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FULL-TIME: Portsmouth 1 Bury 0
CARETAKER boss Ronnie Jepson failed to inspire a revival in the Shakers’ fortunes at Fratton Park as they slumped to their sixth defeat in eight winless matches.
Bondz N’Gala headed in the only goal of the game in the third minute to maintain Bury’s poor run of results on what was another frustrating day for the Gigg Lane outfit.
Bury yet again enjoyed the majority of possession and chances in a match that was decided by a whirlwind opening from the home side.
Portsmouth had the ball in the net even before they opened the scoring – John Marquis ruled offside after planting a header in off the bar in the second minute.
But that was just a stay of execution as N’Gala glanced in Pompey’s opener from a Ricky Holmes corner just a minute later.
There were fears that Guy Whittingham’s side could blow managerless Bury away, but they settled down into the game after conceding the early goal.
Both Tom Soares and new signing Danny Hylton had decent penalty shouts waved away after going down in the box following clumsy challenges.
And Soares should have at least hit the target on 33 minutes when he fired over after a Pompey clearance from a Jordan Mustoe corner fell to him unmarked just inside the box.
Stand-in keeper Phil Smith – in for Bury loanee Trevor Carson – performed heroics in the Pompey goal, keeping out a Shaun Harrad header with a diving one-handed save on 50 minutes.
The Shakers laid siege to the Pompey box in the closing stages, but substitute Anton Forrester dragged their best chance wide and Mayor narrowly missed the target with a late strike.
Wallace hit the post for the home side in a frenetic finish, but that would have been harsher still on a Bury side that now sit above the League Two drop zone on goal difference only.