MATCH REPORT: Bury 1 Chesterfield 1

On the mark: Craig Davies.
On the mark: Craig Davies.
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Craig Davies ended his personal goal drought to put Chesterfield ahead but Ryan Lowe levelled right at the start of the second half.

With Bury dominating, Deane Smalley was sent off for two yellow cards but the Spireites held on to a valuable point.

John Sheridan made four changes, two enforced, from the team that lost at Burton. Full-backs Javan Vidal and Gregor Robertson returned while Ian Morris came into midfield. New signing Kieran Djilali began on the left having joined on loan from Crystal Palace, for the second time.

Bury were unchanged following defeat at Stockport, meaning Phil Picken lined up against the side he played for during a five year spell.

There was a very cagey start to a game neither side wanted to lose.

No-one was taking a risk or was prepared to do anything that would endanger their own side’s defensive third. That resulted in a dearth of goalmouth action until Lowe drilled in a box-edge shot just wide of the upright in the 16th minute.

The shot perked Alan Knill’s Bury up but a break in play for Mark Allott to receive some treatment halted their rhythm and soon the Spireites, with their first attack of note, were ahead.

The mistake no-one wanted to make came when Efe Sodje stumbled on the ball. Davies nicked it off him and ran clear, slotting the ball between Cameron Belford’s legs to register his first goal since New Year’s Day.

Simon Ford had to be quick to deny Lowe as he broke away and Chesterfield defended the resulting corner well. Tommy Lee, making his 100th league appearance for the club, had to drop low to gather an Andy Haworth 20-yarder as the Shakers stepped it up as the rain began to pour.

Holden tied himself in knots at the far post when Djilali whipped in a cross, failing to control when just three yards out and in a great position.

Belford, wearing a protective mask after breaking his cheekbone last year, managed to tip a 30-yard rocket from a rejuvenated Davies just over the bar.

Lowe tumbled under pressure from Ford, Bury’s penalty appeals went unanswered and Andy Bishop tried an effort from a little closer that flew over the target.

The Spireites succumbed to the hosts just 35 seconds after the restart when Lowe reacted quickest to gather the ball after Michael Jones had played it forwards, to fire home the equaliser from just inside the box.

With the game really increasing in tempo, Robertson made a fine tackle to halt sub Lenell John-Lewis and Lowe then hit wide from a great position ahead of a Lee save from Bury’s leading scorer.

Sheridan sent on Jordan Bowery but Bury looked the more likely side to score.

Smalley picked up a second yellow with five minutes to go for a foul on Jones but his teammates held on to earn a point thanks to Lee gathering a last gasp John-Lewis header.

Bury: Belford 6; Picken 7, Lees 7, Sodje 5, Skarz 7; Jones 7, Schumacher 6, Mozika 5, Haworth 5 (Worrall 67, 6); Bishop 6 (John-Lewis 57, 6), Lowe 8. Subs (not used): Branagan, Harrop, Futcher, Sweeney, Bennett.

Chesterfield: Lee 8; Vidal 6 (Breckin 65, 6), Holden 6, Ford 6, Robertson 7; Smalley 7, Whitaker 6 (Bowery 65, 6), Allott 7, Morris 7, Djilali 6 (Niven 90+5); Davies 6. Subs (not used): Redmond, Boden, Griffiths, Lowry.

Goals: Davies 20 (Chesterfield); Lowe 46 (Bury).

Bookings: Smalley 53, 85 (sent off).

Referee: David Foster (Tyne & Wear).

Attendance: 2,517.