Gille­spie’s skill from 12 yards in vain...

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

LEE Clark was grate­ful that Bury’s blushes were spared af­ter they missed two penal­ties but still ground out a nar­row win at home to Wal­sall.

New sign­ing Jer­maine Beck­ford was de­nied from the spot by a fine Mark Gille­spie save in­side the open­ing two min­utes, fol­low­ing Florent Cu­ve­lier’s trip on Stephen Daw­son.

But the for­ward re­sponded ex­pertly by head­ing home Chris Maguire’s free-kick just be­fore the break.

Maguire also had the chance to strike a de­but goal from 12 yards when Jon Guthrie felled Zeli Is­mail, but he was thwarted by Gille­spie, who pushed his ef­fort onto the post.

Wal­sall then ral­lied and tried to nick a draw right at the death, but Bury held out – much to the re­lief of Clark.

“We missed two penal­ties and when that hap­pens you get the feel­ing it’s not go­ing to be your day and they might sneak an equaliser, but the lads with­stood the pres­sure,” he said.

“I don't think ei­ther penalty was a bad penalty. You’ve got to credit their keeper for two ter­rific saves, so I wouldn’t hes­i­tate for ei­ther Jer­maine or Chris to take an­other one.

“The nat­u­ral-born strik­ers miss a sit­ter and 30 sec­onds later, they get the same chance and score it.

That’s what you’ve got to be like and that’s how Jer­maine is.”

“I’m happy be­cause you al­ways want to start the sea­son with a win and the clean sheet is a great start for us. De­fen­sively, we looked strong and we stopped them from hurt­ing us in the ar­eas they wanted to.”

Vis­it­ing boss Jon Whit­ney moved to hail debu­tant goal­keeper Gille­spie af­ter the whis­tle, but he ques­tioned his side’s dis­ci­pline af­ter twice gift­ing Bury the chance to score from the spot.

Whit­ney said: “He [Gille­spie] works on that a lot with Cuts [Wal­sall goal­keep­ing coach Neil Cut­ler]. They did that in the ho­tel be­fore the game. They knew where the strik­ers would put the ball so he made his mind up early from the prepa­ra­tion they’ve done.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed be­cause of the ef­forts the lads have put in, es­pe­cially in the first half. It’s a bit of a sucker punch with the goal.

“Let’s face it, we can’t keep com­ing away from home and con­ced­ing two penal­ties be­cause he won’t al­ways be there to save them. Our dis­ci­pline needs to be bet­ter. We gave away too many free-kicks in the sec­ond half.

“We fell into their hands a bit and made it a scrappy af­fair.”

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