Shakers claim a vital point at the Macron Stadium
A resolute performance from the Shakers secured one point at the Macron Stadium in a nervy local derby match.
The home side dominated for long spells in the game but ultimately failed in the final third of the pitch.
The draw now means the Shakers move two points clear of the relegation zone, with Port Vale a place below and a game in hand.
Lee Clark reacted to the derby defeat against Rochdale with four changes to his side. Taylor Moore, Antony Kay, Andrew Tutte, and Scott Burgess came into the side to return to a 5-3-2 formation.
The hosts enjoyed the majority of the ball in the early exchanges, with the greatest chance coming from Andrew Taylor on the 13th minute, but he wasted his shot from the left of the penalty area and skied the ball into the stand.
Paul Caddis fired over the Shakers’ first shot of the game on the 18th minute, but from thereon in Clark’s side grew in confidence.
An uncontrolled sliding challenge from Jay Spearing on Leon Barnett gave the referee no choice but to show a yellow card to the former Liverpool man.
On 37 minutes, Darren Pratley ran through on goal after a headed knock on, but the assistant referee was early to the offside decision.
A good passage of play down the left wing for the Shakers allowed Tutte a sight on goal, however, his shot was too heavy and flew high over the crossbar.
The sides went into the break goalless, with the home side frustrated from the lack of chances created, and Clark’s men content with a solid first half performance.
James Vaughan was inches away from taking the lead from Moore’s perfect cross, until Mark Howard pushed the ball over the bar for a corner, which was later comfortably collected by the Wanderers goalkeeper.
Pratley’s wasted shot fell well wide of the goal moments later, adding to the angry response from the home supporters towards their promotion-chasing team.
A whipped in free kick for the hosts gave the Shakers something to worry about with 30 minutes left to be played. The cross was well dealt with, as Joe Murphy clawed the ball away from two oncoming attackers at the back post.
David Wheater’s shot from distance had the home side’s supporters on their feet on the 77th minute with a first-time effort, which was matched by the seemingly unstoppable Murphy.
Two minutes later, and Murphy was beaten, as Adam Le Fondre sent a missile goalwards, but he was denied by the crossbar and the ball bounced away from danger.
Bodies were on the line with five minutes left of normal time to be played, as three Bury defenders launched themselves at the ball to block James Henry’s effort inside the 18 yard-box.
Le Fondre’s glancing header from an in swinging free kick was well saved by Murphy in additional time when the hosts were piling the pressure on the Bury defence, but it was the visitors that held on for a vital point.
Attendance: 18,223 (1,552 Bury supporters)
Bolton Wanderers starting line-up: Howard, Dervite, Beevers, Wheater, Morais, Taylor, Spearing, Vela, Osede (Henry 65), Pratley (Long 76), Le Fondre
Unused subs: Turner, Moxey, Karacan, Solomon-Otabor, Wilkinson
Bury starting line-up: Murphy, Moore, Barnett, Kay, C. Burgess, Leigh, Caddis, Tutte, S. Burgess (Lowe 71), Vaughan, Pope (G. Miller 62)
Unused subs: Williams, Hope, Mackreth, Pennant, Hulme