Shakers forced to settle for stalemate
DAVID Flitcroft had to settle for a share of the points on Saturday afternoon, but the Bury boss felt his side did enough to snatch all three against a well-organised Bradford City.
With both teams chasing a place in the play-offs, any dropped points at this stage of the campaign can be crucial.
However, in a game with very few chances, on a questionable pitch, it would have been a relief for both sides to escape unscathed from what was a tough battle.
“I have no real qualms with it being 0-0,” the Bury boss admitted after the game. “But I would have loved to have just nicked it at the end.
“On the balance, with the way we tried to play on that pitch, we probably deserved something more out of the game.”
Danny Pugh got the home fans off their seats in the opening minute of the game when his 30yard drive was palmed away to safety by the Bantams’ experienced goalkeeper, Ben Williams.
Unfortunately, that was the only time the home side managed to force a save out the 33-year-old.
“I was happy on the pitch, the way we tried to pass it and move it,” continued Flitcroft.
“The pitch didn’t allow us to move it as quick as I would have wanted, which allowed them to get back into shape. They are a very disciplined and organised team.”
It was a back-and-forth match with neither midfield able to take control. Bury started well, but Bradford slowly came back into it after a quiet opening 20 minutes and had two penalty shouts in the first half.
Phil Parkinson was disappointed neither decision went in Bradford’s favour, saying: “There was the handball, the first one, could it have been given – 50/50 maybe.
“The second one, [James] Hanson is about to head it in and the lad has just pushed him. I’ve just said to the referee; you have to make the big calls.”
In the second half, Wes Thomas came closest to scoring for the Yorkshire side, flicking Lee Evans’ curling free-kick towards goal, only to see Ian Lawlor react brilliantly to turn it over the crossbar.
That was the only save the Shakers keeper had to make in what was a tight affair.
“We had a couple of good positions, Wes has had a couple of great headers to win it for us, but it wasn’t to be – but it could be an important point for us,” conceded Parkinson.
“I think any point on the road you’ve got to be pleased with, you can never underestimate a point. Our away form is good, now we have to make sure our home form matches it.”
STAR MAN PETER CLARK