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League Two

David Flitcroft: Bury lacked ruthlessness

8 March 2014

Bury manager David Flitcroft felt his side should have overcome 10-man Rochdale instead of having to settle for a 0-0 draw.

The derby clash lived up to the hype and although Dale forward Ian Henderson was shown a second yellow card in the 44th minute, Bury struggled to break the visitors down.

Knowing victory would put them top of League 2, Dale still had chances of their own but were pleased with a point after keeper Josh Lillis made a stunning save at the death.

"We had enough chances to win it so we're disappointed not to beat a very good Rochdale team," said Flitcroft.

"It's another clean sheet and I was expecting the net to ripple a couple of times at the end there. We got in a few times.

"We saw the other side of Rochdale. We know they're a good footballing side but they were resilient second half.

"They still carried a threat and were difficult to break down, we just lacked that ruthless edge.

"Josh Lillis did well but that's the next part of the challenge for us - to take those chances and beat the top teams."

Dale lost top scorer Scott Hogan to an early knee injury but had the better of the first half as Jamie Allen and Henderson headed over.

Bury replied with Danny Nardiello firing over and after being booked for handball, Henderson was sent off for pulling back Jake Carroll just before the break.

Bury's Pablo Mills clipped the bar after the restart, while Michael Rose and Peter Cavanagh fired inches wide for Dale.

Lillis then denied Tom Soares and Nardiello before tipping over Carroll's last-gasp header.

"I thought Ian's first booking was harsh, he was trying to control it on his chest," said Dale boss Keith Hill. "It could have spoilt the game but it was still worth watching.

"Josh Lillis was phenomenal - and he needed to be. But having said that, we looked dangerous on the counter-attack second half and had some good opportunities.

"It took us a while to get used to having 10 men but once we did I thought were worthy of a point, which I think is enormous.

"There was a lot of courage from our players having gone down to 10 men. They'll take an incredible amount of belief from the knowledge we can trust one another to perform like that against a very good side.

"We've got 61 points, which is what we got last season, and we've still got 12 games to play so we're in a superb position."

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