>Shakers miss chance as Gulls close in

>At the start of the season you wouldn’t have batted much of your eyelid with the score line of Bury 1-2 Torquay, the full time result at Gigg Lane last night. The Shakers had made a decent start to the campaign but it was the Devon club pulling up most of the trees on the early roads of League Two version 10/11. Torquay overtook a club record of clean sheets and were looking unstoppable, leaving the chasing pack in their wake. But since then, both sides have made a slight jump, Bury in the right direction, Torquay going the other way. So much so that it was considered a game that Bury needed to win last night to close the gap on leaders Chesterfield.

Cue a rejuvenated flock of Gulls, flying back south with all three precious points that puts them back on the brink of a playoff berth and proving that below the much admired leaders there’s a hell of a lot of competition going on to both avoid and to be a part of the end of season lottery known as the Playoffs. It’s taken a mid table slump for United to wake up and start challenging again but they’ve now won three out of their last four games, hammering Shrewsbury before last night’s just as impressive success.

This massive three points, thanks to a stunning second half recovery, was ground out with two goals in nine minutes. After Chris Holroyd had shot Bury into a half time advantage, Craig Stanley followed up on a goal mouth scramble just after the hour and Chris Zebroski nodded the winner. Torquay are now just a point away from the final playoff position held by Port Vale but perhaps more tellingly are two points from Gillingham in sixth with a game in hand.

Elsewhere, Stevenage, famed for their home form in the first half of the season, picked up another fine away win, this time at Oxford. United’s Harry Worley found scored for them in the first half, the Oxford man turning a Luke Foster cross into his own net but after Josh Payne was brought down in the area by Peter Winn, Tom Craddock scored from the spot to level it. Borough wouldn’t be denied though and Craig Reid notched the winner to keep Borough on track. It was a massive blow for Oxford who are five points from the playoffs having played at least a game more than those around them.

Crewe are up to ninth after they saw off Southend at Gresty Road. Shaun Miller took advantage of a rebounded Clayton Donaldson effort to tap in for the winner and condemn Southend to the bottom half of the table.

The Cobblers came out of the night near enough unscathed in terms of other results with Burton going down 3-1 at ever improving Accrington who move into the top half. Burton’s games in hand have been well publicised and it appears to be a get out clause for their relegation battle but until they win at least two of their remaining four extra games they’ll still be extremely nervous. Phil Edwards, Ian Craney and Andy Procter scored the goals that lifted Stanley to a fifth win in seven.

The other ones we had to worry about were those pesky Silkmen of Macclesfield and it looked like they were about to go down to a very handy defeat when Stephen Hunt’s fine goal gave Lincoln the lead at Moss Rose. But deep into stoppage time, Sam Wedgbury belted the ball home with an unstoppable volley from distance to earn his side a point. Lincoln were hanging on with ten men after Ben Hutchinson was sent off but their resistance failed to hold up until the last.

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