When news happens, text BONEWS and your photos to 80360 or phone 01204 537274
FULL-TIME: Morecambe 0 Bury 0
BRIAN Jensen pulled out all the stops to keep a 16th clean sheet of the season in his final game for Bury, securing a point and a top-half finish.
The big Danish keeper – the only one of seven players released by the club this week to make the matchday squad - received a standing ovation at the final whistle from the 1,100 travelling supporters who made the short trip to the Lancashire coast.
And while they were not treated to the goal their passionate support deserved, the Shakers fans did witness the emergence of three home-grown players in Scott Burgess, Marcus Poscha and Regan Walker.
Burgess, who shares the youth team appearance record for the season with Poscha, made a steady if not spectacular first-team debut on the right of midfield.
He was replaced by fellow debutant Poscha in the second half, while Walker, who signed professional terms this season, returned from a loan spell at Hyde United to make his third substitute appearance for the club, coming on with 15 minutes remaining.
All three teenagers acquitted themselves well, but their inclusion signified a weakened squad, shorn of suspended top scorer Daniel Nardiello and injured striker Clive Platt as well as released regulars Tommy Miller, Richard Hinds and Tope Obadeyi.
Their omission clipped Bury’s wings going forward, but they more than held their own defensively, with Jensen in no mood to concede on the rare occasions that Morecambe were given a clear sight of goal.
The 38-year-old stopper stood up well to block a stinging Kevin Ellison strike at his near post before backpedalling to tip over a dipping Andrew Fleming shot before the break.
Bury, who had midfielder Tom Soares filling in up front alongside lone striker Hallam Hope, had to wait until the final minute of the opening half for their first real chance.
The front pair almost combined for the opener as Soares’s header looped towards the far post and Hope stabbed it goalwards only for the ball to be cleared off the line.
Morecambe continued to be denied by Jensen in the second half as he pulled off a stunning one-handed save to keep out a snap shot from Fleming.
The home side thought they might have been handed a penalty after Brendon Mallone blew his whistle following Poscha’s sliding tackle on tricky Shrimpers striker Jack Redshaw, but rather than pointing to the spot he dished out the only yellow card of the game for his elaborate dive.
With Poscha showing great composure and maturity at right-back, captain Craig Jones was given licence to bomb forward down the right-flank vacated by Burgess, who struggled to make a real impact in his first start despite showing some tidy touches.
It was from a typically forceful Jones raid that Bury fashioned their best chance of the match, as the Welsh wizard found Danny Mayor from the byline.
But the club’s new signing, playing his first game since turning a season-long loan from Sheffield Wednesday into a permanent stay, saw his shot from the penalty spot flash just over.
Andrew Tutte and Walker then had decent late shots charged down by some committed Morecambe defending by Bury old boys Mark Hughes and Andy Parrish before the referee brought the season to a close.
All that was left was for the man this week named Bury Times and Bury fans’ player of the season to bid an emotional farewell to the throng of supporters behind his goal and wonder what might have been as the Shakers bid to turn their 12th-placed finish into automatic promotion next year.