BURY missed a golden opportunity to move clear of the League Two drop zone after being held to a goalless draw by 10-man Accrington Stanley.

Defender Laurence Wilson was shown a straight red just after the half-hour mark, but the Shakers failed to take advantage.

Despite bossing the game from the opening to the final whistle, David Flitcroft’s side were unable to open up a stubborn Stanley backline.

And they were forced to settle for a point in their first game since February 4, following three successive postponements.

Wilson’s 32nd-minute sending off was the biggest talking point of a first half that Bury dominated in terms of possession and chances.

The left-back was rightly shown his marching orders for a rash challenge on Craig Jones, winning the ball but going straight through the Shakers captain.

The drama did little to interrupt the flow of the game, which had already been pretty much one-way traffic up to that point.

Accrington winger Lee Molyneux had the first effort of the match, forcing veteran keeper Brian Jensen into a decent save after being put in behind the Bury defence with a neat flick from striker Kayode Odejayi.

But that was the hosts’ only shot on target, while the Shakers created a number of decent chances.

Anton Forrester was on the end of most of them, with the on-loan striker put through three times by Bury midfielders before the break.

Each time Stanley keeper Marcus Bettinelli was equal to his efforts.

The first came in the 16th-minute after Andrew Tutte slid a ball to Forrester which he drilled back across goal.

The Blackburn forward had a similar effort stopped 10 minutes before the break, this time from the right, before he failed to connect properly with a header from a pin-point Craig Jones cross.

Danny Mayor also tested the Stanley stopper with a swerving shot he gathered at the second attempt, while Daniel Nardiello headed a corner over and Tutte had a cross-shot cleared off the line by Luke Joyce.

Stanley shut up shop after the break and the chances dried up for Bury.

Substitute Clive Platt made a difference, with the big striker heading down for Forrester, who curled a shot just wide after the hour.

Tutte also had a couple of decent efforts saved before Nardiello almost won it for the visitors at the death, only for his side-footed shot to be stopped on the line. The point leaves Bury fourth bottom of the League Two table, four points clear of the drop zone and a point behind Accrington.