Rotherham United vs Bury
by Hannah Ingram at the Don Valley Stadium
Bury chalked up their fourth consecutive win on Tuesday night at home to Morecambe","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;">Morecambe, setting them up well to face fellow promotion rivals Rotherham on the other side of the Pennines.
Bury had scored seven goals in three games and conceded none - an impressive run of form that they hoped to continue today, but it would be a tough test against a Rotherham team sitting in fifth place and only five points behind the Shakers.
The Millers lost in controversial fashion on Tuesday night to struggling Bradford City - a late screamer of a shot from Tom Adeyemi seemed to bounce across the line and back out, giving Bradford the much-needed points.
Rotherham were looking to bounce back and stay in contention for the automatic promotion places - something Bury wouldn't be willing to give up easily.
Ryan Taylor almost took the lead for the home side in the opening stages of the game after a clever flicked header from the far post, but the ball was put wide for a corner.
Rotherham thought they'd scored moments later after Adam Le Fondre seemed to have the ball over the line but a goal-line clearance from Bury kept the score at 0-0.
Some nifty footwork on the right hand side on 10 minutes saw Kyle Bennett square the ball to Ryan Lowe who was waiting just inside the box; his shot was blocked and the loose ball fell to Andy Bishop who shot well wide.
Lowe beat the offside trap on 13 minutes to pace down the left hand side and send a quick ball across the face of goal, forcing Dale Tonge to clear the ball at the far post for a corner.
Yellow card for Bury on 16 minutes - Phil Picken
Bishop squandered a chance to take the lead for Bury on 23 minutes after a poor backwards header from Rotherham didn't make it to Andy Warrington. He shot from the right hand side of the box but Warrington saved above his head.
Yellow card for Rotherham on 24 minutes - Ian Thomas-Moore
Yellow card for Bury on 25 minutes - Efe Sodje
Johnny Mullins blasted over from close range on 26 minutes after a curling free kick on the left following a foul by Sodje; the searching ball found Mullins at the far post but, under pressure from Sodje, he put the ball well over the bar.
Former Shaker Ryan Cresswell met the ball at the far post on 34 minutes but headed wide after Cameron Belford didn't get up high enough to claim the ball.
Bennett hit the side netting moments later after beating the offside trap and taking the ball into the left of the box; with Warrington making things difficult, the youngster tried to shoot from an acute angle, sending the ball into the netting.
Le Fondre tried a shot from the edge of the box on the left hand side on 38 minutes, but Belford had it covered.
Two minutes of added time were indicated by the fourth official as Bury defended another Rotherham attack,
Yellow card for Bury in added time - Ryan Lowe
Time was called soon after Lowe received his booking and it was definitely a first half of frustration for both sides. Rotherham had the better start and looked a sure bet to take the lead, but Bury were playing the same away day card as always - let them come out and catch them on the break.
Picking up three yellow cards in the first half showed Bury's frustration against a tough physical side. The visitors didn't have the lion's share of chances on goal, but the ones they did have were wasted - to take something from this game, Bury would need to find the net, and soon.
Half Time - Rotherham 0 Bury 0
Bury came out of the blocks quickly after the break and seemed to be playing more of the passing football which has seen their rise up the table in recent weeks.
Tom Lees came close to taking the lead for Bury on 50 minutes but his shot at the far post following a curling ball from Steven Schumacher was wide of the mark.
David Worrall tested Andy Warrington moments later with a low shot from the edge of the box, but the Millers' keeper got down well to collect the ball at the near post.
Lowe did the hard work on the left on 53 minutes, walking into the box and placing the ball in front of goal for Bennett, but a quick clearance from Rotherham gave Bury a corner.
Le Fondre tested Belford from distance on the hour mark; seeing him off his line, he tried a cheeky lob which the Bury keeper stopped in front of him.
Nicky Law will wonder how he didn't score on 62 minutes - he did the hard work and collected the ball ahead of the Bury backline and only had Belford left to beat, but he somehow put it wide.
Peter Sweeney blasted the ball well over the bar on 64 minutes after Rotherham failed to clear their lines; a pass from Lowe gave him the ball on the edge of the box but his effort was well over the target.
Double substitution for Bury on 67 minutes - Andy Haworth on for Kyle Bennett, Chris Holroyd on for Andy Bishop
Double substitution for Rotherham on 70 minutes - Omar Daley on for Ian Thomas-Moore, Danny Harrison on for Jason Taylor
Picken made an important clearance from just in front of the goal line on 73 minutes after a crowded penalty area looked certain to break the deadlock for Rotherham.
A long ball forward from Omar Daley split the Bury defence right down the middle as it reached the feet of Le Fondre, but a challenge from Picken made sure the ball went out for a corner.
Three minutes of added time were indicated by the fourth official as both teams looked for the elusive winner.
Yellow card for Bury in added time - David Worrall
Time was soon called and the game ended goalless. It was a hard-fought draw as both sides had chances to score but defended well.
It is the first 0-0 draw for Bury in the league in just over a year, when their home game with Dagenham and Redbridge ended as a stalemate. It's the second consecutive 0-0 for Rotherham at home who need to start finding the net to stay in contention for promotion.
The game was initially hot-tempered but both sides calmed after the break. It was end-to-end action at times, with Bury sprinting out of the blocks in the second half.
The result sees Bury stay second after table-toppers Chesterfield","height=600, width=800,scrollbars=1,resizable=1,status=1,toolbar=1,location=1");return false;">Chesterfield and third place Wycombe both lost. The point saw Rotherham jump up the fourth as most of the top seven were beaten.
Bury face Torquay at home on Tuesday night - fresh from their 5-0 drumming of Shrewsbury. The yellow cards picked up by Sodje and Picken sees them both suspended after collecting ten for the season, so Alan Knill will need to find some suitable replacements before Tuesday.
Full Time - Rotherham 0 Bury 0
Attendance - 4620 (665 visitors)
Bury: Cameron Belford, Phil Picken, Joe Skarz, Tom Lees, Peter Sweeney, David Worrall, Steven Schumacher, Andy Bishop, Ryan Lowe, Efetobore Sodje, Kyle Bennett,
Subs: Andy Haworth, Lenell John-Lewis, Mike Jones, Chris Holroyd, Richie Branagan. Andrai Jones, Max Harrop
Rotherham United: Andy Warrington, Dale Tonge, Ryan Cresswell, Johnny Mullins, Callum Kennedy, Marcus Marshall, Nicky Law, Jason Taylor, Ian Thomas-Moore, Ryan Taylor, Adam Le Fondre
Subs: Danny Harrison, Luke Ashworth, Paul Warne, Liam Henderson, Mark Bradley, Omar Daley, Jame Anderson
Referee: David Webb
Asst: S M Stockbridge, K D G Lawson
Fourth: W E Grunhill