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VERDICT: Brentford 2 Bury 2
RESULTS elsewhere took the shine off a fantastic point for Bury at promotion-chasers Brentford.
Kevin Blackwell’s side showed great spirit to come from behind twice with second-half goals from Tom Soares and Nicky Ajose.
Yet wins for relegation rivals Colchester United and Scunthorpe left them five points from safety in League One.
It was always going to be thus in a difficult month that has pitched the Shakers up against most of the division’s front runners.
Yet, after a shock win against second-placed Doncaster last week, Bury were in no mood to roll over after Harry Forrester headed the Bees – fighting to hold on to their play-off spot – into the lead seven minutes after the break.
Up stepped Soares – fresh from finally signing a contract that will keep him at Gigg Lane until the end of the season – to open his Bury account with a fantastic breakaway effort.
Carl Regan pumped a hopeful ball forward from defence which caught Soares’ marker Shaleum Logan napping on the half-way line.
The Bury midfielder showed great pace to leave him standing, then took one touch to control the bouncing ball before rifling a half volley into the top corner from just inside the box.
Soares’ first goal for the club, on 65 minutes, came out of the blue, with Bees keeper Simon Moore only forced into one decent save before that, clawing out a fiercely struck Steven Schumacher free-kick.
The Shakers failed to muster a single shot on target in the first half as they struggled to get to grips with a dry, bobbly pitch and a forceful start from Brentford.
Striker Marcelo Trotta had a decent volley blocked and skied the best opportunity of the half, unmarked on the penalty spot.
Bury keeper Trevor Carson, playing with a fractured hand, also made a decent block to deny Tom Adeyemi, while Adam Forshaw, Logan and Jonathan Douglas all went close.
So it was no real shock when Forrester finally put Brentford ahead early in the second half, expertly heading Logan’s deep centre back across goal.
The question seemed a case of many Brentford would score, and, while Soares shocked the home crowd with his expertly-taken response, Brentford’s lead was soon restored.
Within 90 seconds of the kick off they were back in front after Trotta slotted home the rebound after Carson could only palm away an Adeyemi shot.
Yet the late introduction of David Worrall, declared fit after a thigh strain, spurred Bury to come back again, this time Soares turning provider with a whipped cross from the left which Ajose glanced past Moore with 14 minutes remaining to claim his second goal in as many matches.
BRENTFORD: Moore; Logan (Saunders 78), Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Adeyemi, Douglas, Forshaw; Donaldson, Trotta, Forrester (Barron 82).
Not used: Lee, Hodson, Diagouraga, Hayes, Kiernan.
BURY: Carson 8; Regan 7, Eastham 7, Zubar 7, Skarz 7; Ebanks-Landell 6 (Worrall 75 6), Thompson 7; Soares 8, Schumacher 7, Ajose 8; Bishop 7.
Not used: Belford, C Jones, Carrington, Healy, Carole.
Referee: David Coote.
Attendance: 5,137 (206).