STEETON were comfortably second-best as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against NWCFL First Division North title favourites Bury AFC in front of the largest crowd in their history yesterday.

Nearly 1,000 fans packed into a sell-out Marley Stadium as the visitors showed why they are still unbeaten in the league this season, with goals from Kris Holt and Abs Obasoto either side of the break seeing them claim a deserved three points.

Bury winger Lewis Gilboy forced a smart save from Oli Brackenbury inside the opening five minutes, and that set the tone for a one-sided first half.

The young Steeton stopper got down well to deny both Aidan Chippendale and Ben Wharton as Bury continued their electric start, but he could do little to prevent the visitors from opening the scoring in the 13th minute.

After winning a corner, Chippendale’s inswinging delivery found Holt, who rose highest to power a free header into the centre of the net.

The Chevrons looked to have responded almost immediately when Jahro Parchment was played through on goal, but a controversial offside flag spared the blushes of the Bury defence.

Minutes later, Bury came close to extending their lead when defender Sonny Whittingham let fly from distance, with his shot beating Brackenbury but not the outside of the post.

Josh McKiernon’s teasing free-kick narrowly evaded both Andy Briggs and Alistair Morgan in a rare Steeton chance, while at the other end, Toby Jeffrey and Brackenbury combined with a goal-line clearance and a fingertip save respectively to ensure the score remained 1-0 at the break.

The Chevrons should have equalised just after the interval when Parchment burst down the wing before squaring for the onrushing Briggs, but his pass was just behind the prolific striker.

That proved to be a costly miss, with the Shakers doubling their advantage just five minutes later.

From a swift counter, Steeton failed to deal with a cross, with Obasoto gifted acres of space to fire across goal and into the bottom right corner.

Briggs headed over the bar and substitute Luke Baldwin forced Jack Atkinson into a fantastic save from a free-kick as the Chevrons looked to pull a goal back, but Bury were still the dominant side.

Some heroic defending from centre backs Morgan and Jerry White prevented a Bury third, while Brackenbury provided a superb triple save to deny Wharton and Tom Greaves inside the last 10 minutes.

Steeton nearly had the last word in injury time, with Matty Williams inches away from turning Jeffrey’s delivery into his own net.

The defeat means Steeton are still just six points above the relegation zone, with well-drilled Bury remaining second in the table and continuing their push for promotion.

The Chevrons are next in league action at South Liverpool on January 8.