LEE Clark applauded his Bury players for "respecting the point" after battling to a goalless draw at Oldham.

A defeat for either side would have damaged their hopes of League One survival, with both teams flirting with the relegation zone.

Latics forward Aaron Amadi-Holloway came closest to scoring when his header hit the base of the post.

Bury’s best chance fell to substitute George Miller in the last minute, when the ball landed at his feet unmarked six yards out, but goalkeeper Connor Ripley saved his shot.

Although a share of the spoils does not move Bury any closer to safety, it ensures they remain 19th in the table, one point above neighbours Oldham and three above the drop zone.

“If you can’t win we must respect the point,” Clark said. “We kept a clean sheet but it was a tough game in tough conditions.

“It was a local derby, it wasn’t the greatest of surfaces and I thought we were the better team in the first half.

“Oldham made a couple of tactical changes which put us under pressure early in the second half and then my lads finished strongly and had some decent opportunities.”

Bury had a big shout for a penalty turned down in the first half when forward Ryan Lowe went down in the penalty area.

The 38-year-old was through on goal when he hit the deck under pressure from a defender, but referee Darren Bond awarded a free-kick against the forward.

Speaking of the incident, Clark said: “I have never seen it. Where I’m sitting I’m thinking ‘why would Ryan go to ground if he’s got a good scoring opportunity?

“It might be a penalty, it might not be. We didn’t get it so we just move on.”

Clark made a tactical switch at the break, replacing midfielder Callum Styles with Andrew Tutte.

Fellow central midfielder Jacob Mellis also went off injured with a gash in his leg.

“I knew they would target young Callum after he had been booked,” Clark added. “I couldn’t take the risk of another yellow card.

“He’s a fierce little character, he’s competitive and it showed me in the first half that he’s not just a talented footballer but he can do the nitty-gritty stuff as well.

“We will have to assess Jacob’ injury. He has taken a couple of knocks in the game and tried to carry on.”

A magnificent following of 1,388 Bury supporters made the short trip across Greater Manchester to see their side pick up their first point against a local rival this term, following defeats against Bolton and Rochdale, and Clark was quick to thank the travelling fans.

He said: “They were absolutely superb again. You don’t want to be complacent about the support because they are doing it every game since I’ve been here.

“They have shown a hell of a lot of respect from me, my staff and my players and we appreciate it.”

Match ratings

Bury (5-3-2): Murphy 7; Moore 8, Barnett 8, Kay 7, C Burgess 7, Leigh 8; Caddis 8, Styles 6 (Tutte 45, 6), Mellis 6 (Bryan 61, 6); Lowe 6 (G Miller 67, 7), Vaughan 6.

Subs not used: Lainton, Pennant, Hope, Pope.

Oldham (4-4-2): Ripley; Reckford, Gerrard, Clarke, McLaughlin; Green, O’Neill (Flynn 80), Banks, Taylor; Amadi-Holloway, Obadeyi.

Subs not used: Kettings, Law, Edmundson, Osei, Erwin, Fane.

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).

Attendance: 5,776 (1,388 visiting).