RYAN Lowe admits he was relieved to walk away with a point from bottom side Notts County after Bury were outplayed for much of their trip to Meadow Lane.

Jon Stead missed a penalty in the second half for County, while goalkeeper Joe Murphy excelled between the sticks – making a string of fine saves, particularly in the first half.

And Lowe, whose promotion-chasing side have now won just one of their last four, admits, although they improved in the second half, they were fortunate not to lose.

“After the second half we came off disappointed that we didn't win the game, but also relieved that we came away with a point,” he said.

“We knew it wasn't going to be easy, coming to the bottom of the league when everyone expects us to win.

“Notts County are fighting for their survival and you saw that during the first half. We showed a gutsy second half after they were on top in the first half.

“We spoke at half time about responding and getting ourselves into the game and getting some possession.

“We were better in the second half and created chances, we were much more in the game after the break.”

The Shakers failed to get going in the first half, with Rob Milson lashing an effort narrowly wide on 12 minutes.

Murphy saved Matt Tootle’s deflected effort comfortably on 29 minutes, before David Vaughan hit the post with a 30-yard piledriver as the one-way traffic continued.

Murphy produced another fine save to turn Dennis’ shot around the post on 33 minutes before Pierce Bird beat his man before shooting wide as the basement boys ended the half strongly.

But Jay O’Shea had a shot deflected over for a corner on 48 minutes as the Shakers came out with renewed intent.

Nicky Adams’ low cross just evaded Nicky Maynard at the back post minutes later as the visitors began to enjoy a spell of possession before Callum Styles saw a shot cleared off the line by Richard Duffy.

The Magpies won a penalty after Kellett’s cross was handled in the box on 72 minutes. But the normally reliable Stead fired well wide to the relief of Bury.

Murphy pulled off another brilliant save to keep out a fierce Tootle half volley as Bury somehow escaped with a point.

“Joe Murphy was excellent for us today and made some great saves to keep us in the match,” Lowe added.

“You have to work for every point in this division and you have to work hard to be successful. We were expected to win but we have to be happy with the point.

“It may be a very valuable point for us at the end of the season.

“It is still very tight around the play-off places at the moment.

“We are in a good position and we now have to maintain what we have been doing and take it into the second half of the season.”

Notts County: Fitzsimons 6, Bird 6, Duffy 6, Brisley 7, Tootle 7, Milsom 8, Kellett 7 (Husin 88 5), Vaughan 8, Evina 6, Stead 7, Dennis 6 (Thomas 89 5).

Subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Pindroch, Crawford, Osborne, Etete.

Bury: Murphy 9, Aimson 6, Thompson 7, Stokes 7 (Lavery 75 5), Adams 6, O'Shea 7, Mayor 6, Danns 6 (Styles 45 7), McFadzean 5, Maynard 6 (Telford 84 5), Moore 5.

Subs: Miller, Dawson, Dagnall, Hudson.

Referee: Brett Huxtable.

Attendance: 7,014 (647)