BURY boss Ryan Lowe was left with mixed feelings after his side gave a spirited performance but ultimately went down 1-0 at home to League One promotion hopefuls Luton.

Both sides have been in excellent goalscoring form in recent weeks and it showed as chances came at both ends, Nicky Maynard and Bury skipper Neil Danns both missing early on.

The Shakers had the better of the first half but were punished by Harry Cornick’s winner just before the break, meaning any FA Cup hopes are over for another season.

"To be honest that wasn't as tough as I thought it would be,” said Lowe. “And I say with the utmost respect for Luton.

"We had the better chances over the course of the 90 minutes and I believe we played the better football.

"We created more than enough chances to have won the game, so because of that I am disappointed and the lads are frustrated.

"The winning goal was a disappointing one to concede. We could have defended it better.

"There were some really good performances out there and I witnessed plenty of good quality.”

Lowe's side made a bright early start against their loftier opponents.

Maynard flashed an effort narrowly over the top from a tight angle as the hosts definitely had a spring in their step.

However, the Hatters went even closer after eight minutes when James Collins' header from James Justin's corner fizzed inches past the post.

Back came the Shakers, and Maynard fluffed a great chance when he side-footed straight at Luton goalkeeper James Shea from eight yards.

After a brilliant turn past Matty Pearson, Danns then found himself clean through on goal but inexplicably dragged his shot wide from 15 yards.

Bury went close again in the 29th minute. Jay O'Shea touched the ball to Maynard, only for the striker's well-executed shot on the turn to curl a foot over the top.

The visitors then struck the opener three minutes before the break when Cornick bundled home Collins' low cross from two yards.

It was past the hour mark when the Shakers finally came back to life and O'Shea was unlucky when his goal-bound effort was blocked by Sonny Bradley.

In the 74th minute another gilt-edged opportunity went begging for Bury when sub Dominic Telford blazed over after he latched on to Maynard's drag-back.

Luton replied with Collins only being thwarted by a brilliant point-blank stop from home goalkeeper Joe Murphy.

Eight minutes from the end Bury wing-back Callum McFadzean burst down the left before seeing a tight-angled shot bounce back off the post.

That looked to be a sign that it just wasn’t to be the Shakers’ day.

Lowe was pleased though that Hatters boss Nathan Jones paid his team compliments: "He came up to me after the game and said well done and that he was really impressed with us.

"I've got to take positives from that because he's got a team there who are flying high in the league above us.

"I'll always take compliments like that, and I'll tell the players exactly what he said."

Bury (3-5-2): Murphy 6; Stokes 7 (Miller, 83, 6), Thompson 6, O'Connell 7; Adams 7, Mayor 7, O'Shea 8, Danns 6 (Lavery, 74, 7), McFadzean 7; Moore 5 (Telford, 58, 6), Maynard 8

Subs not used: Moloney, Aimson, Dawson, Dagnall

Luton (4-1-2-1-2): Shea; Stacey, Bradley, Pearson, Justin; Rea; Shinnie, Ruddock-Mpanzu; Lee (Potts, 83); Cornick (Hylton, 86), Collins

Subs not used: Stech, LuaLua, Jarvis, Jones, Sheehan

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Attendance: 2,977