Ryan Lowe’s side were frustrated by Notts County who came into the tie bottom of the table. Both sides struggled to test the opposition ‘keeper as Jon Stead’s penalty miss in the second half meant both teams will have to settle for a point following a goalless draw.
There were six changes made by the Gaffer as Nicky Adams, Callum McFadzean, Neil Danns, Byron Moore and Nicky Maynard were reinstated, with Danny Mayor returning from his injury.
The first chance of the game fell to Notts County’s Shaun Brisley. Andy Kellett floated a ball into the middle and the ball was deflected just wide of the post via Brisley’s back.
Kellett was again involved as a deep cross found him at the back post. He looked to find Murphy’s top corner, but his attempt was comfortably off target.
Both sides were attacking, but neither were able to fashion any real chance as Fitzsimons and Murphy had nothing to do in the opening quarter of the game.
David Vaughan almost opened the scoring just after the half hour mark with a superb speculative effort. He struck the ball fiercely from 30 yards, hitting the inside of Murphy’s post as the Bury ‘keeper looked to be beaten by the strike.
The hosts continued to apply the pressure with Brisley’s poor touch allowing Murphy to dash off his line and collect the ball.
The Shakers were penned in their half. This time Dennis drove an effort low and across Murphy, but Bury’s number one expertly tipped the ball beyond the post to keep the game goalless.
Despite seeing plenty of the ball, the hosts continued to try and beat Murphy from distance. Pierce Bird picked the ball up from 30 yards and hit an effort into the stand as the Shakers stood firm defensively.
As the clock hit 45 minutes, Stokes was the saviour for the Shakers. Dennis looked to play the ball to Stead who was on the penalty spot, but a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Stokes kept Notts County at bay.
HALF-TIME: Notts County 0-0 Bury
The Shakers had a much brighter start to the second period. Danny Mayor weaved his way forward, offloading the ball to O’Shea who slipped the ball down to Adams whose dangerous ball across the face of goal almost nestled in the bottom corner.
Callum Styles nearly fired Bury into the lead as the ball bounced to him on the penalty spot, but his effort was deflected just wide of Fitzsimons’ post.
A dangerous free-kick from Nicky Adams was pinpoint to Chris Stokes in the attacking box. Unfortunately for the Shakers, he couldn’t steer his header on target as Fitzsimons saw the ball past his post.
Set-pieces from Nicky Adams continued to cause problems for the Notts County defence. He whipped a ball in from a similar position to previously on the left-hand-side. All it needed was a touch from a white shirt, but it wasn’t forthcoming as Fitzsimons collected.
73 minutes into the fixture, Brett Huxtable pointed to the spot for the hosts as he deemed Callum McFadzean had used his hand following a corner. The Notts County Skipper stepped up from 12 yards. Murphy guessed the right direction of the ball but didn’t have to do anything and McFadzean will be a relieved man as Stead blazed his strike over the bar!
Murphy continued to answer all the questions asked of him by the Notts County players. Matt Tootle rifled an effort goalwards from the edge of the box but a strong hand from a diving Murphy managed to put the ball over the bar.
A lucky bounce helped Thomas race away in stoppage time, he looked to power an effort beyond Murphy at his near post but could only fire the ball into the stand.
FULL-TIME: Notts County 0-0 Bury
Notts County: Fitzsimons (GK), Tootle, Bird, Duffy, Vaughn, Dennis (89’ Thomas), Kellett (87’ Husin), Brisley, Jones, Milsom, Stead (C)
Unused Subs: Pindroch (GK), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Crawford, Evina, Etete
Bury: Murphy (GK), Stokes (76’ Lavery), Aimson, Thompson, Adams, Mayor, Moore, McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns (C) (46’ Styles), Maynard (81’ Telford)
Unused Subs: Hudson (GK), Miller, Dawson, Dagnall
Attendance: 7014 with 647 Shakers making the trip. Thank you once again for your brilliant support!!