Bury struggled to breakdown a resolute Northampton Town, who were led for the first time by Keith Curle after his appointment yesterday.
Both sides will feel they could have done more to test the opposition ‘keepers, as they both created some good chances in a tasty affair which ended goalless.
Ryan Lowe named 2 changes to his starting eleven that took all 3 points away to Colchester United on Saturday. Callum McFadzean replaced Eoghan O’Connell in defence, as Nicky Maynard was handed his full debut after signing on Saturday, with Chris Dagnall having to settle for a place on the bench.
The Shakers were almost ahead just 3 minutes into the encounter. Full debutant Nicky Maynard won a free kick on the edge of the area. Nicky Adams put a ball into the box dangerously, finding Will Aimson in the middle. The defender’s bullet header cannoned off the bar, and Northampton managed to deal with the follow-up effort from Chris Stokes.
Vice-captain Nicky Adams went close shortly after. Danny Mayor dribbled past the Northampton team with ease after picking the ball up in his own half. He slipped Callum McFadzean in down the left. The wing-back found Nicky Adams deep at the back post with his cross, but the number seven couldn’t keep his half-volleyed effort down.
The visitors continued to threaten the Northampton goal, again from a set-piece. Adams whipped in a dangerous ball from a corner on the right, after some pinball in the box, Thompson managed to get his foot high enough for a volley, but the defender couldn’t steer the ball down and on target with his left foot.
There was no time for rest for the hosts. Nicky Maynard won another corner after some brilliant play from Byron Moore. Adam Thompson was picked out in the middle, but couldn’t find the target with his header.
Northampton came back at the Shakers, first, Chris Stokes had to step in to stop Williams getting in behind, heading the ball back to Murphy. Then the hosts thought they should have had a penalty after the ball was hit into McFadzean from close range, Northampton had to settle for the corner, as the referee said he didn’t see the Bury defender handle the ball.
Northampton came close to taking the lead midway through the first half. Williams was quick to react to a slack back-pass. He tried to lift the ball above the Shakers’ ‘keeper, but he was quick enough off his line to make it difficult for the Northampton attacker whose attempt on goal was wide.
After having to withstand a Shakers side dominating play, the Cobblers began to grow into the game, but Joe Murphy was equal to everything, collecting crosses comfortably and dealing with everything Northampton had to offer in a spell of home pressure.
Ryan Lowe’s side reacted well to the pressure. Byron Moore did superbly well down the left, cutting in with pace and precision. The Bury forward let off a venomous strike which was deflected onto the post and out for a corner. However, the visitors couldn’t fashion any chance from the set-piece.
On his full debut, Nicky Maynard came close to opening his Shakers’ account. Danny Mayor found Callum McFadzean down the left with an expert through ball, the latter, not for the first time this evening, put a brilliant low cross into the box aimed at Maynard. The forward was racing into the box, and after throwing himself towards the ball, he just couldn’t make contact.
Another slack back-pass almost let Northampton in again. Hoskins reacted quickly to get in behind. Murphy was again out with speed to close down the angle and he pulled off a superb stop. The resulting corner almost saw the Cobblers take the lead. Aaron Pierre had a shot cleared off the line before the ball was cleared.
Northampton continued their late pressure in the opening period, with Murphy being called into action again. This time the Bury shot-stopper used his foot to deny Hoskins. The forward was slipped in somehow from the left in the last action of the opening period, seeing the half surprisingly end goalless.
HALF-TIME: Northampton Town 0-0 Bury
Northampton came close to breaking the deadlock immediately after the restart. Mayor lost possession in the middle of the pitch, leading to the hosts breaking with pace. After winning the ball, Daniel Powell found Matt Crooks, and the latter dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area.
Danny Mayor wasn’t far from breaking the deadlock with what would have been an incredible solo goal. The Bury number ten picked the ball up on the half way line. He proceeded to charge forward with the ball, skilfully weaving beyond Cobblers defenders like they weren’t there. Mayor cut inside from the left in trademark fashion, but unfortunately, he couldn’t curl the ball into the far corner as Cornell collected for a goal-kick.
The Shakers won a free kick within shooting distance, thanks to Nicky Maynard. Jay O’Shea, who was beginning to control the second half in midfield for the visitors, dictating the play, stood over the ball. It looked like the midfielder was going to put the ball in the mixer, instead he went for goal, and it took a remarkable stop from David Cornell to prevent O’Shea opening the scoring at the PTS Academy Stadium.
Cornell was again called into action by the Bury attack. Adams broke down the right, starting a dangerous counter-attack. He then picked out Maynard on the edge of the area brilliantly, but he scuffed his effort and the Northampton ‘keeper made an easy save.
A defence-splitting ball almost led to Andy Williams having a one-on-one with Joe Murphy. It took some excellent recovering from Will Aimson to nip in first and get the ball to safety as the search for the opener continued at Northampton.
The breakthrough almost came when Nicky Adams had a free-kick 45-yards from goal. His delivery in the box beat everyone, and almost snuck in at the far post. Fortunately for the Northampton ‘keeper, the ball bounced just wide of his goal.
Danny Mayor continued to terrorise the Northampton defence, again cutting in from the left, his effort from the edge of the area was looking good, but it took a Northampton head to intervene as the ball deflected for a Shakers corner, which didn’t bring any chance to fruition.
A rather fiery affair was coming to a close, with both teams making their presence known in challenges, the game was still goalless with just 5 minutes left on the clock.
Ryan Lowe’s men continued to push in added time. Dom Telford came closest to snatching all 3 points as he fired over from 20-yards, and then drilling just wide from the side of the box. However, both ‘keepers kept their clean sheets as an exciting and tense game finished goalless.
FULL-TIME: Northampton Town 0-0 Bury
Northampton Town: Cornell (GK), Facey, Barnett, Taylor (C), Hoskins, Foley, Williams (van Veen 85’), Powell (Waters 63’), Pierre, O’Toole (Bowditch 71’), Crooks
Unused Subs: Ward (GK), Buchanan, Turnbull, Bridge
Bury: Murphy, Stokes, Aimson, Thompson, Adams, Mayor, Moore, McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns (C), Maynard (Telford 75’)
Unused Subs: Hudson (GK), Miller, Dawson, Dagnall, Styles, Barjonas
Attendance: 4073, with 170 Shakers making the trip down. Thank you again for your excellent support this evening!