MANAGER Lee Clark felt his Bury side were robbed at Blackpool after a cruel defeat saw them slip back into League One’s bottom four.

The Seasiders led at half time after a 38th-minute opener by Kelvin Mellor but, just as they did in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Bradford, Bury responded well.

Jermaine Beckford equalised on 58 minutes as he claimed his eighth goal of the season – and sixth in seven games.

The Shakers were still on top when Curtis Tilt headed Blackpool back in front from a 73rd-minute corner.

And although substitute Jay O’Shea and Josh Laurent went close at the death, Bury could not claim the draw they deserved.

“We were robbed in the sense that we were the dominant team and second half was just one-way traffic,” said Clark.

“I thought the second half was terrific and I’m really gutted for the players that they haven’t got a result.

“Games in this league are always tough but the bottom line is we were the dominant team.

“But they are disappointing goals we have given away and when you give away goals like that it proves very difficult for you.”

Former Bolton captain Jay Spearing made his Blackpool debut in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Walsall and despite being named on the bench on Tuesday night, the ex-Wanderers midfielder was drafted into the starting line-up after Jimmy Ryan was injured in the warm-up.

Spearing was involved in the game’s first chance, rolling the ball to Sean Longstaff on the edge of the Bury box and his low drive forced a decent save from Leo Fasan.

The Shakers had made one change, Harry Bunn coming in for the injured Chris Humphrey, and he soon began to impress.

Chris Maguire unleashed a 20-yard strike which was parried by Ryan Allsop before Beckford went close. Allsop then stood and watched as Maguire’s 25-yard free kick clipped the top of the Pool bar.

The hosts gradually got on top, though, as ex-Bury loanee Nathan Delfouneso switched wings with Mellor, with Delfouneso now on the right.

Kyle Vassell’s flick soon found Delfouneso in the box and his low shot was saved by Fasan, with Phil Edwards hacking the loose ball clear.

But moments later Delfouneso played a perfectly-weighted ball into the left side of the Bury box for Longstaff to run on to and square for Mellor to tap home.

However, the Shakers replied with Bunn forcing Allsop to save at his near post and then it was all Bury until after the 70-minute mark.

Callum Reilly latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the Pool box and his shot was tipped over by Allsop.

Maguire and Eoghan O’Connell then went close before Bunn and Beckford were denied in quick succession.

And the pressure paid off as Bunn’s low cross found Beckford, who took a touch before stabbing the ball home and celebrating in front of the Bury fans.

Greg Leigh’s cross was then cleared off the Pool line by Clark Robertson and Josh Laurent spurned a great chance as he sidefooted over from 14 yards after Reilly’s shot had been blocked.

And that proved a crucial moment as, shortly after, Mellor’s low cross was turned behind, Andy Taylor’s inswinging corner found Tilt and his header was too strong for Fasan to keep out.

Both sides had chances during the closing stages but O’Shea went closest during five minutes of stoppage time, his header was touched on to the far post by Allsop.

“We had to do something a bit different towards the end to try to get that equaliser and we nearly got it,” Clark added. “I said at half time that we had to play at a higher tempo and be on the front foot. But people not doing our jobs has cost us at least a point. We weren’t touch-tight from the corner.”

Match ratings

BURY (3-4-1-2): Fasan 7; Aldred 7 (Dobre 6, 78), O’Connell 8, Edwards 8; Bunn 8 (Williams 6, 78), Laurent 7, Reilly 8, Leigh 8; Maguire 8 (O’Shea 7, 60); Smith 7, Beckford 8. Not used: Dobre, Ince, Shotton, Tutte, Maloney.

BLACKPOOL (3-4-2-1): Allsop; Turton, Robertson, Tilt; Mellor, Spearing (Cooke 70), D’Almeida, Taylor; Longstaff (Solomon-Otabor 70), Delfouneso; Vassell (Quigley 82). Not used: Aimson, Clayton, Philliskirk, Williams.

Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria).

Attendance: 3,437 (584 visiting).