DAN’S ON HAND TO SAVE BURY
DAVID FLITCROFT insisted the fans were as much to thank as Daniel Nardiello as Bury left it late to stay in the hat for the FA Cup third round.
Striker Nardiello scored a stoppage-time equaliser to cancel out Mark Cullen’s opener at Gigg Lane.
It ensured Bury’s FA Cup hopes stay alive with the two side’s set for a replay, and Flitcroft was quick to praise a vocal home support for playing their part in the result.
He said:“It was a typical FA Cup tie where both teams don’t want to lose the game, and certainly we wanted to win in. We dominated the game and kept ploughing, kept building pressure.
“The fans were excellent and they were still believing that we could produce a goal, our golden moment, and we did do.
“We’ve tried to work on our final ball in training and just our last end bit, putting the ball in the back of the net is the most difficult bit.
“We’ve got fantastic finishers, six or seven that are outstanding at this level, and we just need to tighten up on the last bit as the approach play is as good as you will see at this level and the level up.”
Meanwhile, Luton boss John Still felt his side had done enough to see the game out, but was disappointed striker Ricky Miller gave away a needless foul in the buildup to the equaliser.
He added: “We’d done everything. I felt we were comfortable. They were hitting lots of balls into the box that I felt we dealt with really well.
“Ricky has come on and done really well but he gave away a sloppy free-kick for no reason. That saw the ball in our box and they get a replay from that.
“If you don’t foul you don’t concede but he’s young and still learning. Having said that, he almost made it 2-0.That’s all part of the learning curve.”
Luton striker Charlie Walker almost opened the scoring early on, chipping just wide of goal as keeper Robert Lainton raced out to meet him.
Bury pressed mainly from range with Everton loanee Hallam Hope shooting over and Andy Drury doing the same for Luton.
Hope then shot into the sidenetting and then had an effort that Mark Tyler took two attempts to gather.
Hope was Bury’s most likely outlet in the opening period, exchanging passes in the box and firing off target, when Danny Mayor’s cross was scooped away from underneath his own bar by Luke Wilkinson.
The Shakers’ poor shooting continued in the second period, Mayor once again wastefully wide, while Cullen’s ambitious volley was no better for Luton moments later.
However, Cullen broke the deadlock on 50 minutes as Scott Griffiths’ cross was fumbled by Lainton and Town’s top scorer slid in to notch his ninth of the season.
Hope should have levelled moments later, firing horribly over, as did Craig Jones from close range. But the Shakers never gave up and Nardiello pounced to ensure a replay.