VERDICT: Notts County 4 Bury 1
BURY boss Kevin Blackwell bemoaned a disastrous seven second-half minutes that cost his team a priceless victory at Notts County last Friday.
The Shakers, who went into the game just hours after the club announced they had been placed under a second transfer embargo by the Football League, took the lead at Meadow Lane through a trademark stunner from skipper Steven Schumacher.
But just before the hour, sloppy marking allowed Julian Kelly to level it up and then two mistakes by young defender Ashley Eastham allowed Magpies substitute Francois Zoko to grab a brace inside the next seven minutes.
A penalty from Jamal Campbell-Ryce compounded the misery as Blackwell suffered his heaviest defeat since taking the Gigg Lane job and the gap to League One safety stretched to eight points the following day.
The manager conceded it was mistakes in that crazy spell that contributed to the Shakers’ own downfall.
Blackwell said: “It’s the first time I’ve seen four goals go in against us since I have been here.
“There was one team in it and then we crumbled and we can’t do that.
“We saw the Jekyll and Hyde of the team at Notts County; it’s been like that all season.
“Young Ashley didn’t play well but he’s 19 years of age and made mistakes.
“But I told him, if he is going to be a pro at centre-back you will make mistakes, it is about responding.
“For the next six or seven minutes we were all over the place and I cannot legislate for that.
“That 10-minute spell undid us and we are down the bottom of the league because we concede goals like those on Friday.”
Bury took the lead out of virtually nothing on 24 minutes when a lazy ball from Magpies right back Julian Kelly went straight to Schumacher and, after advancing unchallenged to within sight of the box, he let fly with a thunderbolt.
Just before the hour mark, it was all-square when Kelly atoned for his earlier error to make it 1-1.
A superb sliderule pass from County’s Manchester United loanee John Cofie found him in space and he finished from eight yards with the help of a deflection.
Within three minutes, however, the game was turned on its head as Zoko outmuscled Eastham in the box to side-foot past a helpless Trevor Carson.
It was all County now and they made it 3-1 on 65 minutes when Zoko was again on hand to pounce on Eastham’s hesitation and prod the ball under Carson.
Worse was to come on 74 minutes when Campbell-Ryce scored a penalty after Joe Skarz had brought down Judge in the box which rounded off a miserable day on and off the pitch for the Shakers.
NOTTS COUNTY: Bialkowski, Kelly, Sheehan, Bishop, Leacock (Hollis 86), Liddle, Judge, Arquin (Zoko 46), Cofie, Campbell-Ryce, Boucaud (Hughes 76). Not used: Smith, Bencherif, Blyth, Speiss.
BURY: Carson 6, Skarz 5, Eastham 5, Worrall 6, Schumacher 7, Bishop 6, Ajose 6 (Fagan 81), Regan 6, Zubar 6 (Soares 46, 5), Thompson 5 (Carrington 86), Ebanks-Landell 6. Not used: Carole, Healy, Jones, Belford.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).
Attendance: 5,795 (297).