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FULL-TIME: Bury 0 Mansfield 0
BURY’S wait for a win – and a goal – continues after they were frustrated by 10-man Mansfield at Gigg Lane.
Stags defender John Dempster was shown a straight red card on the hour for a wild lunge on Shaun Harrad, but the Shakers were unable to make their advantage count.
Their fourth match without scoring extended Bury’s winless streak to nine games, although the point did see them move up two places to 20th in League Two.
Bury struggled to stay with Mansfield in the opening exchanges as the Stags pressed and probed on a pudding of a pitch.
Nottingham Forest loanee Jack Blake was the first to trouble the Bury keeper with a shot across Brian Jensen’s goal on 14 minutes that he just managed to turn around his far post.
The visitors’ burly front pairing of Oliver Palmer and Matt Rhead kept the Shakers central defenders on their toes.
And when Jensen struck an attempted clearance against Shakers centre-back Nathan Cameron under pressure from Palmer, the Stags forward pounced on the loose ball to cross for Rhead, who headed just wide at the back post.
But Bury slowly found their feet in damp, difficult conditions.
Tom Soares was the first to test Mansfield keeper Andy Marriott on 25 minutes when his shot on the stretch was tipped over.
Captain Andy Procter then rifled a 20-yard effort straight at Marriott after latching on to a knockdown following a Tommy Miller free-kick.
Both sides could easily have gone into the break in front, but for decent saves by Jensen and then Marriott in the final minutes of the half.
First Jensen stood tall to block Rhead’s shot after the Stags’ forward chested down a long ball to get in behind the Bury defence.
Then Marriott produced an acrobatic stop to keep out a crisply struck, close-range volley from Harrad that looked destined for the bottom corner.
After a quiet opening to the second half, the game erupted on the hour mark when Dempster was given his marching orders for a two-footed tackle.
It sparked a melee that threatened to boil over before referee Andy Haines regained control, booking Bury's Chris Sedgwick for his part in the aftermath.
The visitors were clearly rattled by the red card, and manager Paul Cox spent the remainder of the match remonstrating at every decision from the touchline.
At first it looked as if the Shakers may force a breakthrough, with second half substitute Danny Mayor heading over from six yards in the 68th minute.
But the Mansfield players quickly gathered themselves and were happy to sit back and soak up the waves of Bury pressure.
Soares tested the Stags keeper with two fierce 30-yard shots - the first straight at Marriott 20 minutes from time and the second tipped over with 10 minutes remaining.
But the fact that, despite laying siege to the visitors' goal, Bury failed to really carve out any clearcut chances will be a worry to caretaker boss Ronnie Jepson.
The temporary manager was clearly incensed by his opposite numbers' spoiling tactics as Mansfield bid to break up the game.
A bad-tempered finale saw Cox sent to the stands, allegedly for calling the referee a cheat, but the Stags held out to increase the sense of frustration enveloping Gigg Lane.