FC Isle of Man crest

MATCH REPORT: FC Isle of Man 0 – 2 Bury FC

After Manannan’s cloak prevented the game from going ahead as scheduled on Saturday evening, FC Isle of Man and Bury FC were greeted by around 2,500 lively fans who had packed out The Bowl for their clash in the NWCFL Premier Division, on Sunday Morning. Dean Pinnington initiated proceedings, marking the beginning of what promised to be a gripping encounter.

Right from the outset, Bury enjoyed an early spell of possession, setting the intensity of the game. Tempers then flared as early as the 4th minute, with Oliver Jepson and Ste Whitely both receiving cautions. Pinnington’s subsequent free-kick from 40 yards out on the left provided an early opportunity, with Jacob Crook rising highest to meet it with a commanding header inside the box, narrowly missing the target and hitting the roof of the net.

Despite Bury’s relentless pressure, FC Isle of Man’s defence, led by Callum Sherry, stood resolute, thwarting the visitors attacking endeavours. Sam Burns and Jacob Holland-Wilkinson then tested the Ravens defence but failed to find the target.

The rest of the first half was played in a similar vein, both teams locked in a battle for midfield supremacy. FC Isle of Man’s sporadic forays forward were well dealt with by The Shakers organised backline, while their attacking prowess was blunted by the home side’s resolute defending.

As the halftime whistle blew, the scoreline remained level, as neither side were able to find the breakthrough.

The second half saw Bury capitalise on some early momentum, breaking the deadlock in the 51st minute. Burns broke into The Ravens box only to be brought down by goalkeeper Ben Wilkinson, earning The Shakers a spot-kick which Burns duly converted powerfully low to the keeper’s right, sending the travelling supporters behind the goal into raptures.

Buoyed by their lead, Bury pressed forward with renewed vigour. Burns came agonisingly close to doubling his tally, and Wilkinson stood firm, making a low save to deny Declan Daniel’s. But in the 79th minute, Oliver Kilner’s deft lofted pass found Burns in a gap between two defenders. He showed composure and finesse, firstly rounding the fast-approaching Wilkinson before delicately chipping the ball into the top corner of the net, over three Ravens players, sealing Bury’s victory, once again sending the away fans into vigorous celebrations!

FC Isle of Man fought valiantly to rectify the scoreline but struggled to create any real clear-cut chances in the final third. The standout effort was when Frank Jones’s shot from range skimmed the crossbar in the dying moments.

Bury, the league leaders, saw out the game and took all three points back home with them. FC Isle of Man’s Jacob Crook was named the IFGL Man Of The Match.

The Ravens are on the road again next weekend, travelling to Kendal Town. Kick-off is at 3 pm in that one.