>Bury 1-1 Northampton Town
Saturday, August 21st 2010
A point at Bury on the face of it is a decent result and the Cobblers will today be glad that a lead handed to them by a Steve Guinan (no, you’re not hearing things!) penalty was only cancelled out and not entirely obliterated in a second successive draw for Sammo’s team.
John Johnson was the major absentee from the Cobblers line up as a bad back kept him out of the first eleven at Gigg Lane. Paul Rodgers took his place but apart from that it was the same side that drew with Accrington last week. That meant that Michael Jacobs kept his place with Kevin Thornton only making it to the bench once more.
The first half chance of the game fell to Andy Bishop for the home side with the Shakers man picking up the ball in midfield but shooting over the bar. Efe Sodji then caused problems moments later from an in swinging free kick and had mild claims for a penalty against Marcus Hall but there was nothing doing from the ref.
The home side had settled far better than the Cobblers and the first ten minutes had belonged solely to them. Peter Sweeney sent in a free kick that was caught by Jansson and the Cobblers woke up after an early spell of dominance.
Billy McKay created a chance for Steve Guinan in our first real chance and a few minutes later Guinan had another, but this time much clearer, opportunity to open the scoring. Ryan Gilligan played him in and you got the feeling that it was going to be another frustrating day for Guinan when Bury keeper Cameron Belford came out on top in the face off by pulling off a fine save.
But on the half hour mark, Guinan did get his goal, and the Cobblers’ first in the league this season when he was brought down in the area by Joe Skarz and got to his feet to convert the penalty that would hand the Cobblers a half time lead.
That lead was preserved only because of the reflexes of Oscar Jansson as he produced a fine save just five minutes after the goal to deny Ryan Lowe.
The second half began in a cagey fashion but we would soon begin to get the feeling that it was going to be a long, long half as Bury began to step things up once more. Andy Bishop had an excellent chance to pull his side level but his header sailed wide before Andy Holt volleyed over in a rare Cobblers chance.
By then Tadhg Purcell had been introduced for Michael Jacobs in a restructure by Sammo but The Shakers remained on the front foot. The inevitable equaliser came when Lowe managed to round Jansson and strike the ball against the post with the rebound falling to David Worrall who coolly finished off the move to make it 1-1.
It was then a case of holding on and despite the odd signal of intent from both sides the game petered out to earn both clubs a point and after a tricky encounter at Gigg Lane we should be reasonably happy with that.
I know we haven’t got that illusive first win yet but to come to Bury and secure a point at any time of the season represents a good work out. I expect them to be in and around the playoffs once again this season and if we’re to be with them we need more away performances like this.
It gets no easier with the likes of Wycombe, Aldershot, Southend and Shrewsbury to come in the next few weeks and Tuesday night’s trip to Reading in the Carling Cup will be a welcome distraction from this tricky opening to the season.