Bury saw out a narrow 1-0 victory over Squires Gate at Gigg Lane on Tuesday night - a result that was far closer than it ought to have been, writes James Beedie.

Fans were buoyant pre-match following Saturday’s 4-0 win over play-off chasing Wythenshawe Town with the visit of relegation battling Blackpool side there were hopes for an even greater score.

Manager Dave McNabb named an unchanged starting 11 from the weekend, though there was a place on the bench for latest signing Dan Cockerline, a former Bury Juniors player who joined from Newcastle Town.

Bury started the match on the attack with Andy Scarisbrick forcing a good save from Squires Gate keeper Nathan Pennington. The subsequent corner saw an Oli Jepson header cleared off the line.

The Shakers continued to press on for an opening goal but the final ball proved elusive. Benito Lowe twice broke through one on one with Pennington but in the first instance the referee brought play back for a foul in the build up and in the second the Squires Gate keeper did just enough to get the ball away.

The visitors meanwhile had chances of their own. From a Squires Gate corner the ball was nearly turned in after a scramble in the box left Harry Wright’s woodwork shaking as the ball ricocheted off the crossbar. While James Hughes fired a wicked shot from a quick counter attack that was deflected just over the bar.

It was Bury that always looked the more likely to open the scoring however. A Scarisbrick cross was nearly turned into his own net by Niall Fallon whose blushes were saved by the quick reactions of Pennington. A Gaz Peet cross that was headed on by Jepson found Tom Moore, his volley was perfectly timed but inches wide. Moore had another chance from a corner but his header went the wrong side of the other post as the visitors endured the siege on their goal in the first half.

Bury finally thought they had broken the deadlock on 42 minutes, a Charlie Doyle cross was put away by Comber but the linesman’s flag was quickly raised to rule it out.

Into stoppage time in a matter of seconds from successive corners Jepson saw another header cleared off the line before a full on scramble between Lowe, Duckworth and Scarisbrick, each barely a yard from goal, failed to force the ball over the line and stopped by the heroic defending of Squires Gate. The halftime whistle blew and despite Bury’s dominance the score remained goalless.

It was much the same story to start the second half, another near own goal avoided by Pennington, a shot from a tight angle from Scarisbrick hit the side netting and further pressure on the Squires Gate backline. Finally the Shakers managed to break through.

A Doyle cross was met by the head of Duckworth inside the six yard box and Benito Lowe had the simple task of tapping home from a yard out, a goal that was just desserts for an hour’s endeavour.

Bury nearly scored a quick second. Lowe latching onto a throughball by Doyle rounded Pennington but couldn’t find the target from a tight angle. That proved to be one of Bury’s last chances, following the goal the home side’s opportunities began to dry up as the away side now obliged to come out and attack began to take charge.

First Gate top goalscorer Nathan Cliffe hit the bar with a long range effort, then Cliffe struck again. Pouncing on an intercepted pass his shot had to be turned away for a corner by Wright.

The pressure was now on Bury who had their backs to the wall in the closing stages. Squires Gate looked much more likely to score, hounding the defence as Bury’s midfield gave the ball away cheaply.

With whistles echoing all over Gigg Lane after the four added minutes at the end of the second half had long since expired, Squires Gate had one last chance, an over powered pass to Saad Mekkaoui-Abouzaid eluded the Squires Gate substitute who put in a late challenge on Peet out of frustration before head butting Jepson.

The resulting fracas lasted minutes but ended in the expected red card before the referee blew for full time.