Shak­ers forced to set­tle for stale­mate

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By An­drew Gibney

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

E Bury

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