chris Hussey from set pieces and there were parts of Gigg Lane that though he had broken the deadlock on 39 minutes with a wickedly curling effort that went inches past the upright. Just when Albion thought the danger had passed they fell behind in hugely unfortunate circumstances. DODOO got the ball on the right again, inside the box. With options limited he tried to fire in a low cross that deflected and looped up off Binnom-Williams dropping over the head of McLaughlin and into the far corner. Harsh on the Brewers to say the least.
It was not the way that Albion would have wanted to finish a first half where they started slowly but had been more than a match for their hosts.
Half time: Bury 1-0 Burton Albion
Dodoo was on fire at the start of the second half, again using his pace and directness to cause huge problems. Barely a minute after the start of the second period he whipped over a cross that was headed towards goal by Tom Pope and nodded off the line by Cansdell-Sherriff with Leon Clarke seeing his effort from the rebound blocked inside the six yard box.
Burton hit back and both El Khayati and Beavon almost prized open the Shakers defence before a rasping shot by Phil Edwards was pushed past the post by Bachmann. From the corner a half chance fell to Reilly but he stabbed ther ball over the bar.
Duffy almost conjured up the equaliser from nothing on 57 minutes. Beavon was wrestled to the ground just around the angle of the box and with everyone expecting as cross into the middle Duffy almost caught Bachmann out with a curling effort around the wall and towards the bottom corner.
Lucas Akins went into the book for an off the ball shove on Hussey that referee Andy Haines spotted and cautioned the Burton man for long after the incident but when the first chance arose.
It was the last action of the day for Akins who was the first Burton man to be substituted, replaced by Timmy Thiele. The German quickly had a chance to break his Burton duck as Bury substitute upended Beavon with referee Haines playing on. Thiele cut inside but saw his shot blocked and when it came back out to Binnom-Williams the young left back sent in a thundering effort forcing Bachmann into another eye-catching save. Etuhu's original challenge was eventually punished when the referee called him over after the passage of play and showed him a yellow card.
Etuhu was inches away from getting himself into the referees book for the right reasons on 72 minutes. Albion struggled to clear their lines from a Bury corner and the substitute let fly from the edge of the box seeing his effort tipped onto the crossbar.
Aurelien Jjoachim, like Thiele, in search of that first goal for the club was given the last quarter of an hour to turn the game around as he replaced Beavon who had typically worked hard and given both Peter Clarke and Nathan Cameron a hard working afternoon at the heart of the Bury defence.
Joachim had come on whilst Cansdell-Sherriff was receiving treatment and he was unable to continue meaning that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was quickly forced into his third change, Calum Butcher coming on into a midfield role as Albion went three at the back.
Bury threw on striker Danny Rose to try and relieve late pressure and his strong running almost created a chance for Danny Pugh but it was all Albion late on searching desperately for the equaliser. A much delayed free kick which saw both Hussey and El Khayati yellow carded eventually resulted in Duffy firing a thirty yard effort over the bar.
A frustrasting end as Albion had bodies in the box looking for the chance to pounce but it was not the Brewers day and a cruelly deflected effort remained the difference between the two sides.