THERE was to be no cup shocker this time, even if it did need a little homegrown pride to steer Sunderland into the next round of the Carabao Cup.

Eleven years ago this month the Black Cats, under the temporary guidance of Niall Quinn and before Roy Keane was drafted in, were embarrassingly dumped out of the same competition, albeit with a different name.

Similarly it arrived in the opening month of the first season after relegation from the Premier League. The sight of Arnau Riera, an import from Barcelona B, stupidly getting sent off on that occasion merely highlighted Sunderland’s problems at that time.

Defeat at Gigg Lane this time would have brought further embarrassment, even if the Shakers are a more dangerous unit these days, so Sunderland manager Simon Grayson was understandably grateful to George Honeyman.

There was no indication that an opening goal was going to come when the 22-year-old from Prudhoe linked up with Didier Ndong before finding the net 21 minutes from time with a cheeky little finish over the goalkeeper.

It was Honeyman’s first senior goal for the club where he has graduated through the academy system. It justified Grayson’s faith in him, having started the youngster in each of the opening two matches.

It would have been easy for Grayson to have made wholesale changes, handing more young players like Honeyman a chance in a League Cup tie so early in the season.

Clearly, though, the manager felt the more minutes his first team players get the better as he looks to gain some momentum as he looks to guide Sunderland into a promotion battle.

It wasn’t quite as simple as that though.

There were four alterations to the side which started last Friday’s draw with Derby County; all of them boasting plenty first team experience. Adam Matthews, John O’Shea, Wahbi Khazri and Darron Gibson can hardly be described as rookies.

It was Gibson’s first appearance since he was fined two weeks’ wages for his foul-mouth outburst to fans at a County Durham hotel about the commitment of some of his team-mates, and it didn’t take him long to be in the thick of things.

He had already seen plenty of the ball before he charged over to put Bury skipper Stephen Dawson under pressure near half-way. Dawson ended up requiring lengthy treatment and had to be withdrawn on a stretcher, seemingly with a serious knee injury.

Moments before that Sunderland went close to taking the lead. Lewis Grabban, asked to lead the line on his own instead of the benched former Shaker James Vaughan, headed Brendan Galloway’s corner inches wide.

There was another good chance for Aiden McGeady too. The Irish winger cut inside full-back Craig Jones, who had slipped at the wrong time, and saw his right-foot shot well saved by goalkeeper Joe Murphy. That was the former Everton man’s best moment of the night.

Bury didn’t really threaten Jason Steele’s goal too often. When they did his handling was fine and an effort from Jones curled over the bar after a clever pass picked him out from Harry Bunn.

The only other two chances of a pretty disappointing first half saw Khazri direct a powerful half volley from distance wide, while Gibson was thwarted as he charged into the box down the left after a clever exchange of passes with the Tunisian.

Gibson, despite the problems he has had to deal with recently off-the-field courtesy mainly of his own actions, was the pick of the Sunderland players. He looked to dictate things in the middle in the absence of Lee Cattermole and did so, even drawing applause from the 900 travelling fans at times.

Half-time brought a change up front. Vaughan, signed for £500,000 from Gigg Lane a few weeks ago, replaced Grabban in attack, even though there was an argument for both being kept on to strengthen the attack.

Within four minutes Sunderland should have been ahead. Khazri was sent clear. He rounded former Sunderland goalkeeper Murphy, but with the goal in front of him he slipped and was unable to convert into the empty net.

Even though Sunderland did have control of the ball more, they still lacked an edge going forward and struggled to test Murphy. McGeady, who is likely to be a man to make things tick this season, summed things up when he was withdrawn just before the hour after struggling to make an impact.

With little by way of goalmouth action it seemed like the game was heading for extra-time until Honeyman’s intervention in the 69th minute. He had not had the most productive of nights until then either.

Bury had gone on a rare attack and Sunderland quickly broke when O’Shea passed to Honeyman on the left hand side. The midfielder took a couple of players on and diagonally burst towards the right and into the home side’s half.

He ended up picking up possession again in the final third, exchanging passes with Asoro before Ndong played him and he cleverly chipped Murphy to finding the net to put Sunderland ahead. His celebration in front of the away support said it all.

After that Bury pushed on to try and nick an equaliser, throwing on the experienced Jermain Beckford up front. Steele’s goal was never seriously under threat, with the defence performing solidly and marshalled well by O’Shea.

Had Didier Ndong’s eye be in then it would have been a second for Sunderland before the end when he drove a half volley from just inside the box over the bar.