No derby delight as quality is lacking
BOSS David Flitcroft has urged Bury to shift the quality they show on the practice pitch into matchdays after hailing his side’s resilience in this North West derby.
Lee Croft’s 24th-minute volley had given the visitors to Gigg Lane a lead that they merited at the interval.
But the Shakers – who remain without a league victory so far – responded well in the second half to draw level thanks to Tom Pope’s neat close-range finish in the 65th minute.
“I don’t think it was a game of high quality and derbies usually don’t give you that,” Flitcroft said.
“Quality moments win these games and we didn’t show enough of them to win.
“We fully deserved to get a point from the game. But if we do want to win games, we have to take the quality we show in training into matches.
“But I was delighted with our response to going 1-0 down.
“We knew we had to dig ourselves out of a hole in the second half and we did that.
“It was an intense game and one the fans turned out for. It was great to get an atmosphere in this stadium.
“There was a lot of gusto and hard work, but we needed that last little bit of quality to open it up.”
Despite Flitcroft’s accurate assessment, both sides created enough chances to win it.
Chris Hussey’s free-kick had deflected just wide for Bury before Croft neatly turned home Joseph Mills’ cross. And Croft nearly had a chance to make it two but the home side battled back and Andrew Tutte and Tom Soares hit shots wide.
Mike Jones might have done better at the other end with a rising finish and just before Pope netted in off the post from close range, centre-back James Wilson hit a shot narrowly wide when faced with a great chance for 2-0 as Oldham broke downfield.
The visitors’ new loan recruit from Leicester, striker Simonas Stankevicius, came on as a substitute and saw a goalbound shot blocked in the 83rd minute as the unbeaten visitors sought a winner.
“We did work this week on creating chances and we created some fantastic ones,” said Oldham boss Darren Kelly.
“On any other day, they would have gone into the back of the net.
“There was good productivity in the final third. We just didn’t put them away.
“Lee Croft took his goal well and he could have had another five minutes later.
“We did work this week on those areas and luckily, one came off.
“We could have had more goals, but it wasn’t to be.
“You can’t be too critical. Players don’t deliberately miss chances and we did create those.”
STAR MAN LEE CROFT Oldham