Bury 2 Oldham Athletic 1: CANADIAN central defender Justin Thompson scored the decisive goal on his debut as Bury won an LDV Vans Trophy thriller on Monday night.

The trialist -- who has not played a competitive match for almost two months -- boosted his hopes of a Gigg Lane contract when he headed home a cross from fellow debutant Tom Kennedy, the son of former Shakers hero Keith.

It was a sweet moment for Thompson, who has arrived at Bury following trials with Barnsley and German side Kaiserslautern.

His goal, added to a first-half strike from player-boss Andy Preece, was enough to take the Shakers through, despite a late consolation goal from Scott Vernon for the Latics.

A delighted Preece said afterwards: "I thought our performance was excellent.

"It was an opportunity to keep players fresh and others on their toes, but everyone did well in a very good team performance against a good Second Division side."

This was a rip-roaring cup-tie played out before a crowd of more than 3,000, no doubt drawn in by the offer of cut-price admission.

Preece gave Bury the lead after five minutes when he headed home a free kick from Glenn Whelan.

The Shakers dominated the game's first quarter, but Oldham finished the first half strongly, with Matt O'Halloran denied at point-blank range by keeper Glyn Garner.

Joe O'Neill should have doubled the Shakers' tally after 62 minutes when, following good work by teenage full-back Kennedy, he raced clear -- but fired over.

But the Shakers did go two ahead when Thompson headed in a Kennedy cross from a narrow angle in the 77th minute.

In the final minutes, Whelan cleared off the line from Calvin Zola. Vernon did beat Garner three minutes into stoppage time, but by then many Oldham fans were on the way home.

BURY FORM GUIDE: Garner 8, Swailes 8, Woodthorpe 8, Thompson 8, Unsworth 8,

Kennedy 8 (Whaley, 89), Dunfield 7, Whelan 9, Connell 7, O,Neill 7, Preece

8. Subs not used: Singh, Gunby, Cartledge, Douglas-Pringle.

REF: P. Prosser (Worcs)