MUR­PHY MAGIC THWARTS LIONS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Mikael McKen­zie

MILL­WALL man­ager Neil Har­ris cursed his side’s luck as the Lions dropped out of the League One play-off places af­ter be­ing held to goal­less draw by Bury.

For­ward Steve Mori­son had a sec­ond-half strike ruled out for off­side – which Har­ris be­lieves should have stood – as the Shak­ers frus­trated their hosts by grind­ing out a much-needed point.

De­spite the con­trast­ing opin­ions, the Lions boss in­sists he has no qualms with the of­fi­cials.

“The goal was per­fectly good,” Har­ris said. “Un­for­tu­nately luck eluded us to­day with that de­ci­sion.

“Any­body can get a 50-50 de­ci­sion wrong, but when you have the 18-yard box as a guide­line where Steve Mori­son has made his run, he shouldn’t re­ally get it wrong.

“But I’m not go­ing to be­rate the of­fi­cial for this – that was a lit­tle bit of luck that de­serted us.”

On the few oc­ca­sions Mill­wall did break through Bury’s de­fence, they were thwarted by im­pres­sive goal­keeper Joe Mur­phy.

The on-loan Hud­der­s­field stop­per made it six clean sheets in nine ap­pear­ances with a cou­ple of stun­ning stops to keep out Lee Gregory and By­ron Web­ster, draw­ing praise from home man­ager Har­ris.

He added: “Their keeper made a cou­ple of ex­cel­lent saves. He showed his ex­pe­ri­ence with the way he man­aged the game, the saves he made and the way he man­aged his back five. He was the dif­fer­ence be­tween us win­ning the game and not pick­ing up the three points.

“I’ve said to the boys how many times has it hap­pened that teams have come here and played with a back seven – five de­fend­ers and two hold­ing mid­field­ers.

“To­day we lacked that lit­tle bit of com­po­sure at times. Credit to Bury – they got the point they came for.”

A point for the Shak­ers takes them up to 17th in the ta­ble and four points above the drop zone.

The draw also main­tained man­ager Lee Clark’s un­beaten away streak since tak­ing charge, and the Bury boss ex­claimed his pride in the fight his side showed.

Clark said: “I am de­lighted with the result and I’m de­lighted with how it was achieved.

“I think you have seen a dif­fer­ent side to this group of play­ers to­day. They re­ally dug in from the first whis­tle. They were strong and ag­gres­sive against a strong Mill­wall team.

“We showed to­day that we can han­dle the in­tense at­mos­phere and we have had some open­ings our­selves.

“Not as many as we’ve made in pre­vi­ous matches, but I thought the de­fen­sive per­for­mance from the team was su­perb.

“That’s three clean sheets on the bounce now which is very pleas­ing.

“And it’s a great place to start from, es­pe­cially when we’ve got the at­tack­ing play­ers that we have.”

PIC­TURES: TGSPHOTO

STAR MAN JOE MUR­PHY Bury MILL-WALL: Bury’s Ja­cob Mel­lis has a free-kick blocked by a host of Mill­wall de­fend­ers

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